College is a time to spread your wings, broaden your mind and cut loose. Many students make weekend parties and extracurricular activities top priorities, right along with academics. And some colleges seem to get more recognition for the good times students have than the accomplishments of their faculty, students and alumni. But if you’re looking for a good time at college, it’s crucial to find a school that knows how to help their students maintain a balance between fun and safety.
Even though these schools have been found on party school lists, there’s a lot more to these four universities than partying. From notable alumni to stellar safety records, take a look at these four universities that know how to deliver fun in a secure environment.
Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania is proof that just because you might land on a few lists for being a school that likes to have a good time, that doesn’t preclude having a faculty and alumni that boasts honors like the Pulitzer Prize, Fulbright Fellowship and even a Nobel Prize. This private research university knows how to make the most of everything college life has to offer – from parties to academic acclaim to nabbing an “A” rating for campus security from “Reader’s Digest.” Lehigh was recognized for its innovative safety initiatives, including a text message alert system and new emergency preparedness website.
Other factors included the fact that Lehigh students who live on campus in dorms have the reassurance of full-time security and the abundance of blue light emergency phones strategically placed throughout the 2,350 acre campus. Lehigh University has been a champion of campus safety and crime prevention since the late 1980s, and was instrumental in the establishment of the Clery Act, which requires colleges to track and annually disclose crime information occurring on campus.Image: CC BY SA
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Even though this public research university and flagship of the University of Wisconsin System has had a party school image, it still ranks as one of the top public universities in the country, known for its students’ strong political activism and groundbreaking research like the “single grain experiment” that led the charge to establish nutrition as a legitimate science. University of Wisconsin-Madison also takes the safety of its students, staff and faculty seriously.
Although the campus has a robust police department, there is an extra layer of security added by neighboring Fire Station No. 4, or “Bucky’s House.” Located across from Camp Randall Stadium, Bucky’s House is often the first responder to campus alarms and both the firefighters and the college pride themselves on their dynamic partnership that enhances the security services provided to Madison students. And that pride is not misplaced with a record showing no hate crimes, arsons or murders on campus, according to the 2013-2014 annual security report. Image: Vonbloompasha, CC BY SA
It’s easy to see why a university with alumni like Dick Clark, Lou Reed and Vanessa Williams would be a fun-filled place to earn a degree. But despite being the alma mater of the man who hosted the world’s biggest party every year, Syracuse University is about more than having a good time. Syracuse has been ranked 62nd among undergraduate universities by “U.S. News and World Report,” and its College of Visual and Performing Arts is consistently listed among the top 50 programs nationwide. In addition, this New York university pulls out all the stops in regard to maintaining a safe and secure campus where the creativity of its students can thrive.
The Department of Public Safety consists of campus peace officers, community service officers and a neighborhood safety patrol that work together to raise awareness, promote safety and prevent crime. Services provided by the department include everything from bicycle registration to safety escorts and assertive drug and alcohol assessment, intervention and support services. Image: Newkai, CC BY SA
Students at this Athens, Ohio college definitely enjoy their Ohio University experience. The University was ranked third in overall satisfaction, according to a myplan.com survey that compared over 600 colleges across the nation. But it’s not all fun and games – Ohio University has had 10 Fulbright Scholars since 2010, and also boasts no murders, motor vehicle thefts or statutory rapes on campus in their latest crime statistics report.
Maintaining a safe college community is the top priority of the Ohio University Police Department, where crime prevention is job one. Whether it’s assessing the campus environment for ways to prevent crime and maximize safety or sponsoring an array of self-defense classes and safety awareness programs, OUPD is on patrol 24/7 for the students, staff and faculty of Ohio University. Image: CC BY SA
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