How Safe is Your Freshman's College Campus?
One of the widest overlooked factors when deciding what college to apply to is College Campus Safety. It's as if this aspect of college is taken for granted by both parent and prospective freshmen! While it's a know fact every college campus has in-house security and on-duty patrol officers, it's still important to investigate overall campus crime statistics and the prevalence of crime on campus.
Assuming just because there's campus security means there's no campus crime is negligent at best! However, it would behoove parents know that statically overall 100% of college campuses have at least a 1 - 15% crime rate among minor offences such as theft, vandalism and burglary. And 25% of the college campuses have a 2-9% campus crime rate involving college student rape and assault and battery.
College Campus Safety and Self-Defense Tips
Actually, according to the US DOE the vast majority of college campuses have a higher crime rate than the surrounding city. And amazingly 90% of the college student crimes committed on college campuses are student on student crimes. But while these statistics are complied among 6,000 college campuses nationally, it's always best to do your own research first! So let's get a head start and review the college campus safety tips suggested by the US DOE. Is there any such thing as a safe college?
Just because you're on a secured college campus doesn't mean you're safe! Assessing the safety of your child's future college campus can be done by simply requesting college campus crime statistics from the college rep or going online to the National Center for Education statistics and using the College Navigator. Here parents and prospective freshmen can enter individual colleges and review actual campus crime statistics and the prevalence of crimes on campus per college.
During the initial college campus site visit while in the presents of a college rep, make sure to focus on the dormitory main entrances and exits. Especially, If your child will be living on campus! Help make sure she does not become a college student victim. Here parents should look for security features that monitor authorized student entrances and what measures the campus takes to ensure non-college residents are prohibited from entering. Also check to make sure the main dormitory doors are not propped open or left unlock.
When entering and exiting dorm room residents should make sure the front door to their room is properly locked and all the windows are secured. It may also ease parents' minds to consider installing a wireless security alert system in the event their child can not call for help. And whenever possible, residents should also report to college security or the local police department anyone suspiciously loitering around the dormitory entrance, exists or adjacent parking lots for long periods of time.
Class and College Campus Safety
The majority of college crime occurs either in a dormitory or out in the open while walking to and from classes. Most of these crimes, however, take place predominately in the late afternoon and evening hours; therefore ensuring students use the buddy system is highly recommended when walking through the campus at night. If students feel someone is following them, they should avoid going to their cars or dark locations; however go to the nearest building with lights and people. But if a student is being attacked or approached in a threatening manner, they should immediately yell FIRE and run away. Yelling Fire as opposed to calling for help has been known to attract a faster response! Never yell "Fire" in a crowd, however. That is usually a crime in itself.
Many campuses report a number of offences occurring in or around parking lots or vehicles. In this case students should always check the front and back seat of their car before getting in and look under their vehicle while approaching. And if attending classes at night always park the vehicle under a bright light and visible to buildings or passers-by.
Personal College Campus safety
Parents can't always be around when their child leaves for college, but they can offer their child tools and equipment to keep them safe. For example, supplying students with pepper spray or mace as a back up defense or having the student take basic self-defense classes for self-protection. Providing your daughter with a personal alarm for example, is a good idea!
Other personal college campus safety guidelines include; not getting into cars with unfamiliar drivers, never going into other dormitories or leaving the campus without informing someone of your whereabouts, never open the main dormitory entrance for unfamiliar people and always reporting any suspicious activity.
Following these few college campus tips can most certainly reduce the chances of your child being involved in a college campus crime. At best, students who commit these tips to memory will help their parents sleep much better at night knowing their child is safe on their college campus.