There’s nothing like southern hospitality to make you feel at home, but when considering a university in the south, it’s important to look at more than the tasty southern delicacies that might be on the cafeteria menu. And what’s more hospitable than a college campus where you can feel safe while pursuing your academic goals?
Here are four southern colleges that know how to take care of their students, staff and faculty, especially when it comes to keeping them safe.
1. Birmingham-Southern College
This small, liberal arts college has a string of accolades, not the least of which was its selection as the highest ranked liberal arts college in the nation for “safety preparedness” in a recent “Reader’s Digest” survey. Not only do Birmingham-Southern College alumni have an impressive record for acceptance into medical, dental and law schools, but they complete their undergraduate studies on one of the safest campuses in the south.
An energetic Campus Police department works diligently to reassure parents that their students are in good hands on the wooded, 192-acre campus situated just three miles from downtown Birmingham. Whether it’s 24-hour on-campus escorts, bike patrols or emergency response, BSC is on the case to keep its staff, faculty and students from harm.
Norton Campus Center by Jwrandolph is licensed under CC BY SA
2. Elon University
With lush grounds that are designated as a botanical garden, it’s easy for Elon University students to feel protected on their beautiful, historic campus. This selective, independent university was rated by “U.S. News & World Report” as number one among Southern Regional Universities. And it’s not just impressive alumni like Rich Blomquist, Emmy Award winning writer for “The Daily Show,” that help Elon stand out from the crowd, it’s also a superior commitment to a safe college community.
The Campus Safety and Police Department starts its crusade of local crime prevention with every incoming freshman at New Student Orientation. Officers are expected to exemplify behaviors that contribute to a community of dignity and respect. In addition to investigating crimes, registering vehicles and enforcing parking, Campus Safety and Police also collaborates with the Office of Health Promotion to prevent sexual violence, relationship violence and stalking through education that includes skits and workshops.
“Koury Business Center” by MPD01605 is licensed under CC-BY-SA 2.0
3. University of South Carolina
It’s no small task keeping the University of South Carolina’s 444-acre urban campus in Columbia, SC safe and sound. But the USC Division of Law Enforcement and Safety seems to be up to the task. With so much ground to cover, and a requirement that all freshman live on campus, it’s even more impressive that the university reported no murders and only one aggravated assault anywhere on campus, including residence halls, in 2012.
But the Division of Law Enforcement and Safety isn’t do it all on their own, they make education and awareness a top priority with presentations covering everything from general campus safety to what to do in response to an active shooter on campus. The division also offers escort services, emergency call boxes and a Behavioral Intervention Team that works to promote the health and safety of all students, especially in regard to suicide, violence and drug and alcohol use.
“USC Thomas Cooper Library” is licensed under CC BY SA
4. Georgia Southern University
Priding itself on offering big university opportunities on a campus in Statesboro, GA with small-town charm, Georgia Southern University makes sure its students, administration and educators enjoy the comfort and safety of that small-town feeling. And it seems to be working; according to the university’s most recent crime statistics, there were no murders, assaults or motor vehicle thefts on campus in 2012.
Adding to the Mayberry feeling is the presence of officers from the Public Safety Department. One of the programs in place to keep co-eds safe is R.A.D. Women’s Self Defense, which includes a free lifetime return and practice policy anywhere in the U.S. or Canada that offers the program. The department is focused on building relationships, creating awareness and preventing criminal activity before it has a chance to cause any GSU student harm.
“Georgia southern pedestrium towards ed coba” is licensed under CC BY SA
What safety program do you want to see at your favorite southern school?