Posts tagged “students

How to avoid being a spring break crime victim

By Lt. Steve Brock, CSPD Public Information Officer

Spring break is a time of fun and relaxation for many students. But it can also be a time for criminals to thrive.

Don’t let crime spoil your vacation. You can reduce your chances of being a victim by following these tips to protect your home — and yourself — while you’re away.

Protect Your Home

  • Don’t advertise your plans to strangers or on social media outlets.
  • Make sure your home looks lived in since most burglars want to avoid confrontation.
  • Stop mail and newspaper deliveries or ask a friend or neighbor to make daily collections.
  • Hide empty garbage cans or ask a neighbor to move your container to the curb and bring it in after collection.
  • Leave shades and blinds in normal positions.
  • Put an automatic timer on lights and radios, preferably tuned to talk radio.
  • If possible, have neighbors randomly park their vehicle in your driveway.
  • Leave a key with a trusted neighbor. Don’t hide keys in a mailbox or under a doormat or planter –  or anywhere outside.
  • Store valuables in a safe deposit box or take smaller items with you.
  • Make a record of the serial numbers for your valuable items and take the list with you, store it in your safe deposit box or send it to your personal email account.
  • Engrave your driver’s license number or a unique identifying mark on the back of all electronics and computers.
  • Lock all windows and doors. Double lock windows with inexpensive key locks.
  • Double check garage doors before you leave and unplug or disarm automatic garage door openers if possible.
  • If you’re leaving a vehicle at home, don’t leave your garage door opener in it.
  • Lock gates to fenced back yards.

Protect Yourself

  • Make sure your friends and relatives know where you’re vacationing. Call friends or family members to let them know you’ve arrived and returned safely.
  • If you drink, do it in moderation and make responsible decisions. Follow the alcohol laws at your destination.
  • Have a designated driver or designated sober friend in your group to be sure everyone gets home safely.
  • If a member of your group passes out from alcohol consumption, call 911 immediately.
  • There’s safety in numbers. Try your best to stay around your friends, and never go anywhere alone.
  • Don’t ever allow a friend go off with strangers and never take strangers to your room.
  • Don’t assume that someone you’ve just met will look out for your best interests. Acquaintances sexually assault more people than strangers.
  • Only accept drinks from a licensed bartender or consume drinks you pour yourself. If you don’t know the source of the drink, you risk receiving an altered beverage.
  • Always be aware of your surroundings, know where you’re at, and know how to get back to your hotel.
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash or traveler’s checks. Don’t flash your money around or let anyone know how much money you have with you.
  • Don’t be a victim of identity theft. Never allow someone access to your personal identification or credit cards, which should always be kept in your purse or wallet and never left unattended.
  • Be cautious when sharing your personal information or where you are staying.
  • Ensure the safety of your valuables by not bringing them or locking them in a hotel safe. If you don’t have access to a safe, stow your valuables in the trunk of your car or a secure place in your room.
  • Always keep your hotel room door locked. Use the peephole before answering the door, and never open it for someone you don’t know.
  • Finally, trust your instincts. If a situation or your surroundings make you uneasy, you probably sense something. Be watchful and alert.

Have a fun, relaxing – and safe – spring break!

 


About the Author

Lt. Steve Brock has been with the College Station Police Department since 2004.


 

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Moving out? Consider the options for your unwanted stuff

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By Julie Caler, Code Enforcement Supervisor

The end of each semester means many Texas A&M and Blinn students are graduating and preparing to move out of their apartments and houses. As part of the process, they discover they no longer need much of what they’ve accumulated through their college years.

For the City of College Station’s Code Enforcement Division, that can lead to problems.

Many apartment complexes don’t always order the large rectangular trash containers in time to accommodate the high volume of discarded items. When this happens, the tenant sometimes resorts to finding inappropriate places to dump their unwanted items, including commercial dumpsters behind businesses.

You may not realize that constitutes theft of service or illegal dumping, which are violations of city ordinance. After all, someone else is paying for service at that location. If we can track down the culprit, we’ll issue a costly citation that graduates certainly don’t need to deal with right now.

We’ve discovered that many of the discarded items could be recycled or reused. With that in mind, here’s a solution you may not have considered: Instead of illegally dumping your reusable stuff in someone else’s bin, how about donating it to your favorite charity?

Here’s a short list of local organizations that will accept household items, including furniture and food:

Brazos Valley Council on Alcohol and Substance Abuse
Accepts most household items.
405 West 28th St., Bryan (979-823-5300)

Brazos Valley Food Bank
Food donations may be dropped off weekdays from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
1514 Shiloh Ave., Bryan (979-779-3663)

Grace Bible Church’s The Big Giveaway
Accepts household items and furniture.
701 Anderson St., College Station (979-695-2000, ext. 111)

A&M Church of Christ’s iHouse Market
Accepts household items and furniture.
Contact ihouseaggieland@gmail.com to arrange pick-up or drop-off.

Project Unity
Accepts household items and furniture.
1400 Beck St., Bryan (979-774-6788)

Twin City Mission
Call 979-822-7511 to schedule pick-up of large items.
Drop-off Locations:
>> Second Chance 1, 803 Wellborn Road, College Station
>> Second Chance 2, 3808 Old College, Bryan
>> Alice’s Attic, 424 North Main, Bryan (979-822-2979)
Accepts household items and furniture.

St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church
Accepts household items and furniture.
Contact ddkingau@gmail.com or 979-739-5582 to arrange drop-off or pick-up.

If you live in a residential single-family neighborhood, you can either put your items on the curb on your designated bulk day or take them to the Twin Oaks Landfill, which offers a free dumping service with your utility bill.

If you live in an apartment, you should dispose of your items in the roll-off bin provided by your complex. You also have the option to take them to the landfill.

Because of the additional volume of discarded items, it may take our hard-working sanitation workers longer than normal to complete their collection routes. We appreciate your patience!

For questions about Code Enforcement, call 979-764-6363 or visit us at cstx.gov/codeenforcement. For questions about sanitation services, call 979-764-3690.

 


0000018EPAbout the Author

Code Enforcement Supervisor Julie Caler has been with the City of College Station for 17 years.

Previous blogs by Julie Caler


 

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How social media can help students value local government

Copyright: 2nix / 123RF Stock Photo

By Sara Schmachtenberger, Public Communications Intern

Since it’s a presidential election year, most of us are focused on national politics and the fascinating nature of the race for the White House. Local government isn’t nearly as captivating, so it’s easy to underestimate the impact it has on our daily lives.

College students are typically preoccupied with rigorous course loads and one or more student organizations. Considering that many of us only live here long enough to get our degrees, it’s understandable if we pay little attention to the local government.

With our busy schedules, what do we have to gain by keeping up with what’s going on in College Station?

Quite a bit, as it turns out.

When I started an internship in the city’s Public Communications Office this spring, I took the time to explore the city’s website. I was surprised to discover how much I didn’t know that I probably should.

For example, many students are unaware of the city’s “no more than four” ordinance, which means no more than four unrelated people are allowed to live in a single housekeeping unit. Obviously, that’s something students should know as they arrange for off-campus housing.

Since most students live on tight budgets, costly fines for code violations are more than minor annoyances. These violations are easily avoidable if you know about basic city ordinances.

Fortunately, social media has made it simple to stay informed. Since most college students are active on at least one social media platform, clicking “follow” or “like” makes staying in the loop easier than ever.

You may also discover that the City of College Station offers recreational and educational opportunities, as well as free concerts and other events. They have free classes on how to ace interviews and look professional on a budget, ballroom dancing lessons, pottery and stained glass art sessions, and other unique experiences you won’t find on campus.

You may even find a part-time job.

The city’s Facebook and Twitter accounts also provide timely traffic and weather alerts. The Police Department even uses social media to help identify and apprehend criminal suspects.

Thanks to the internet and social media, we have access to more information than ever before. The American Press Institute reports that an astounding 88 percent of millennials say they use Facebook as a news source.

College students can obviously benefit from knowing what’s happening in town even if we won’t live here for long. Through the city’s various social media pages, we can learn about changes that affect us, opportunities that benefit us, and information that keeps us safe.

City of College Station Social Media:


10407688_556394601163628_4469248091500421291_nAbout the Author

Sara Schmachtenberger is completing a spring internship in the Public Communications Office. A native of San Antonio, she is on track to graduate from Texas A&M in August with a bachelor’s degree in communication and a minor in business administration. 


 

Photo Credit: 2nix / 123RF Stock Photo

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Four easy ways to create neighborhood harmony

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By Lacey Lively, Marketing & Community Outreach Coordinator

Our growing community of 103,245 people consists of an uncommon blend of college students, families and retirees. With so many different lifestyles, it can be difficult to establish harmonious relationships with your neighbors.

It doesn’t have to be.

By following these four simple suggestions, we can help each other enjoy living in our terrific neighborhoods. (more…)


5 handy tips to help students thrive in College Station

We Love TAMU

 

By Lacey Lively, Marketing & Community Outreach Coordinator

If you’re a student either returning to College Station or moving here for the first time, learning about basic city ordinances is probably not high on your to-do list. But if you ignore our local laws, you might find yourself paying some costly citations out of your already tight budget.

As one of America’s top college towns, we want to help you avoid that so you can concentrate on more important things – like Aggie football!

(more…)


How students can survive and thrive in College Station

Moving to a new town to continue your education at a major university — and everything that comes along with that exciting journey — can be overwhelming. The last things on your mind right now are city ordinances, but not knowing basic ordinances could result in costly citations.  

As one of America’s top college towns, we want to help you avoid these simple mistakes so you can concentrate on more important things – like Aggie football! 

(more…)