Security On Campus, Inc.’s Top 5 Safety Tips for choosing a college or university are:
1. Monitor available crime information
Under the federal Jeanne Clery Act, colleges are required to disclose both crime statistics and timely information regarding campus crime. Schools are also required to disclose key security policies such as whether the campus is protected by police officers, security guards, or a trained student patrol.
2. Choose schools willing to embrace innovative technological solutions
Electronic key-card systems and video surveillance in public areas can cut down on criminal activity. More recent technologies, like those from Rave Wireless, which transform students¹ mobile phones into personal alarm devices, are also poised to reduce crime on campus.
3. Favor schools that administer strict alcohol and other drug abuse policies
Most campus violence is alcohol or other drug related, and 1,700 college students die annually from alcohol related causes. Dry campuses and those which offer substance-free housing experience fewer problems.
4. Consider the institution’s history of advocacy for victims of sexual assault and other violent crimes.
As many as one quarter of undergraduate women will be the victim of a completed or attempted sexual assault, and most on-campus crimes will be committed by a fellow student or acquaintance. Creating a support system fosters campus-wide attention to the problems at hand, and can help deter future crimes.
5. Demand effective parent-notification policies
When students get into serious trouble with alcohol or other drug abuse, failing grades, suicide attempts, or perpetrating violence, their parents or guardians deserve to be notified.
These guidelines, as well as a complete campus safety audit, may be downloaded from the SOC web site. For more information please visit http://www.securityoncampus.org/ or http://www.campussafetymonth.org/.