The safest American college and university campuses employ strategic plans to keep their students, staff and faculty safe. Many schools across the nation have reacted to campus violence by adding emergency blue light phones, providing campus escorts to students on campus after dark, offering Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) classes, issuing identification cards to access buildings, using text messages to send emergency alerts, offering informational presentations, and gaining information about crimes through silent witness programs.
While these approaches to safety have proved effective and campus crime is decreasing nationwide, the following schools added additional security measures in hopes of preventing crime.
1. Arkansas State University
At Arkansas State University, the university police department mitigates crime by engraving and registering students’ belongings. Students who wish to protect themselves from potential theft can take their belongings to the Arkansas State University Police Department’s main office or contact the police and request for them to bring their engraver to them. The department engraves student ID number onto their possessions. To recover stolen items, the university police suggest students use their online forms to register their personal belongings.
2. Maryland Institute College of Art
At Maryland Institute College of Art they believe everyone can take some basic proactive steps to lessen the chance of being a victim of crime. Educating the campus community about being security and safety begins at new student orientation, when the MICA Department of Campus Safety conducts a crime-prevention seminar and hands out crime-prevention and crime awareness materials.
To ensure each member of the campus community is armed with the skills and knowledge necessary to keep themselves safe, campus safety offers progressive self-defense classes. The co-ed and gender-specific classes are taught by certified staff instructors who address the varying situations that might occur on campus.
3. California State University in Chico
Members of the California State University Chico campus community and the surrounding community work as a team to ensure the safety of the entire area. As part of their initiative to work in conjunction with the community, the university has created the CSU Chico Campus Emergency Response Team (CERT). CERT is a joint effort of faculty, staff and community volunteers who are available to work with first responders or before responders arrive, in the event of a large-scale campus emergency. Each member of CERT is fully trained and kept current on procedures relating to the CSU campus safety program. The team adheres to the standardized Federal Emergency Management Association model used nationwide.
According to the Citizen Corps website, the Chico Campus Emergency Response Team is an essential component of campus safety because “through training, citizens can manage utilities and put out small fires; treat the three killers by opening airways, controlling bleeding, and treating for shock; provide basic medical aid; search for and rescue victims safely; and organize themselves and spontaneous volunteers to be effective.”
4. Southern University at New Orleans
Southern University at New Orleans prides itself on its safe campus and the campus police department works to educate the campus community about crime prevention. One of the areas of crime prevention the SUNO police department focuses on is educating the campus community about rape. The department explains the differences between acquaintance rape and stranger rape to dispel any myths. In addition, the SUNO Police Department has issued a Daters’ Bill of Rights to fully explain the rights and responsibilities to which daters must adhere to keep themselves and others safe while dating.
Although safe campuses rely on a wide array of progressive techniques that rely on technology and highly-trained police officers, it is important to not overlook the smaller, but equally important, things you can do to keep yourself safe while at school.
Written by Nicole Tallman
Nicole is the mom to two precocious girls and is PTA President. She is passionate about the environment and leaving the Earth better than she found it. Learn more