It’s easy to get excited about a college that performs well on the football field or basketball court. Weekend games and after parties are the ultimate image of college life in America. But it’s important to look at more than the latest standings when deciding which college is right for you or a loved one.
Take a look at four PAC 12 schools who care about student safety as much as winning the next big game.
1. University of Arizona
Home of the Wildcats and recently named as Arizona’s first “StormReady” university, University of Arizona in Tucson is just as fired up about campus safety as they are about their current number one PAC 12 ranking in men’s basketball . Showing a broad approach to keeping students, faculty and staff from harm, UA makes sure all the bases are covered, from weather-related emergencies to crime prevention.
In 2009, the college launched SafeCats in response to a university-wide student safety survey. SafeCats is an educational initiative to keep everyone on campus notified of safety-related information both on- and off-campus. The proactive approach seems to be working, as there have been no reported murders, robberies or motor vehicle thefts at on-campus student housing facilities for the last three years reported on the University of Arizona’s 2012 Campus Safety Report.
2. Washington State University
Tucked away in the lush Pacific Northwest, Washington State University (or Wazzu) is a leading public research university and home to the fifth-ranked WSU Cougars. And students have plenty of time to follow the latest action on the field or court because the WSU Police Department makes sure personal safety isn’t a cause for concern.
Police officers are on campus 24/7, keeping order by foot, car and bicycle. Partnerships with the City of Pullman Police Department and Quad Cities Drug Task Force add an extra level of security to this picturesque college campus, which is crucial because all freshman students are required to live on campus unless they’re older than 20 or married. Wazzu consistently falls in the top 60 colleges in the country, as ranked by “U.S. World and News Report” and was placed on the National Honor Roll for Community Service in 2013.
3. University of California Berkeley
Evidently, University of California, Berkeley, has no shortage of high achievers. Forty-eight of Berkeley’s 212 doctoral programs place among the top 10 across the nation. And the achievements don’t stop there, Berkeley boasts seven Nobel Laureates and four Pulitzer Prize winners among its faculty. But the big brains at Berkley aren’t so engrossed in books that they overlook the security of students, staff and faculty.
The University of California Berkeley Police Department (UCPD) provide extensive services to keep their northern California campus safe and sound. Bear Territory is a campus-wide program similar to Neighborhood Watch, where UCPD teams up with other members of the campus community to increase awareness and prevent criminal activity. Programs like this have led students to rank Berkeley as the 14th safest college campus, according to StudentsReview.com.
4. University of Southern California
Currently ranked number 23 by “U.S. News and World Report,” the University of Southern California is a world-renowned private research institution and enrolls more international students than any other university in the country. Perhaps one of the things that attracts students from foreign lands is the sense that they will be safe while pursuing their studies on the university’s Los Angeles campus.
The Department of Public Safety, part of the larger Division of Career and Protective Services, puts forth every effort to keep the campus crime-free. From bicycle registration, active shooter training and programs to protect laptops from theft, the Department of Public Safety keeps potential criminal on their toes. The university is also proactive in regulating the activities of sororities and fraternities through the Greek Liaison program. Each house is assigned a public safety officer to act as liaison and ensure student safety.
What PAC 12 school’s safety program do you want to know more about?
Written by Rebecca Edwards
Rebecca has honed her safety and security skills as both a single mom and a college director. Being responsible for the well-being of others helped her learn how to minimize risk and create safe environments. Learn more