The UI Police have announced that they will be taking the following special precautions after the body of a staff member was discovered Oct. 31 on campus. The police will increase patrols at 5 p.m., start student patrols earlier, step up vehicular patrols and escorts to parking lots as needed, and distribute safety tips. At approximately 11:20 p.m. Oct. 31, the body of Maria Pia Gratton, a research programmer for the School of Chemical Sciences, was discovered in the basement of 1207 W. Oregon St., Urbana. Gratton was last seen alive by a co-worker at approximately 5:15 p.m. Tuesday. UI Police, Illinois State Police Crime Scene technicians and the State's Attorney's office are investigating Gratton's death as a homicide. In addition, the UI Police offer the following personal safety reminders: * Walk alertly and keep your mind on your surroundings - who's in front of you and who's behind you. * Communicate the message that you're confident and know where you're going. Stand tall, walk purposefully, and make eye contact with people around you. * Trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable in a place or situation, leave. * Use well-lit and busy sidewalks. Try to avoid deserted sidewalks, vacant lots, alleys, construction sites and wooded areas. Always take the safest route, even if it's a little longer. * Walk facing traffic so that you can see approaching cars. * Don't wear stereo headphones. They prevent you from hearing what's around you. * If you feel you're being followed, cross the street, head for the nearest well-lit populated area, yell for help and call the police as soon as possible. * Carry a whistle or a personal alarm. * Walk in pairs when possible. * Never hitchhike. Safe alternatives to walking alone on campus are to use the campus-area MTD bus transportation system, to call Nite-Rides at 333-3184 for a free ride, or to call 244-HELP for a personal escort. Employees are asked to report any suspicious activity on campus by calling 9-911 or 911 off campus.