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Nine residence hall safety tips to protect yourself and your belongings

Campbell Hall (Main) on an autumn day with blue skies and fall foliage.
Campbell Hall (Main) residence hall. Ray Meese for Virginia Tech.

From: Virginia Tech Police Department

Feeling safe on campus, especially in one’s own room or residence hall, is essential for a student's mental health and success as a student and community member.

One of the most important aspects of the Virginia Tech Police Department’s mission is to enhance the safety and quality of life for students, faculty, staff, and visitors. However, creating a safer environment requires the participation of all campus community members.

Continue reading below to learn how to do your part in enhancing overall campus safety by increasing personal safety and protecting your possessions and valuables.

Here are nine tips to enhance safety while in a residence hall:

1. Look out for your neighbor: Turn your building into a community by ensuring all are watching out for each other. Report all suspicious people and circumstances immediately to the Virginia Tech Police at 540-382-4343 or within the "Report a Tip" button in the Hokie Ready mobile app.

2. Lock your door: Prevent theft by locking your door. It's that simple.

3. Peephole: If you have a peephole, always use it.

4. Close propped doors: Do not get a false sense of security from the card swiped exterior doors. Closing propped doors is everyone's job.

5. Register your bike: All bicycles regularly parked on campus must be registered with Transportation Services. Bicycle registration prevents theft and assists with the recovery of stolen bicycles. Failure to register a bicycle can result in fines or impoundment of the bicycle. Registration is free and can be accessed through the Parking Services portal.

6. Engrave valuables: In the event of a theft, you are much more likely to have your item returned if there is an identifiable mark separating yours from everyone else's. "Black laptop" isn't descriptive enough. Get your items engraved for free at the Virginia Tech Police Department. Call 540-231-4343 to schedule.

7. Trust your instincts: If something doesn't look right to you, it probably isn't. If someone or something appears out of place in your building, contact your RA or the police immediately.

8. Keychain safety: Never attach your name and/or address to your keychain (such as your Hokie Passport). Remember that your Hokie Passport, as well as a key to your building, is personal information. With a Hokie Passport, a threat could find your room on and use your passport to access the building.

9. Know how to defend yourself: Enroll in a Rape Aggression Defense or Resisting Aggression with Defense for Men class today.

Click here for more safety tips from the Virginia Tech Police.