A new report examines top safety concerns at college campuses and ranks them on campus crime rates.
The Safe and Sound report from collegestats.org found the top safety concerns on college campuses are:
- excessive drinking 28.5%
- walking alone 14.0%
- theft/robbery 9.7%
- unlit pathways 5.6%
- sexual assault 2.1%
- non-students on campus 0.44%
- criminal activity near campus 0.14%
- lack of a strong security presence 0.07%
- dorm safety 0.03%
- lack of safety escort services 0.03%
- lack of/broken emergency phones 0.02%
- violence among students 0.02%
- drugs 0.01%
- gang violence 0.01%
And the most common crimes committed on a college campus are:
- burglaries 71%
- vehicle thefts 8.9%
- sex offenses 7.9%
- aggravated assaults 6.2%
- robberies 3.9%
- arsons 2.1%
- murders 1%
Of the 100 schools that it studied, Clemson University, in South Carolina, had the lowest rate of crime by far. Beyond just having a safety website that students can access, they also have a school safety Twitter account with over 6,000 followers that regularly updates with alerts and pictures of known assailants.
Three colleges in New York: The Fashion Institute of Technology, CUNY York College, and The New York Institute of Technology also ranked in the top 10 for lowest crime rates. Like New York City where crime is also at a record low, these campuses also managed to keep incidences severely reduced. Safer campuses with lower rates of crime equal safer students with less to worry about.
Concordia University in Ann Arbor, Michigan, was voted by students as having the most visible police presence of the 100 surveyed schools. Its campus safety website indicates the direct number for the current on-duty officer as well as the location of the security office, indicating that communication between students, the police, and the security team is deeply encouraged
The University of Connecticut at Waterbury came in just under Concordia as having the second greatest police presence. Its safety website also features contact information for campus police and highlights the campus safety office’s generous hours (7 a.m. to 10 p.m.).
Jarvis Christian College in Hawkins, Texas, as well as Malone University in Canton, Ohio, also ranked among the top 10 schools with best police visibility.
Students at the Cleveland Institute of Music in Ohio said that they felt the safest. Eighty percent of students at this independent, international institution responded favorably when asked about their personal perception of overall campus safety.
Two Florida colleges, Edward Waters College in Jacksonville and Beacon College in Leesburg also reported among the top 10 as feeling an overall sense of safety on campus. Both private institutions (like the Cleveland Institute of Music) these colleges also have smaller student populations.
Most schools publish annual safety reports that detail specific occurrences and trends for the previous year. These reports can include safety efforts taken by campus security, the university in general and fellow faculty. But do these reports largely include the things students are most concerned about?
According to the study, the most mentioned terms and related words in college safety reports are:
- sex 14.14%
- crime 12.73%
- safety 10.24%
- police 9.05%
- violence 8.57%
- drug and alcohol 8.30%
- fire 7.37%
- law 6.82%
- victim 5.82%
- security 5.37%
- assault 5.11%
- robbery and burglary 2.00%
- abuse 1.58%
- rape 1.46%
- firearm 0.20%
- automobile 0.08%
- fireworks 0.04%