When choosing a college, a safety record might not be the top of your priority list. But keep in mind that crimes on campus do happen. So how do you choose a safe college campus, and what can you do to prevent being a victim of campus crime?
First off, check the statistics for the campus and city you are looking to move to. Is it already a high-crime area? Is it a well-off city, a dangerous neighborhood or in a small town? Knowing the type of neighborhood you are moving to is a good start to finding out how safe the campus will be. Remember that big cities have varying levels of safeness so it’s important to determine if your college campus is in one of the good areas.
Check out the way the student housing and classrooms are laid out. Are the walkways fairly open and well lit? Do the parking lots have cameras and security guards? Not all campuses are designed equally so it will pay off to take the time to do a safety audit of campuses you are considering.
No matter how safe the campus appears to be, you will have to take some degree of safety measures into your own hands. One of the best ways to keep you from being a crime victim is to stick with a group of friends as often as possible. Walking to and from classes after dark can make you a target for criminals, but thieves operating alone will tend to avoid people in large groups.
If finding a group of people to walk with is impossible, check to see if your college has a walk safe program. This is a service offered by many colleges where pairs of volunteers accompany students who have to walk alone at night. It might seem awkward or weird to have strangers escorting you, but if the campus seems dark and quiet late at night, this can be a valuable and potentially life saving service.
A safe college campus is one of the most important aspects of choosing a place to study. While you may be looking for a college with a great academic reputation, a thriving night scene and a cool location, never overlook the importance of campus safety. And when you do find a safe campus on which to complete your degree, always remember to take steps to keep yourself save.