10:34 AM

Ohio State News Alert: Safety walk in University District to give info on safety resources ahead of Thanksgiving break

Students will be advised on how to protect their homes when traveling

Local law enforcement and employees from The Ohio State University’s Office of Student Life will canvass the University District this week to provide helpful safety resources to students.

On Friday, Nov. 18, members of the university’s joint patrol program – a partnership between the Ohio State University Police Division and Columbus Division of Police to patrol the off-campus area – will join volunteers from Student Life, Undergraduate Student Government, Administration and Planning and more to go through the University District on an educational safety walk.

They’ll talk with residents throughout the University District about safety resources the university offers ahead of next Saturday’s home football game against the University of Michigan. Students in the area will also be advised on how to protect their homes if traveling away for the Thanksgiving break.

Thieves often target property in the University District during breaks, and the area has recently seen break-ins through unlocked doors and windows. Student Life has a variety of free tools to help protect students’ homes, including window and door alarms and light timers. Students are encouraged to stay vigilant to protect themselves and their property.

Undergraduate Student Government is also offering the chance for a free steering wheel lock to students who use a car. Go to go.osu.edu/SWLPilot to apply by the end of Friday, Nov. 18 (osu.edu login required).

OSUPD and USG donated the locks, and while there is a limited amount, more will be offered this spring for students who miss out this fall. These devices will serve as a security tool against car break-ins, and students who drive a Kia or Hyundai will be prioritized in the random drawing.

Police advise students traveling for the holidays to:

  • Lock doors and windows
  • Consider using light timers or leave exterior lights on
  • Take valuables with you or record serial numbers
  • Report missing items or suspicious activity to police

The safety walk is part of a continued emphasis the university places on safety in the off-campus area. Buckeye Block Watch, the trained security and public engagement team that launched last November, continues to work the area and provide another set of eyes and ears.

Buckeye students who live in the University District are encouraged to talk with members of the safety walk on how they can best protect themselves and their homes.

Ohio State offers a variety of free and discounted safety resources to help students protect themselves, including Lyft Ride Smart for late-night ridesharing and Rave Guardian, which allows select friends and family to track a student’s location. Off-campus residents and their families are also encouraged to use the Community Crime Map, which is updated daily with statistics from Columbus police.

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