Written by Anyun Chatterjee (PEACE Advisor)
UCPD, Berkeley PD, your parents, and countless others (myself included) will reiterate that whenever possible you should try not to walk outside while the sun is down, and always try to walk in groups of three or more. When walking alone refrain from going down poorly lit streets, keep your ears open, and keep your phone and other glowing electronics in your pockets. It’s also a good idea to make sure when you are traveling alone someone knows where you are walking to and how long it should take you to get there. Also keep in mind that the most dangerous areas around campus are past Dwight St. (so don’t walk too far down Telegraph after 10pm), and while northside can be eerily quiet it is quite safe (the majority of unsavory characters seem to prefer southside, most likely because of People’s Park and Telegraph Ave.) Last of the generic advice: keep UCPD’s number on speed dial, or have a quick call button on your phone’s home screen (I don’t know about iPhones, but on Android you can put a contact button for a saved number on your home screen so you don’t have to open the phone or contact app).
Some Berkeley specific safety tips have definitely been revealed to you in the dorms, or at CalSo, but they are still worth reiterating. You can and should call BearWalk (510-642-9255) anytime from 6pm to 3pm and someone will walk you from where you are to your home. You should also familiarize yourself with the night shuttle system (http://nightsafety.berkeley.edu/nightsafety/nightshuttles). There is one line for southside locations and one for northside, both with dropoff/pickup locations on and around campus. After 2am the drivers will also do door to door dropoffs which is quite useful. You also have free access to the AC transit system, so make sure you familiarize yourself with the lines which run near your home!
Staying safe is not hard around campus as long as you make an effort to avoid dangerous situations. So feel free to explore and stay out until all hours, as long as you are keeping your eyes and ears open and utilizing the resources available to you.