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While alcohol is not an excuse for committing an act of violence, it’s important to understand the role it can play in sexual assault.

Noodle spoke with Haley Schoeck, a senior in charge of risk management and social events for a sorority at Columbia University.

Survey the campus while classes are in session and after dark to see that academic buildings, walkways, facilities, and parking lots are adequately secured and well-lighted.• Plan the safest route to your destination; choose well-lighted, busy pathways and streets.• Share your class schedule with your parents and trusted friends and give them your telephone numbers.• At night, stick to well-lighted areas whenever possible and avoid alleyways or “short cuts” through isolated areas.• Travel in groups and avoid going out alone at night.• Use the campus escort or shuttle services at night.• Know where the emergency call boxes are located on campus and learn how to use them.• If you are being followed, change direction and go to the nearest business or home; knock on the door, and request that someone call the Police.

Note the description of the person following you.• Walk near the curb and avoid shrubbery or other places of potential concealment.• Tell a friend or roommate where you are going and what time you expect to return.• Stay alert to your surroundings and the people around you.• Carry your purse close to your body and keep a firm grip on it; carry your wallet in an inside coat pocket or your front pant pocket.• Keep your keys separate from your purse or backpack.• Don’t overload yourself with bags or packages and avoid wearing shoes that restrict your movements.• Walk with a confident stride; keep your head up and look around.• If a motorist stops and asks for directions, keep your distance from the car.

Before getting in, check inside and under your car to make sure no one is hiding.Once you have completed these assignments, you can enjoy your new found freedom and personal safety on campus as you go through your daily, crazy, coed life.BE CAMERA SHY: It is suggested that freshmen should “respectfully decline” to have a photo and personal information published for distribution to the campus community.Haley is also working with college administrators to improve sexual assault prevention programming at Barnard College.We discussed the following risk management measures that students can take for themselves and others, so they can have fun while staying safe.