Being a parent of a graduating High School student is stressful enough. Parents and students alike have a lot on their minds with applying to colleges and end of school year activities. One thing to keep in mind when evaluating schools is once there how you can make sure your child will be safe on campus. Being fully aware of the security and safety programs their chosen school offers is crucial. Awareness is the key to preventing most campus related crime. As students enter a new environment for the next chapter in their education it is important that they become familiar with how their college manages security on campus.

According to the National Criminal Justice Reference Service, “As of 2014, 11,000 college campuses, representing more than 78 million students, reported  criminal victimizations in the United States. Overall, campus crime known to authorities has decreased 35% since 2005.” The most common crimes committed on campus are burglary, sexual offense, motor vehicle theft, aggravated assault, robbery, and arson.

Most colleges have security measures such as video surveillance cameras, a campus escort program, and the blue light system. Use of video surveillance cameras on campus is important in order to discourage crime, while at the same time it’s being used in places that won’t affect privacy. Campus Escort programs are designed for students and visitors feeling unsafe and would like a security presence around them while walking alone on campus. The following are some tips for students to prevent being a victim to campus crime.

  1. Keep dorms locked: Property crimes were more than 50% of all campus crimes reported. Locking your doors is a simple yet highly effective way to avoid being a victim.
  2. Know your way around campus: Learn how the college campus is laid out, doing so will allow you to take safer routes with well lit populated areas compared to side paths and dark trails.
  3. Let your friends/family know your plans: Tell people close to you what your plans are and when you expect to be back.
  4. Travel in groups: Traveling in groups significantly decreases the likelihood of being approached. People walking alone are more often targets.
  5. Carry Emergency Money: Any time you leave your dorm/residence, always bring some emergency money with you. You’ll never know when certain situations arise and you need money for things like transportation home.

Don’t forget to share these tips with friends and family of college bound students to help further educate them about being safe on campus.