Public Safety

Safety Tips

Protect Your Alvernia Community:  Crime can occur anywhere, anytime

  • Report suspicious behavior or threatening situations immediately.  Describe the person(s) or situations as completely as possible to the 911 dispatcher.
  • Seek assistance from Alvernia Public Safety or one of the Residence Life staff if you are harassed, threatened or stalked.  Save all communications received including texts, emails, voicemail or written notes.
  • Avoid propping open exterior and fire doors or allowing strangers to enter.
  • Report possible hazards such as nonworking lights, broken windows or damaged doors.
  • Read and familiarize yourself with the Alvernia Student Handbook and the Emergency Guideline and Procedures booklet.

Prepare for unexpected or crisis situations:  Knowledge and quick response is vital.

  • Keep emergency numbers in your phone and on your person.
  • Emergencies only:  911
  • Alvernia Public Safety:  610-796-8350
  • Local police department: Reading Police 610-655-6116
  • Know the location of exits in your residence as well as campus buildings and facilities.
  • Report suspicious people, behavior or activity immediately.
  • Respect emergency equipment such as smoke detectors, fire alarms and fire extinguishers.  Report damaged equipment immediately.

Residence Hall Safety:  Minimize risk to your room.

  • Keep doors to your residence locked at all times
  • Never allow anyone to use your Identification card or loan out your room key
  • Do not admit strangers.
  • Close blinds/curtains at night.
  • Keep valuable items out of sight and securely stored.  Make a list of items’ brand names, model and serial numbers for insurance purposes.  If you are a victim of theft, accurate information may allow recovered items to be traced and returned
  • Report any unusual telephone calls to Public Safety.
  • If you do receive a telephone call from someone you do not know, never give out any pertinent information (such as your room number, last name, etc.).
  • Be aware of people trying to enter the residence hall behind someone that has the appropriate access card and report all unauthorized access to Public Safety
  • Be aware of the location of emergency phones and 911 call boxes on campus.
  • Alvernia maintains Resident Assistants (RA’s). They reside in every dorm on campus. These students are not a security force. However, they have been trained to utilize both Public Safety and university "on-duty staff” when situations arise that warrant needed assistance.
  • Do not smoke or attempt to light any combustible items

Protect Yourself:  Awareness of your surroundings and your actions contribute significantly to personal safety.

  • Trust your instincts—if you feel threatened, avoid the situation or call 911.
  • Wear only one earpiece when using a personal listening device.
  • Wear only one backpack shoulder strap when walking at night; avoid wearing a strap over your neck and shoulder.  This prevents an attacker from easily controlling you.
  • Walk with a friend or call Alvernia Public Safety Escort (8350) after dark.  If you think you are being followed, walk toward a well-lit area or people in the vicinity and call for assistance.
  • Use common sense.
  • Never leave your backpack or other items unattended.

Vehicle Safety

  • Always lock your car and keep doors locked when you are in the vehicle.
  • Do not leave valuables (including books) in your vehicle.
  • Never leave your windows open.
  • Park in well-lit areas.
  • Have your keys in hand and check the vehicle’s back seat before unlocking and entering.
  • After dark have someone accompany you to your vehicle
  • Misuse of alcohol or drugs inhibits your ability to act responsibly or react quickly
  • Buzzed or drunk driving is deadly and illegal; leave your vehicle and find other transportation.  Your life and others’ lives depend upon your decision.
  • Don’t hesitate to call Alvernia Public Safety if you or your friend are in need of assistance and have been drinking.  Our main concern is your safety

Sexual Assault & Date Rape

  • Be alert. Walk with confidence and purpose.
  • Walk in well-lit areas and never walk alone. Ask a classmate or friend to escort you.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Know who's around you and what's going on.
  • Don't let alcohol or drugs cloud your judgment.
  • Trust your gut. If your instincts tell you to leave, then leave immediately. If you feel uncomfortable or uneasy, remove yourself from a situation.
  • If you think you're being followed, change directions and look for open stores, restaurants, or a lighted home.

Rape Drugs
Rape drugs are put into a victim's drink, food, or even chewing gum, and are used to make them more vulnerable to rape.

To reduce the risk:

  • Do not leave beverages unattended.
  • Do not take beverages from someone you do not know well and trust.
  • At parties, bring your own beverages and do not accept open drinks from anyone.
  • Leave with the same group of people that you came with to the party.

What to do if an assault happens
It's unpleasant and even frightening to think about, but the best way to prevent or survive an assault is to plan in advance how you would react in the face of a potential assault. Would you run and scream, or would you try to fight back? Some possible attackers will immediately give up if his or her target shows the least signs of resistance. Others will become more incensed and more violent if their victims try to fight back. Whatever your decision, be confident and prepared to follow through.

  • Try to escape. Scream, yell, kick, fight, and run.
  • Talk, stall for time, and assess your situation.
  • If your attacker has a weapon, do whatever it takes to stay alive.
  • If your attacker tries to move you to another area, try to prevent that.

As a man, you must ...

  • Realize that forcing a woman to have sex against her will is rape, a violent crime with serious consequences.
  • Accept a woman's decision when she says "no." Don't see it as a challenge.
  • Ask yourself how sexual stereotypes affect your attitudes and actions toward women.
  • Don't use alcohol and other drugs: it clouds your judgment and understanding of what another person wants.
  • Understand that if a woman is intoxicated and you have sex with her against her will, it’s still rape.
  • Seek counseling or a support group to help you if you feel violent or aggressive toward women.

Surviving Rape

  • Report rape or sexual assault to the police or rape crisis center. The sooner you report this crime, the sooner your attacker can be sought.
  • Preserve all physical evidence. Don't take a shower, bathe, change clothes, douche, or throw away anything that you were wearing during the attack. Don't even clean your fingernails.
  • Go to the emergency room or to your doctor for medical care immediately. Don't go alone. Ask a friend or family member to drive you and to wait for you until your exam is finished.
  • If you think you've been sexually assaulted under the influence of a date rape drug, get medical help immediately. Try not to urinate before providing any urine samples. If possible, collect any containers from which you drank.
  • Get counseling to help you deal with what happened. Sexual assault is physically and emotionally traumatic.
  • Constantly remind yourself that this is not your fault

Click here for more information on sexual assault.

public safety

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