Reasons Why Some Colleges Do Not Permit College Freshman to Have Cars on Campus

Most universities do not permit students to have cars on campus until their sophomore year. The main reason for this is space. For instance, if at Penn State (population 50,000+) every student had a car on campus, there would be no room to move. There are some good reasons, other than space, as to why cars are not allowed on campus.

With underage drinking on the rise, it is scary to have anyone under the influence on the roads, especially in an overcrowded college town. College students are now in an environment where the only person that can tell them “no” is themselves. Feeling the need to fit in, “no” is never uttered out of a newbie’s mouth, and it makes it difficult in making the right decisions. The experimentation or what I like to call “learning their limits,” is a scary cause and effect.

Most students consume well over their tolerance. The only way to “sober up” is by waiting it out and dealing with the sometimes painful hangover the following day. Some aren’t so lucky. There have been numerous occurrences of alcohol poisoning, death or accidents caused by this type of binge drinking. We have all been through it before. We drink a bit too much, we get the spins, and then we fall down, rolling around in our own vomit saying that we will never drink again. However, what usually happens after we recover? We drink some more, but we learned our limit. “I will never drink that much again!”

This is what happens to plenty of freshmen. There are no responsibilities other than school, maybe a part time job and practice if you are a student athlete. This is one of the underlining factors on why freshmen cannot bring cars onto campus. Could you imagine if one of them got behind a wheel? It’s a thousand times safer to have them use their own feet to get around rather than a 3,000 pound hunk of steel. Universities realize this and make it a strict policy.

After scaring the wits out of parents, let me bring it down a notch. Not all freshmen go crazy and binge drink, but the influence is there and most students are smart enough to call it quits and only a small few will overstep their boundaries. Universities also believe that if the freshman have no cars, then they can’t leave, forcing them to interact with other students and to walk around campus and get a feel for the college setting, where buildings are, etc. Most universities are surrounded by stores in walking distance that meet every students needs, from food to entertainment. It’s common for universities to provide a bus or shuttle service for free or low cost all over the college town.

The only reason freshman students may need a car on campus is for special needs purposes. If you fall within this category, then go to your campus police/parking office and let them know your situation. Some will oblige without you having to do anything, but most will make you provide proof and a payment, which is an added stress a freshman student could do without.

Campus Safety Tips For Incoming Freshman

The school year is fast approaching and with the start of school brings a large number of incoming freshmen to the countries Colleges and Universities. To most families this is a joyous occasion, but can also be an intimidating endeavor to some. Each year and at every facility of higher learning campus crimes such as rape, robbery, and assault are in the news. Not only does a student have the responsibility of taking their education to a higher level, it is also their responsibility to prepare for their safety while away at school.

With this in mind here are some tips and ideas that should help everyone to feel safe and secure.

o Incoming freshmen should “decline” any invitations to have photographs or personal information published for distribution to the campus community. Fraternities and upperclassmen have abused this type of publication and like to “target” naive freshmen. Female students need to be extra cautious of any requests for pictures and personal information.

o Do some recon of your neighborhood and the campus in regards to your routes from to and from each of your classes. Find out where the emergency phones and campus police stations are.

o Make sure that you let your parents and some friends know your class and activities schedule, give emergency contact information to your institution. Give all of your contact information such as cell number, home number, roommate’s cell number, and address to your parents, guardians, and close friends.

o Always travel with a group, if possible create a “buddy system” that can be used for travel to and from classes. Use a shuttle service after dark. Never walk alone at night. Avoid “shortcuts” as a few extra minutes travel time is well worth your personal safety.

o Study the campus, academic buildings, residence halls, and other facilities while regular classes are being held, and after dark to see what buildings, walkways, quad areas, and parking lots are adequately secure, have appropriate lighting and are patrolled. Are emergency phones readily available, campus escort services supplied, and are the shuttle services secure and timely?

o To get an idea of the social climate of the university, drive down fraternity row on a weekend night or take a walk through the student hangouts. Do you see people behaving in a responsible manner, or does the mood seem reckless and dangerous? Are the people drinking and using drugs, is there a law enforcement presence? Remember that alcohol and/or drug abuse is involved in up to 90 percent of campus crime. Take time to carefully evaluate off-campus student housing, apartment complexes, and fraternity houses if you plan to live off campus.

Additional Campus Safety Tips:

o Don’t carry a purse or back pack on each shoulder.

o Don’t carry large amounts of cash.

o Don’t flaunt expensive jewelry.

o Lock valuables in the trunk. Don’t leave CD’s, tapes, textbooks, backpacks visible on car seats.

o Never leave your book bag, purse, or cell phone unattended in the library, classrooms or on the rest room floor. Keep these items with you – it only takes a second for someone to take one of these items when unattended.

o While driving, if you notice that you are being followed, do not go home. Drive to the nearest police station, open store, or service station for help. If you are fearful of exiting your vehicle, blow your horn to draw attention to yourself. If at anytime you feel like you are in danger, notify authorities immediately.

Fight Back – Don’t Be A Victim!