The number of students commuting to campuses worldwide is rising, and many are enrolled in night classes.
According to Inside Higher ED, commuter students are identified as individuals enrolled at institutions that do not live on campus. This includes institution-owned housing, and they make up about 85 percent of the student body. Of that 85 percent, 39 percent attend college part-time, and 70 percent have full-time job positions. This prompts many commuter students to choose night classes, as these courses fit with their work schedules the most.
Since these classes are at night, students traveling to campus become targets for many crimes. Columbia College Chicago is one of the many institutions that keeps students updated on crimes on campus or in surrounding areas. Their crime advisories are posted online and emailed to students. Here are some ways commuter students can stay safe when traveling to campus at night.
When using rideshare apps:
Always examine your driver’s car and license plate, and have them say your name before getting in. Often, riders accidentally get in the wrong vehicle, and some drivers with ill intent will not say anything. If you feel like the above is doing too much, Uber and Lyft allow you to create a pin, and drivers must input your pin before the ride can begin.
Uber and Lyft also have safety options in the app that you can use if you feel uncomfortable or need help. You can also share your ride with someone you trust, and then they’ll have your location until the ride ends.
During rides, sometimes the passenger chats with the driver and forgets to check the map in the rideshare apps. Always make sure you’re paying attention to where you’re located and ensure the driver is going in the right direction.
When on public transportation:
Do not wear headphones or anything that drowns out noise while on public transportation. Remember, you’re on a bus or train with strangers, and you never know who’s watching you, even if you think they aren’t.
If possible, sit closer to the bus driver. A lot of transportation robberies or assaults happen closer to the back.
When walking to campus:
Often, you should look behind you and avoid listening to music. Many schools have security guards that will drive you to your preferred campus building after hours if you need assistance.
Blavity U Ambassador Lashaunta Moore is a graduate student at Columbia College Chicago, studying entrepreneurship for creatives. Moore has a bachelor’s degree in media communication, and she’s also a freelance journalist and digital content producer.