The first and most important rule is to always know your surroundings. If something is out of place, you will be more able to detect it. If you see something that is unusual, change your route and be prepared to run or defend yourself. If you can, go to the nearest public place.So basically, live in fear.
Always go in groups. Never go out at night alone and never leave a party alone. Leave with all the same people that you arrived with. For women, you also might want to think about bringing a male friend that you trust in case you are confronted with a dangerous situation.
Do not wear any kind of big jewelry when you are out at night. Whether it is running or a night on the town, jewelry can be used as a weapon against you. Also, if you have expensive jewelry it could be cause for a robbery.
The column does offer some advice about self-defence.
If you would feel safer having a tool on you that could be used in self defense you can use anything from a pen, to keys, an umbrella, a fog horn or a car alarm. It should be stressed that you should not carry a weapon like a knife. You should be properly trained to do so, and if not it could cause more danger to yourself. It is easy to take a weapon out of somebody's hands when they do not know how to properly use the weapon.Unless your umbrella conceals a gun, sword, or some sort of magic wand, I wouldn't recommend using it as a weapon.
"Stop, or I'll shield you from rain!"
Of course, the only proven solution isn't on the table. That being, of course, to take back the night with guns.
Don't bring an umbrella to a gunfight.
Note: See the DPS report on crime on campus. Skip to page 17/18 for the crime statistics.