Safety tips for NAIT students to remember

by | Mar 19, 2024 | Arts & Life

Better safe than sorry” might sound cliché, but it is necessary for NAIT students to understand the importance of being safe on campus. Danger comes uninvited, and there are certain things students can do to ensure they are prepared when dealing with hazardous situations. 

1. Download NAIT Alert 

Firstly, students should download “NAIT Alert,” the official safety app of the institution. There are many safety-oriented features in the app, including “Safewalk,” where NAIT Protective Services (NPS) physically or virtually guides you to your intended location. This could be particularly helpful for students who have classes at night or who are staying late at NAIT to study. 

2. Know who to call when there’s trouble 

If it is an emergency, dial 911 immediately. According to the NAIT Protective Services webpage, students should call NPS at 780-471-7477 in “non-urgent or non-life-threatening” situations. NAIT Community Peace Officer Sam Darlington said in an interview with the Nugget that students should call for everything, even if they aren’t sure. “We are never going to be upset about getting a phone call, even if it turns out to be nothing.” Interestingly, if someone calls 911 from any landline on NAIT campus, NPS will also be alerted automatically. 

Students should not hesitate to reach out to NPS when in trouble, as they are here to help. Darlington said his role as a community peace officer at NAIT to “keep people safe.” 

“That is something that every member of NPS does,” he said.

3. Pay attention to your surroundings

If students are making a report to relevant authorities, it is very helpful to be detailed and descriptive. What was happening? Who was involved? Were there any threatening statements made? These are some of the questions and answers that may assist NPS in deploying the proper response. A tip from Darlington’s recent safety education series: Remembering the shoe colour of the perpetrator is also a handy way to identify them.

When asked about the common mistakes that students make regarding their personal safety, Darlington stated that it is not necessarily mistakes, but maybe just a “lack of awareness.” This mainly involves leaving items such as backpacks, laptops and cellphones unattended then leaving the area. “[In] those types of situations, there is a high risk of something being stolen,” he added.

4. Don’t be a hero

According to Darlington, self-defense or physical violence is rarely a good response when dealing with a physical threat. When confronted, Darlington said that leaving or running is the safest option. “Extricate yourself from the situation and leave. Call for help.”

5. Trust your instincts

Darlington advised students to say something if they see suspicious activity, adding that if students feel unsafe, “there is a reason for it,” and that they should let the NPS know. In other words, trust your gut.

“We are all family.” Darlington considers everyone part of one group and reassured that he is here to help. “No matter who we are, where we come from, how we identify, ultimately, I just see you as a person and I am here to help you.” 

As pointed out by Darlington, “NAIT is a safe campus, but we don’t want to take that personal safety for granted.” 

Cover photo via Leigh Kovesy, NAIT Content Collective

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