University of Maryland starts poster campaign to keep students vigilant

The University of Maryland is starting an awareness campaign to keep students safe and prevent the kind of violent attacks that put the campus in the headlines in past years.

Posters hung around the campus are designed to inspire students to think about their personal safety.

The campaign, called crime time, warns students that they're more likely to be victims of crime if they are out between 2 and 4 a.m., especially if they're alone or have been drinking.

“College freshmen they go out to parties and mainly that's the time they return and most of the time they're drunk so they can't really coordinate what is around them so people want to take advantage of that,” said recent U. Md. graduate Rilwan Alao.

Last year, students fell victim to a number of violent robberies and assaults on and near campus.

"A lot of people aren't familiar with this campus or this area. They may be from out of state. They might not know the history of college park, per se, or what to watch out for so I think it's a good idea,” recent graduate Patrice Butler said of the posters.

The signs are going up now along the busy Route 1 corridor so they'll be in plain sight for thousands of in-coming freshman.

Student Stephanie Paultre thinks freshmen will need the reminder. "You don't live with your parents anymore. You have this new freedom and it's all exciting, but you should obviously think about what you are doing,” she said.

Campus authorities say students and faculty should expect a robust police presence when the fall term begins in just a couple weeks.