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College Campus Safety

written by: R. Elizabeth C. Kitchen•edited by: Donna Cosmato•updated: 6/15/2011

Safety and security on college campuses is something all college students should think about. Learn more about the possible safety risks and how to avoid them.

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    College provides students with the first chance at freedom and preparing for the future. Most students do not think much about college campus safety, but there are dangers out there that they should consider. It is important to know what safety measures are in place and how to use them to help avoid being the victim of college campus crimes.

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    Common College Campus Safety Measures

    safety and security college campus Safety and security on college campuses is in place to provide a safe environment for college students to learn, live and work. College campuses have campus police which patrol the campus to look out for students and to look for any issues that could result in any of the students being in danger.

    There are rules and guidelines that prohibit things like underage drinking, drug sales and drug use, stalking, fighting, weapons and sexual assault. Colleges also have procedures and measures concerning natural disasters and fires on campus.

    Many college campuses provide escorts to students so they do not have to walk alone (especially at night), medical emergency assistance, assistance with unlocking and restarting vehicles and access assistance.

    All colleges are different in terms of safety and security. The measures listed above are very common on most college campuses. However, all colleges have their own set of measures in place as well to help maintain safety and security on the college campus.

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    Common College Campus Crimes

    The United States Department of Education provides approximate statistics on college campus crimes. Statistics are currently provided for the years 2001, 2002, and 2003. Using the most recent year's data, college campus crime statistics are as follows:

    • There were approximately 3,050 aggravated assaults on college campuses throughout the United States.
    • There were approximately 1,060 arsons on college campuses throughout the United States.
    • There were approximately 29,125 burglaries on college campuses throughout the United States.
    • There were approximately 2,581 forcible sex offenses on college campuses throughout the United States.
    • There were approximately 6.594 motor vehicle thefts on college campuses throughout the United States.
    • There were approximately 10 murders/non-negligent manslaughters on college campuses throughout the United States.
    • There were approximately 13 negligent manslaughters on college campuses throughout the United States.
    • There were approximately 55 non-forcible sex offenses on college campuses throughout the United States.
    • There were approximately 2,086 robberies on college campuses throughout the United States.

    These statistics are just approximates because not all crimes are reported by the victims.

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    How College Students Can Protect Themselves on Campus

    College provides students with a new social scene, living environment, and peer pressure. There are several things students can do to maintain safety and security on their college campus. These include:

    • Students who are underage should not drink alcohol and those who are of age should take it slow and always stay within their limits.
    • Students should always be aware of their surroundings.
    • Students should never walk alone, but with other students and should always have their keys out and head up and alert.
    • When students go out, they should do so with a trusted group of friends, ensure everyone stays together and leaves together and should always have a designated driver.
    • Taking a self-defense can help both female and male students build confidence and protect themselves.
    • Students should always secure their property and their home/dorm, as well as keep all important phone numbers handy and report all crimes to campus police immediately.
    • Students should never carry their passport or social security card on them.
    • Students need to know how to say “no" clearly and authoritatively and they need to be very clear with all dates about what they want and do not want.
    • Students should trust their gut and remove themselves whenever they feel uncomfortable.
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    Resources

    U. S. Department of Education, http://www2.ed.gov/admins/lead/safety/crime/criminaloffenses/index.html

    Author unknown, "Health and Safety for College Students," http://www.cdc.gov/Features/CollegeHealth/

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    Image Credits

    Police Officer: julosstock – sxc.hu