Personal Safety and Wellbeing in Manchester
As the definition illustrated in website of University of Manchester, wellbeing is a measure of how well we function day to day and how we feel about ourselves and our lives as a whole. Thus both external factors and internal factors are included in this idea. Manchester has come up with 6 ways to well-being: Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Keep Learning, keeping healthy and Give. These questions are necessary but not enough. Much attention has been paid to improving state of students. It’s an important task, for sure, but we should not ignore the basic factor that presupposes everything: personal safety.
From the perspective of a foreign student, it’s not easy to acquire sense of safety here. In my experience, during 3 months of my staying in Manchester, 3 of my friends have been robbed or items stolen. I have heard of 3 cases of violence that have happened to Asian students nearby university. Considering the terrorist attack happened not so long ago, I am afraid that the high frequency of those crimes is not a coincidence and securing safety of students is imperative for their well-being. It seems then to me that universities cannot do very much for personal security. Of course universities can’t send students from dormitories to classrooms like parents did for their kids, and universities also can’t decide where and when students would go. However it is important that Universities still have a strong role to play in personal safety.
I believe the best and easiest way for university to secure their students is providing relevant information; for example providing updated crime map of Manchester in website or app and timely warning about potential dangers nearby in e-mails. Another way to tackle this problem is providing security tools and advices.
For security tool, university can develop its own security app like “SafeZone” of University of Kent or it can recommend some useful security apps for students to get help in emergency. Safe taxi scheme provided by University of Manchester is a wonderful security tool for students who live far away from university; it is also important to let more students know about it.
For security advices, university has the ability to provide useful advices according to online and offline classes; the biggest difficulty is to keep these advices updated and practical. I took the compulsory safety class in the beginning of semester and found that its primary concern is fire safety and many other potential dangers haven’t been mentioned in this class. To satisfy actual security need, large amounts of workshops in University can be utilized. Universities could provide workshops about self-defense technique or appropriate actions in different situations of emergency.
Although security is usually considered as personal concern and crime rate may not be easily changed by an individual organization. It is still a great help of improving security situation if university gives a hand. And concluded from above explaining, I am sure that there are many kinds of ways to do that without large expence.