A College Campus Safety and Security Guide

campus college crime safety

Welcome to our College Campus Safety and Security Guide! Whether you’re new to the campus community or returning for another exciting school year, it’s important to make sure you are taking steps to secure your safety and well-being.

Campus safety has always been an important consideration for anyone attending college, whether they plan to live on a college campus or commute to class. College campuses have safety offices with security professionals who work to keep students safe, but students should also take specific steps to keep themselves and their belongings protected from harm.

This guide is designed to provide you with information and resources to help ensure that you feel confident in the security measures the college has taken to protect the community. By taking the time to review the important information in this guide, you can help keep your college a safe and secure environment for everyone.

Learn how to stay safe on campus and what to do if you ever feel unsafe before you go to college.

The Clery Act

Since 1990, the Clery Act has been a federal statute that applies to all colleges and universities that receive federal financial aid funding. This statute requires these institutions to create and share an annual security report with employees and students.

The report must include statistics on all campus crimes in the preceding three calendar years as well as information about how the school works to improve campus safety. The report also must include policy statements about the prevention of sexual assault, stalking, dating violence, and alcohol and drug use, crime reporting, law enforcement authority, and campus security.

Selecting a Safe Campus

Before choosing a college campus, find out about the institution’s security measures, and ask about assaults and other crimes in the past year. Ask about the security of residence halls and whether there are emergency phones located throughout the campus. Find out how the campus handles emergencies. Does the campus have a 24-hour public safety office? Does the institution use a text or email notification system to communicate with students and faculty?

Campus Safety Tips

Once you’re living on campus, follow proper safety protocols. Always lock your dorm or apartment door and your car doors. Don’t keep valuables in your car. As you walk around the campus, stay aware of your surroundings. Know where all of the exits are in a building or room. Carry a phone with you at all times. If you have to walk around at night, try to stay in groups or with at least one other person.

Many campuses have programs that allow students to call the security office to request an escort across campus. Sign up for personal safety classes if your school offers them. You should also sign up for email or text alerts if they are offered by your school. These alerts will help you stay informed about potential threats to your safety.

What to Do if You’re a Victim of a Crime

If you’re the victim of any type of crime, report it to your campus security office and the local police department as soon as possible. Even seemingly insignificant crimes need to be reported to prevent criminals from hurting other people. After you report a crime, the campus security office and the local police will investigate. You have the right to have a support person with you during any interviews they conduct.

Alcohol Awareness

People who drink alcohol to excess can be easy targets for criminals because alcohol diminishes your awareness and responses. Try to avoid drinking excessively so you aren’t vulnerable. Excessive drinking can also cause academic problems, especially for those students who drink often.

Binge drinking is defined as drinking five or more drinks in two hours for males or four or more drinks in two hours for females. Binge drinking is associated with car accidents, DWI arrests, assaults, injuries, and liver damage.

Healthy Relationships and Consent

Romantic relationships formed in college should be positive and rewarding, built on mutual respect and consent. Consent means freely giving a “yes” to another person regarding what you want to do. Healthy and respectful relationships involve communicating consent prior to and during any sexual activity and realizing that consent can be revoked at any time.

Remember that silence or the lack of a “no” does not equal consent. Consent can’t be forced or manipulated, and it must be mutual between both parties involved.

Additional Resources:

Things to Consider

What is the most common crime on college campuses?

The most common crime on college campuses is theft, which typically encompasses larceny, burglary, and motor vehicle theft.

What is the nationwide crime rate amongst all U.S. colleges?

The precise nationwide crime rate amongst all U.S. colleges is difficult to determine as crime rates can vary widely between different types of institutions and between different parts of the country.

However, according to data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the total number of reported on-campus criminal offenses increased from 18,700 in 2014 to 23,400 in 2018, with a slight decrease to 21,900 in 2019.

How safe do students say they feel on college campuses?

Students generally report feeling relatively safe on college campuses. According to a 2019 survey of 10,000 students in the US, 93% of respondents said they felt safe on their college campuses.

Additionally, 80% of students reported feeling that their college campus was adequately equipped to handle an emergency. However, 21% of students reported feeling they were not adequately educated on campus safety procedures.

Are college campuses adequately protected by security personnel?

The answer to this question depends upon the college and the type of security personnel employed. Security personnel at college campuses vary in size and scope, ranging from campus police officers to student security workers. The level of protection they provide is also contingent upon their training.

In general, though, college campuses have made efforts to increase security personnel and the resources available to them in order to better protect students and staff.

Is it safer for students to live on campus or off campus?

It depends on the student and the safety environment of each area. Generally, living on campus can provide more security due to the presence of campus security, while living off campus allows students more autonomy and freedom.

If you are living off-campus, don’t forget these fire safety tips:

Rowan Jones
Chief Editor