Late nights on campus: What students can do to keep safe after hours

IF you’re planning to work or study late at night on campus, what can you do to keep safe? Trinity College Foundation Studies students Samantha Bi and Face Liu survey students for tips on staying safe and suggest some of their own. 

Photo: Wan Shing Lang

Photo: Wan Shing Lang

For a lot of students, staying on campus after hours is a normal thing, especially when exam season rolls around. The sight of students studying late into the night at their campus library is not unusual but there is a worrying danger that presents itself to students who do make the choice of pulling an all-nighter on campus.

Following recent news of crime happening near the University of Melbourne’s campus grounds, student safety has become a major concern to many of the international students who live and study in the Carlton area.

A survey we conducted with international students from Trinity College Foundation Studies found that a majority of students were worried about their safety as a result of recent news and allegations from affected friends and acquaintances.

Though crime near the University of Melbourne and Carlton area was reportedly connected to theft and robbery, female students we spoke to also expressed concerns over potentially being followed or sexually harassed.

Asked about what students could do to stay safe, many surveyed suggested that walking in large groups would discourage potential attackers and help make for a safer environment. The majority of international students agreed however that having police presence on campus after hours would make students feel safer.


Our survey conducted with 24 international students from Trinity College Foundation Studies found that a large portion worry about their safety in Melbourne. Police presence was strongly suggested amongst those surveyed as a means of quelling students’ concerns over safety.

Other safety measures that surveyed students suggested included getting on trams to move about as opposed to walking around late at night and continuously staying in touch with friends or family; keeping contact as often possible during those late night study sessions just to let them know you’re okay.

Should international students find themselves in a position of danger, Trinity College’s Student Welfare Administrator Mia Yourn encourages students to report their emergency as soon as possible after it occurs. For students of Trinity, the college’s Student Services can give students professional suggestions on how to deal with safety concerns. For other students, they should immediately seek assistance from their educational institute’s Student Services.

As for what we can suggest to students, if you are walking around at night, do keep your belongings close by. Try not to hold onto or play with your phone as you’re walking about — you don’t want to bait potential thieves.

Try to walk under street lights as well – this will help you identify danger and avoid it. And of course, be aware of who is around you at all times too.

Generally speaking, Melbourne is a rather safe city to live in. As international students, we do enjoy its beautiful scenery and the delicious food the city has to offer. However, we should all pay closer attention to our safety no matter where we are studying.

This story was produced by Media and Communication students at Trinity College Foundation Studies as part of Meld’s community newsroom collaboration. Education institutions, student clubs/societies and community groups interested in being involved can get in touch with us via

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