Campus safety is slowly becoming one of the major criteria for picking colleges, especially for international students applying to USA. In fact, USA is far more proactive when it comes to keeping its students safe. The country is a conglomeration of cultures and races, and it’s much easier to find a niche for oneself here than in most other places.
Here is a list of things to keep in mind while researching campus safety in the US:
Looking at the statistics: However, one must keep in mind that these may not be a completely accurate way to tell which colleges are safer. Colleges with better safety resources often have higher crime rates, because students feel more confident reporting crime. To get started, the department of education provides the “Campus safety and security data analysis cutting tool” which allows searching crime statistics by institution, and also gives a breakdown of the types of crime committed.
Researching the surrounding area: This is because hopefully, one will venture off campus once in a while and it’ll be useful to know whether the college is surrounded by the relative safety of a few dozen cornfields, or shady back alleys and underground criminal organisations.
Researching the resources available on campus: One needs to be aware of policies in place to prevent crime, and the resources available on campus to get help and spread awareness. Being ignorant or uncomfortable about the issues is unsafe too. One also needs to be aware of protocol in case of emergency. Most campuses will also have spiritual advisors and professional mental health counsellors available for any help one might need after a trauma.
Trying to get an insight into campus culture: This is because a lot of what makes a college safe or otherwise is determined by unmeasurable things, like the attitudes of students and faculty. Students often get carried away with the freedom of it all, and this leads to accidents. On the other hand, one also want to be aware of how openly issues like sexual assault and substance abuse are discussed on campus, because this can impact how comfortable one will be asking for help in dangerous situations.
Staying safe: One must be careful and avoid situations where he/she might get in trouble. One must behave responsibly while finding him/herself in one. In the end, regardless of campus culture and policies in place to prevent crime, it depends on one’s own decision as to how safe the person will be at any institution. More likely than not, one won’t be mugged unless he/she is out alone at 3am and one won’t get into sticky situations with substances if he/she know the limits and stick by them.