Personal Safety

Although the university tries to make your campus as safe as possible, ultimately, you are responsible for your own personal safety. We provide many resources that enhance your awareness of, and encourage avoidance of situations that present the possibility of criminal activity. For those resources to work, you must participate.

Many incidents are crimes of opportunity perpetrated by those who are on the lookout for carelessness, inattentiveness, or for someone who projects the characteristics of a victim. Read these safety measures and crime prevention tips carefully, and take the appropriate action to avoid becoming a victim:

  • NEVER leave a door unlocked, not even for a minute. It invites theft of your personal property from residence hall rooms, vehicles, and apartments.
  • Laptops are a particularly hot item to steal, as well as cash, credit cards and checks, electronics, and other personal items.
  • A thief can enter your room, steal an item, and be gone in under 30 seconds. That's less time than it takes you to visit the bathroom down the hall.
  • If you live on campus, you will choose a PIN (Personal Identification Number) for your residence room phone at the beginning of the year. You should neither tell anyone your PIN, nor lend it to another student. Doing so may result in your being billed for phone calls not made by you, and can total hundreds of dollars.
  • Socialize in groups. If six friends go out, then the same number should return home together. It is unwise to go off with someone you don't know, as it is to leave a member of the group behind with a stranger.


If one of your group begins to behave in a manner that is out of character or inconsistent with the way they usually act, you should consider the possibility that their drink may have been tainted with a Date Rape Drug like Rohypnol or GHB. The names are different but the drugs have the same basic effect:

  • Fast onset (within 10-20 minutes) of:
  • dizziness
  • disorientation
  • appearing intoxicated (even when no alcohol has been consumed)
  • fading in and out of consciousness
  • loss of control of your decision making processes
  • loss of memory
  • There is also a strong possibility of death from such drugs, especially if they react negatively with any other medication the victim may be taking.
  • Victims of these drugs can often sleep for many hours after consumption, and may not even be aware that an assault occurred.


  • WATCH YOUR DRINK. Don't trust anyone else to keep and eye on it for you.
  • Don't drink from punch bowls.
  • Don't accept free drinks from strangers.
  • Look out for friends at social events.
  • If you feel suddenly unwell, tell a friend and seek medical attention immediately.
  • Report the incident to the Salem State University Police Department at 978.542.6111 if you suspect you were victimized.
  • Walk in well lit, highly traveled areas at night, both on and off campus. That dark shortcut may be tempting, but might result in your being assaulted or robbed.
  • Do not leave personal items unattended anywhere. Students often put down a backpack or pocketbook in the cafeteria or the library, leave to get food or find a book, and come back to find the bag gone.
  • Textbooks are very expensive, as you know, which makes them a target for thieves. Pick a page and write something you would recognize on it, like your date of birth. If your book is stolen it is easily identified as your property if someone attempts to return it for money at the Bookstore.
  • If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Don't be talked into investments by fast talking solicitors who call you by phone or knock on your door. Anyone who wishes to sell anything on campus must have permission to do so. If you are approached by someone offering a "great deal" notify the Salem State University Police Department at 978.542. 6111.
  • Read the fine print before you sign anything. If you're pressured to complete a contract right then, STOP, and ask for more time to consider it. If it's a genuine offer, it will still be available the next day.
  • Items being offered for free on the internet are likely to have unexpected conditions attached.
  • If you think you've been conned, call the Salem State University Police Department at 978.542.6111
  • Be cautious about sharing personal information with ANYONE. You are not obliged to give out your Social Security Number or Date of Birth to store clerks. If they refuse to finalize the transaction without it, LEAVE.
  • Never open your door when someone knocks UNTIL you find out who's there.
  • If you have a bicycle, LOCK IT OR LOSE IT.


  • Rapists and other criminals can spot a potential victim from afar. Our appearance and demeanor express attitudes and personality types to those around us, whether we realize it or not.
  • Project the following attitudes to discourage anyone from targeting you as a victim: Hold your head up and look around you. Know what's going on in your immediate surroundings. This gives an appearance of confidence.
  • Stride out and walk with self-assurance to project that you have the power to resist attack. This will discourage criminals from picking you as a target.
  • Make eye contact with those around you. Let them know that you're aware of their presence. However, don't stare, because this can be intimidating, or construed as a challenge.
  • Take a self-defense course like RAD.
  • Got a Question? Tel: 978.542.6511 Tel: Emergency: 6111