How many times have you left class to go to your car or dorm room and wondered, “how safe am I here?” In light of the recent rash of college shootings, (Collin College McKinney) safety has become a hot issue yet again.
Fortunately, the Department of Education has made strides to protect college students across the nation. There is a little known law called the Jeanne Clery act. This act requires all colleges that receive financial aid from the government to report any crimes that happen on or around campus .
According to SecurityonCampus.Com each college receiving financial aid from the government is required to publish its crime statistics by October 1st of the current year. This report must include all crimes committed in the last three years.
This act was inspired by the death of Lehigh college freshman Jeanne Clery who was raped and murdered in her dorm room while she slept in 1987. The campus had failed to notify their students and staff of 38 violent crimes that had occurred over the three-year period preceding the terrible murder.
The act was originally called the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act of 1990, but was changed to the Jeanne Clery Act in 1998 in honor of the slain freshman. This act is key even today. Most colleges post their crime statistics on their Web sites so their students can be aware of the crime statistics for their college and make an informed decision when making their college choice. According to ReadersDigest.com the following campus choices are the safest:
Rank/ Grade/ College
- A Johns Hopkins University (MD)
- A Northeastern University (MA)
- A Michigan Technological University (MI)
- A University of Kentucky (KY)
- A Loyola Marymount University (CA)
- A University of Texas (TX)
- A Syracuse University (NY)
- A Washington University in St. Louis (MO)
- A Birmingham-Southern College (AL)
- A Seattle University (WA)
What if you are not able to go to one of the above schools? How can you protect yourself? One of the key ways to remain safe is, if possible never go anywhere alone. Secondly, always let someone know where you are going and when you expect to be back. Thirdly, Be aware of your surroundings. Look around you as you walk or drive. Do not carry a book bag that is overloaded that can hamper your ability to run if necessary. Finally, place your keys between your fingers if you are attacked, you can use them to scratch or gouge out the eyes of the person attacking you.
In conclusion to protect yourself when attending college, check the school Web site for crime statistics, Always be aware of your surroundings and take steps to protect your personal safety.