IU students advised about safety before the start of classes

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By Marisela Burgos

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (August 18,2014)-- Thousands of students will begin their college career this week and law enforcement officials are taking the time to remind students to be safe.

Brett Pistotnik and his friend, Chris Sajkoski, traveled from California to start classes at Indiana University. They will be roommates and are glad they know someone here.

“It’s going to be a great time and (I’m at) a great school,” Sajkoski said.

During freshman orientation, students were notified about various resources available to them on campus as well as how to stay safe.

“That’s probably my biggest message to take care of yourself and to take care of each other,” IU Police Chief Laury Flint said.

Chief Flint reminded students that they need to do everything possible to make sure they are not a target of a crime of opportunity. She said crimes of opportunity like theft are a big problem on campus.

“You just don’t want to make yourself a victim. (You should) surround yourself by people you trust and care about and they care about you also,” Chief Flint said.

This year, university officials placed more attention on awareness about sexual violence. The university has new initiatives, programs, and resources in place. Students were also reminded about the Indiana Lifeline law.

Noah Brenner is a freshman. He paid attention to the advice given to him and his classmates.

“I think mostly it was common sense (advice) like don’t walk down a dark alley at 2 a.m. and walk with a buddy and all that kind of stuff,” Brenner said.

Chief Flint wants students to know their officers work around the clock and that they work closely with other agencies. If you see something, you are encouraged to say something. Chief Flint said people need to call 911, if there is an emergency.

“As far as advice, (I told my son to) just use (his) head. It’s gotten him this far,” Mike Sajkoski said.

If you would like more information about ways to protect yourself, here are two recommended university sites: http://protect.iu.edu/ or http://protect.iu.edu/police/sexualviolence.