U. of I. Police remind students of resources as finals approach

URBANA, Ill. – The University of Illinois Police Department wants students to know that public safety personnel are here to help if they need anything with final exams coming up.

For some students, studying for finals means late nights at libraries and other campus buildings. Those needing to travel on campus at night are encouraged to use the SafeWalks service, which operates from 9 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and from 9 a.m. to 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

“Theft and robbery often are crimes of opportunity, and criminals tend to target individuals who are walking alone in dark areas,” said U. of I. Police Chief Craig Stone. “By traveling in groups, using SafeWalks, and walking in well-lit areas, we remove that opportunity for crime and reduce our likelihood of being targeted by a criminal.”

The Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District also offers the SafeRides program. More information about SafeWalks and SafeRides is available at police.illinois.edu/safewalks.

Theft generally becomes a bigger issue during finals season. Students are advised to never leave their personal belongings like backpacks and laptop computers unattended in public study spaces. It only takes a thief a couple seconds to swipe an unattended laptop computer. Take it with you, even if you’re leaving for just a minute or two.

Finals may also be a time for additional stress and anxiety. The University of Illinois Police Department has crisis intervention team members who are specially trained to recognize and respond when someone is experiencing a mental health crisis.

“You are never alone on our campus,” Stone said. “Our officers are ready and willing to speak with you 24 hours a day if you or someone you know may be at risk of harming themselves or someone else because of a mental health crisis. Please call us.”

The police department also encourages students to make use of resources offered by the Counseling Center. More information is available at counselingcenter.illinois.edu.