No matter who we are or what we do, as a member of the public and the community, it is vitally important that we take care of ourselves, those around us and the area we live in.
As you make new friends, there will be lots of opportunities to go out on an evening and explore the City of York and all it has to offer. If circumstances mean that your group of friends may need to leave at seperate times ensure they have enough taxi money, walk them to the taxi to ensure they get in safe, keep a mental note of which firm it is and ensure they call/text you as soon as they are home safe.
If your drink has been spiked it's unlikely that you will see, smell or taste any difference. If you start to feel strange or more drunk than you should be, get help immediately.
The following steps may also help prevent drink spiking:
- never leave your drink unattended and keep an eye on your friends' drinks
- consider sticking to bottled drinks and avoiding punch bowls or jugs of cocktails
- if you think your drink has been tampered with, don't drink it – tell a trusted friend or relative immediately
At University you may be living away from home for the first time and sharing a house with others. Safety of the property is the responsibility of all who live there not just one person.
- Before you leave the house to go out check to see if there is anyone else in, if there isn't shut all windows and lock the door behind you.
- When you've finished in the kitchen check you have turned everything off.
- In the winter (especially if you are leaving the property vacant for any length of time) make sure you set the heating so it comes on at least twice a day to prevent the pipes from freezing.
- If you are having people stay over let your housemates know - the novelty of waking up to strangers in the house soon wears off and can make people feel vulnerable in their home, this can lead to arguments between housemates and impact on everybody's enjoyment of University life.
Whether you are living in Halls or in private accommodation you are part of the wider community in the area where you live. Get to know the people who you live near, like your neighbours, as you never know when you might need them. Neighbours can help you if you are locked out and need a phone so you can contact your landlord/agent for a spare key (it could happen).
Being part of the community means looking out for each other, being aware of the people in the area and letting people know if you see something suspicious. There could be perfectly rational explanations for such things so ask your neighbour if they have noticed anything.
The reputation that students have as all play and no work can lead to communities being nervous about the number of students in their area. So communicate with your neighbours and if you're going to have a house party let them know about it and invite them along. Showing consideration for others will pay off when you need the help of your neighbours, whereas playing indoor basketball at 3.00am in the flat above your neighbour will only cause aggravation.