A safe community begins with knowing your campus safety services

Living safely within a community is everyone’s responsibility, and as Panthers, we all want FIU to be the safest community it can be, but we can’t purely rely on the Florida International University Police Department  or staff to keep us safe. We as Panthers hold the responsibility of keeping each other safe as well.

Being on a college campus is fun, but it’s easy to gain a false sense of security and feeling of safety when surrounded by your peers. After all, they’re just regular students like you, right? Wrong.

It’s important to remember that you don’t always know who you can trust, even when you’re in the college campus bubble.

While the threat of danger may not always be your first assumption, it’s important to be prepared should a situation ever present itself.

While we certainly hope that these situations won’t arise, it’s always best to be prepared for any given situation, just in case.

Don’t allow technology to make you unaware of your surroundings.

Anyone with headphones and smartphone knows that the minute you’re plugged in, you barely exist anymore. You stare at your phone and zone out, not knowing what is going on around you.

This can be dangerous because you start to find yourself becoming unaware of what’s going on around you.

The key to getting out of a potentially dangerous situation is to recognize it as such, but if you’re zoned out by the loud music or your eyes are glued to your screen, this is nearly impossible  because you aren’t even aware of the situations you’re walking into.

FIU is a relatively safe campus, but still heed these words: don’t walk around alone at night. Yes, there are times when you need to get from point A to point B, but try to use a buddy system so that is something does arise, you’re not on your own.

As a Panther, you should be aware of the emergency system areas and services should you ever find yourself in trouble.  

FIU has an FIU Alert emergency notification system that notifies the FIU community of any imminent or immediate threat to life safety.

It’s designed to reach as many people as possible in a timely manner while also maintaining redundancy should one or several of the methods fail. The system uses multiple methods of communication like phone calls and text, emergency call boxes and FIU email, among others.

In addition to Panther Alert, FIU has a number of repetitious systems that are activated to alert the university community during emergencies. There is the Informacast where messages appear on the Cisco Phones located in offices and classrooms throughout the campuses.

There’s also your FIU email, and all messages are sent to student, faculty and staff FIU email accounts, so be sure to stay updated by checking your email frequently.

There’s also our FIUPD who are committed to improving the quality of life by enforcing state laws and university policies in a professional manner.

The FIUPD employs a community-oriented policing approach to problem solving and works diligently to prevent and investigate criminal activity, provide for a safe flow of vehicle and pedestrian traffic and find solutions to the issues that affect us as students and our faculty and staff.

FIU police also run an app called FIU Guardian that asks users to create a safety profile, which gives  police useful personal information so they can readily assist you. It includes a safety timer that will notify designated “Guardians,” or app references, if you find yourself in a sketchy place for too long. And most importantly there is a panic button that will show police your GPS location in case of an emergency.

Additionally, FIU has a list of emergency contact numbers for both campuses one directly contacts the university police while the other one is for university counseling and psychological services.

Among these contact numbers are 24-hour emergency numbers for MMC and BBC that can be called at any time and for any emergency event. The contact number for MMC is (305) 348-5911, and the contact number for BBC is (305) 919-5911.

There’s also a 24-hour hotline for after hours emergency such as intent or plan to attempt suicide or inflict bodily harm to yourself or someone else, and the number for it is (305) 348-3000.

We as Panthers should never be afraid to speak up and speak out in the event of danger. It’s our job to look out for one another. If you see something, say something. If you need help, ask for help. If you see someone in need, help them. Safety on and around college campuses is a key concern for everyone, so keep in mind what’s available to you on campus.


Photo by Sabri Tuzcu on Unsplash.

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