Security On Campus Releases Top 5 Safety Considerations When Choosing a University

Published: August 14, 2006

KING OF PRUSSIA, Penn.-Security On Campus, Inc. (SOC), a national non-profit, grassroots organization devoted to safe campus communities for college and university students, released five tips high school seniors and their parents should consider during their college selection process. These recommendations come as many families are making their final college choices and coincides with September’s National Campus Safety Awareness Month (NCSAM).

“With approximately 45,000 serious crimes on U.S. campuses each year, safety is an important factor, which students and parents need to address,” says Catherine Bath, executive director of SOC. “Our five criteria are based on two decades’ worth of experience in advocating for safer campuses and crime victims’ rights. They provide a powerful framework that families can use to help evaluate a school’s dedication to the safety of their student body.”

Security On Campus Inc.’s Top 5 Safety Tips for choosing a college or university are:

  • 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.
  • 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 students’ mobile phones into personal alarm devices, are also poised to reduce crime on campus.
  • 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 tjat offer substance-free housing experience fewer problems.
  • 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.
  • 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 www.securityoncampus.org or www.campussafetymonth.org/.

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