Tips for Parents to
Help Determine College Campus Safety
ask about college campus safety
Visiting a college
campus is an exciting time for the entire family and you have a
lot to observe in
a short period of time. During your campus tour, you need to ask questions as well as look
is important that at this time you do not fail to
consider campus safety. There are certain things that
you can do to determine the safety of the campus.
First, stop by
the campus security office and talk to the employees. Find what
the university is doing to keep the campus safe?, How
many officers do they have and
are they on duty 24/7? What
kind of training do campus security personnel receive?
Next, you can
approach students to see their views. Ask how safe they feel on campus and
in their dorm room/apartment.
Find out if they
know about crimes that may have been committed and how are they made aware
of these situations -- bulletin boards, school newspaper?
You need to be
very observant as you walk around
the campus. For instance what security measures are in place in the dorms?
Are doors always locked or just after hours? Do first level dorm rooms have
window locks or security precautions? Do doors on dorms have peepholes so
you can see visitors? How is access to the dorms controlled? Are call
boxes or safety phones available and do they connect directly to campus
police? Is there an escort service available? Are paths, parking lots,
building and dorms well lit at all times including weekends?
If possible stay
until it gets dark to see what the campus looks like at night. Check to see
what the area surrounding the campus is like. Are there boundaries that you
child should never cross?
some research on your own. The Department of Education compiles campus
safety statistics by for over 6,000 colleges and universities in the United
States and this information can be found at
addition, you can request this information from the college and they are
legally mandated to provide it to you.
Be sure to ask the same
questions at each school and take notes so that you can later do a comparison.
Remember to consider the location of the schools when you are evaluating the
statistics. Large urban schools will have a higher percentage of commuter
students compared to a suburban or rural school with a large resident base and
this can skew the results. Also, more crimes reported could mean a safer campus
because of a proactive security team.
A college visit is a
great way to become familiar with what life is really like for the students
attending the school. Remember that you will be entrusting them with something
more precious than you own life -- your child. So feel free to ask questions
until you have peace of mind.