Staying Safe during Freshers Week
Sally Patterson is the Equality, Liberation and Access Officer. She is one of six full-time elected officers who represents students and work to improve the student experience at Bristol. Bristol has a thriving and diverse nightlife, with so much happening on any night of the week. It’s a big city with a lot of people and it’s important to stay safe when you’re exploring the city at night. Sally tells us about a few tips and schemes to help you enjoy a safe night out after dark.
Stay together and alert
There are lots of easy and simple things you can do yourself to stay safe on a night out.
For example, stick in a group of friends and if you leave before them, let your friends know who you’re going with and where you’re going. Similarly, watch out for one another; if you haven’t seen your friend for a while whilst you’re out, drop them a message to check they’re alright. Unfortunately, spiking (adding drugs or alcohol to someone’s drink without their permission or knowledge) is an abhorrent practice that can take place in bars and nightclubs- always keep your drink in your hand and never leave it unattended.
Look Out for Safer Venues
Look out for venues who participate in the Good Night Out Campaign- an independent campaign which aims to tackle, deal with and prevent harassment in night time venues. Participants in the scheme have an agreed policy and procedure to deal with harassment, just like you’d expect with other risks like fires or theft. Also, look out for Bristol Zero Tolerance, which works towards similar aims but focuses on eliminating gender based violence, abuse, harassment and exploitation. Working with over 100 organisation and in partnership with Bristol City Council, Bristol Zero Tolerance works with businesses in the night time economy, encouraging them to take positive action and adopt a zero-tolerance policy to all forms of gender-based violence and abuse. Bristol University and SU supports Bristol Zero Tolerance and are both signed up, as are all the venues we’ve booked for Welcome Week.
Get Home Safe
This year Bristol SU has teamed up with taxi firm VCars to provide an emergency taxi scheme for students- the Bristol University Safe Car Scheme. The scheme aims to support students to get out of dangerous situations, even when they’re not on university campus. If you ever find yourself in an emergency situation with no money to get home, to hospital or the police station, you can call a dedicated number on 01179 25 26 26, quoting the Bristol University Safe Car Scheme and supplying your full name, email address and Bristol University U Card number. A taxi will be sent to you as a matter of priority. Bristol SU will pay for the taxi to get you safely to a Student Residential Address, Halls of Residence, Police Station or Hospital. The cost of the taxi will later be billed to you by Bristol SU.
If you have any other questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to come and chat to me or any of the other Officers. You can find us on the third floor of the Students’ Union building.