Tips for staying safe on campus from the Brown Bag Workshop series and Police Services


Halie Spol

Detective Vanessa Avalos at the Student Union presenting about safety on campus on Feb.1 2018.

Halie Spol, Staff member

Keeping students safe on campus was the topic for Diablo Valley College’s Brown Bag Workshop series this week.

Detective Vanessa Avalos from DVC Police Services gave a presentation in the Student Union that aimed to educate students on vehicle safety, protecting yourself, your property and preventing fraud.

Avalos’ tips for vehicle safety included parking in well lit areas, always making sure windows and doors are locked and never leaving anything that looks valuable in view. Avalos said, “A lot of people think that by hiding your laptops and backpacks with jackets [thieves] won’t know, but they know, and they are in and out of your car faster then you realize.”

For protecting property, Avalos recommended always buying a U-lock for your bicycle and locking both the front tire and frame to a secured bike rack.

She also stressed never leaving valuables out of your view, even if it is for a short minute, such as leaving a laptop while running to the restroom.

Avalos let students know there is not many cameras on campus and the best way to secure your electronics and bicycle is by writing down their serial numbers. Serial numbers are important because Police Services uses an Automatic Property System, which locates property by matching a serial number from the reported stolen item with property the police have recovered.

For keeping yourself safe Avalos stressed that students need to be observant and aware. She said, “Walk with purpose, you need to look like you’re doing something, going somewhere and like you have an end goal, even if you don’t. It is a crime of opportunity most of the time and criminals will always chose someone who looks timid and is not paying attention.” Avalos recommends always trusting your gut. If someone looks suspicious or something doesn’t feel right, report it. Avalos said, “Most people don’t trust their gut, police officers just  have to learn how to refine and articulate it.” She also let students know that you can ask for a police escort on campus anytime from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m by calling the police non-emergency number.

Wrapping the event up, Avalos let students know fraud and scam is a big problem on campus. She said to not give the voter registration booths that you see on campus your personal info, and to take it home and mail it in yourself.  She also let students know that school Wi-Fi is not private, so do not check bank accounts on it, if you need to check personal information log off the Wi-Fi or wait till you get home.

One student attending the workshop Kjersti Lyngbo, health education major, said attending the Brown Bag Workshop was, “Very relevant, I am deeply concerned about everyone on campus. I think that more students need to make an effort to use the resources and support available for our own safety.”

Coordinator for the Brown Bag Workshop, Ashley Murdock, agreed. Getting students to attend the free workshops is helpful on keeping them aware and safe. “There is faculty presenters every Thursday who give presentations for DVC students on health, safety, cultural events and financial aid. If your professor offers it they can give extra credit for attending,” said Murdock. At the end of the safety workshop Murdock personally passed out slips with signatures for proof of attendance.

To attend the many upcoming Brown Bag Workshops, grab your brown bag lunch and head down to the Student Union on Thursdays at noon for a free and informative workshop on events relating to DVC, and potentially some extra credit.