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Campus Life

Shop for the holidays with safety in mind

December 6, 2016

Holiday shopping for a college student can be difficult. As an Indiana University student myself, nothing means more to me than when my loved ones purchase gifts that will help me day-to-day while I’m away at school. With the holiday season upon us, I’ve gathered input from Indiana University safety experts and professionals to compile a safety holiday gift guide. These gifts are affordable, increase safety and are practical for college students (and others)!

  1. Portable charger. Recommended by Tracy James, assurance communications manager, a portable charger can help when electronics get low on battery throughout a busy school day or in case of emergency. These chargers come in different storage amounts, prices, shapes and sizes. Many students carry a charger in their purse or backpack, and for this generation, this stocking-stuffer can't go wrong!
  2. Radio frequency safe wallet. Credit card companies have recently attempted to implement chips in lieu of magnetic strips on credit and debit cards, but why not ensure extra security for your accounts? Sara Chambers, chief privacy officer, recommends keeping accounts safe by purchasing a radio frequency safe wallet to protect against electronic pickpocketing. These wallets vary in price and color. They look like a regular wallet but go the extra step in ensuring the safety of your bank account.
  3. "The Gift of Fear," by Gavin de Becker. For a student looking for an interesting read about safety, Robert True, chief of police for IUPD-Indianapolis, recommends purchasing "The Gift of Fear" by Gavin de Becker. This book offers advice about specific ways to protect yourself and others, such as how to spot warning signs to predict when danger may be present before it’s too late. This is great gift for a college student or for anyone in your life whose safety is important to you.
  4. Water purifier/water bottle. Dan Derheimer, director of environmental health and safety for IU Bloomington, recommends gifting a water purifier to ensure the quality of water you or your loved one is consuming. Water purifiers come in the form of faucet attachments, pitchers or self-purifying water bottles and can be purchased at many major retailers.
  5. Mini flashlight. Lastly, here’s a tip from me. One thing I’ve found to be invaluable during my time at college is having a mini flashlight attached to my key ring at all times. I use my flashlight for much more than I anticipated, including when I’m walking alone at night or when I need to see something in the dark but am using my phone for something else.

Parents interested in learning how IU responds to various emergencies may find our emergency procedures webpage useful. It includes information about how students and staff should respond during active shooter or armed assailant scenarios.

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