Keep safety in mind during school year

August 18, 2014

Starting a new academic year is a great time to make friends, learn new subjects and keep safety in mind.

The ASU and Tempe Police Departments are involved in several efforts this year that emphasize student safety. Both departments will conduct a joint awareness campaign during the first weeks of school to enforce traffic laws and alcohol violations. ASU students Download Full Image

“We hope that ASU students have a safe and productive academic year. The ASU and Tempe Police Departments will work closely together to educate students about safety issues,” said Michael Thompson, acting ASU Police Department chief.

ASU Police personnel participate in many back-to-school activities that welcome students to campus, provide safety information and give students a chance to meet their police department. These include new student orientations, international student orientations, move-in, Welcome Week, the off-campus information fair with the Tempe Police Department and Passport to ASU. The department holds mandatory student safety meetings for students living on campus at the beginning of the school year, and they host on average more than 100 events per year where officers educate students about alcohol.

The ASU Police Department is also focusing this year on preventing sexual violence in conjunction with the Tempe Police Department. As the first university police department in Arizona to sign the national “Start by Believing” proclamation in support of victims of sexual violence, the ASU Police Department will work with Tempe police, university departments that serve students and ASU students on this effort.

Traffic and pedestrian safety is another high priority during the first weeks of school. High-traffic focus areas include University Drive and College Avenue, Apache Boulevard and College Avenue, and Apache Boulevard and McAlister Avenue. Traffic warnings will be provided during the first week. After that, tickets will be issued for violations.

Emergency information

Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to add or update their mobile numbers to receive ASU Alert text messages.

ASU Alert is used during major emergencies and incidents that greatly affect university operations. ASU Advisory is considered a tier below ASU Alert, and communicates situations that may not be life threatening and typically affect certain areas of a campus.

To provide or verify your mobile number, follow these steps:

• Visit to manage phone numbers.
• Select mobile as “Phone type.”
• Click “save” to add or update.

To modify Alert and Advisory subscriptions:

• Visit
• Click subscriptions on the left, then edit button next to the subscription.
• Click “save” when done.

More information may be found at

Keep your bike safe

September is the month when most bike thefts occur on and around campus, according to the ASU Police Department. It’s best to use two locks to keep your bike safe – a U-lock to secure the bike to a stationary object, and a cable lock to doubly secure it and lock the wheels to the frame.

Learn how to keep your bike safe by watching a video demonstrating how to properly secure it. In addition, ASU Police uses bait bikes equipped with GPS systems to catch thieves, and the department encourages students, faculty and staff to register bikes at

Safety tips

Additional basic safety tips that members of the ASU community should keep in mind:

• Call 911 in an emergency. Call boxes highlighted at the top by a “blue light” dial directly into an emergency communication center and can be used during any emergency. If you are using a cell phone, give your location.

• Lock your doors. Do not prop doors open. Warn others against leaving their doors open or unsecured.

• When going out, let others know what your plans are and where you will be so they know where to look for you if something should happen.

• Be aware of your surroundings.

• Don’t leave valuable items in your car.

• Properly secure your bike to an authorized rack.

• Watch for passing trains. Never trespass on the tracks or jaywalk across the rails.

• Don’t give personal information to someone you don’t know.

• If someone demands your property, give it to them and immediately contact the police.

• If you are traveling at night, use the buddy system.

A free safety escort service is available on the Tempe campus. Call 480-965-1515 to arrange for an escort. For an escort on another campus or after hours of operation, call ASU Police at 480-965-3456, and an officer or police aide will provide an escort.

Additional information about staying safe at home, at parties, while driving and in other situations may be found at

More information about the ASU Police Department is available at

Study examines wage disparity among obese workers in China

August 18, 2014

New research that analyzes economic disparity among obese Chinese adults shows that there is no wage disparity for obese women in China, but there is pay inequality among obese men.

Women in China make less on average than men, but the study results showed no disparity in wages because of body weight. Results of the study for men showed increasing wage disparities by occupation when gaining weight. Download Full Image

The study, “The Obesity Pay Gap: Gender, Body Size, and Wage Inequalities: A Longitudinal Study of Chinese Adults, 1991-2009,” which will be presented at the 109th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association, shows that obese manual laborers especially earn less money in China.

For example, results showed that overweight professional workers made from 18.5 to 41.5 percent more than overweight manual laborers. The study was conducted by Chih-Chien Huang, who graduated recently from Arizona State University with a doctoral degree in sociology, and professor Jennie Kronenfeld of ASU's T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics.

“Traditional perspectives that hold that female plumpness is a symbol of fertility and beauty are giving way to Western ideals, such as fashion concepts, that idealize thin body types as the country becomes increasingly urbanized. China has also been undergoing rapidly rising obesity rates since the late 1980s,” Huang said. Changing societal relationships also influence China as the country shifts to a market-based economy that fosters interpersonal relationships with customers and colleagues as privately-owned industries increase, according to the paper.

Researchers had hypothesized that wage penalties would be found for women, in part because of changing ideals and workplace structure. However, they found that Chinese male manual laborers who were obese experienced wage disparities. Obese workers who were not in manual jobs did not have a pay penalty, due to the belief among many Chinese men that corpulence is considered a symbol of status and wealth, according to the researchers.

“Past studies on obesity’s effects on wages suggest that there is negative association between body size and economic well-being in women, but past research on economic disparity among men has been mixed with some researchers stating that there is no association among men and body weight. Others suggest that wages may differ according to the jobs that are performed,” Kronenfeld said.

Data for the study was taken from the China Health and Nutrition Survey, an ongoing longitudinal project that began in 1989 that includes data on health, nutrition and socioeconomic indicators. A subsample used for the study included 6,901 men and 5,103 women between the ages of 18-55 who were surveyed from 1991 to 2009.

Occupations were grouped by interactions in the workplace for the study in these categories: professional employees who have a higher level of interaction with colleagues, such as doctors, teachers and actors; service workers who also have many interactions with colleagues or customers, such as office staffers, housekeepers, cooks and police officers; and manual laborers who require minimal interaction, such as farmers, hunters and laborers.

Manual laborers fared the worst in the study regarding wage disparity, with obese professional workers making 18.5 to 41.5 percent more than manual laborers, overweight professionals earning 9.3 to 13.9 percent more and overweight service workers making 9.3 to 11.8 percent more than manual laborers.

Because obesity affects quality of life, sick leave and workplace productivity, there is an urgent need to understand the underlying mechanism by which social factors contribute to rapidly growing obesity rates. Once causes are understood, effective intervention strategies can be developed to lessen the high economic burden of obesity in the developing world, according to the researchers.