Ideally, a college campus should be one of the safest places for young adults. Unfortunately, this is not the case for a lot of universities. Many college students across the country experience violence, theft, and drug abuse on campus. College is stressful enough for students already, so the last thing students need is to feel unsafe at school.
Thankfully, there are steps that administrators can take to keep students safe on campus. By implementing these changes, administrators can make a significant difference in the lives and safety of college students.
Maintain alarms systems
Campus alarm systems are essential to a safe college campus, so administrators should ensure that these systems are always up to date.
Many older alarm systems rely on telephone lines, which can shut down during storms. However, you can find newer options that rely on LTE and other wireless networks. A POTS line replacement can help provide a more reliable alarm system on your college campus.
Keep things well-lit
Proper lighting, both indoors and out, is another vital aspect of a safe college campus. Crime happens far less often in well-lit areas, so providing adequate lighting in all areas can potentially reduce crime rates.
Lighting can also prevent accidents and injury, particularly when it comes to drivers, pedestrians, or people on bikes.
Some administrators may want to consider using LED lighting when possible. This eco-friendly lighting can save money and cut down on electricity.
Ensure routine evacuation drills
Students should always know what to do in the worst-case scenario. Routine evacuation drills can help the students on campus stay safe in the event of fires, tornadoes, and shootings.
Don’t forget about students with disabilities. Administrators should make sure there is an alternative evacuation plan for people who cannot use the stairs, particularly in situations where the elevators are not working.
Provide a campus safety app
Nearly every student on your campus has a smartphone nearby at all times. Mobile phones can be life-saving in emergencies, and with a campus safety app, you can make seeking help a little more simple.
With a campus safety app, college students can have access to emergency services and crisis hotlines all in one place. Some of these apps can provide safety tips as well. Students can even use these safety apps to report any dangerous or suspicious activity they have witnessed on campus.
Make an effort to prevent sexual assault
Sexual assault is one of the biggest threats to safety on college campuses, especially among women. Around 13% of all students will experience rape or some other form of sexual abuse while at college.
One way administrators can reduce this risk is by educating students about consent and safe sex. Informative sessions at college orientation can help students understand how to stay safe from sexual assault.
A zero-tolerance policy against sexual assault is another important step. Taking action against those who commit a sexual assault can help prevent it from happening in the future.
Offer reliable mental health services
Depression, anxiety, and eating disorders are somewhat common among college students. And with the stress of schoolwork and student loans, these issues can worsen when students are on campus.
Mental health issues are one of the most common causes of crime, drug use, and suicide among college students. So administrators hoping to foster a safe campus should put mental health first. Providing free or affordable mental health services will not only improve the well-being of students, but it can reduce the risk of dangerous crimes as well.
As an administrator, there are a lot of steps you can take to create a safe campus environment. Even small, simple changes like these can make a world of difference for the safety of your college students.
You may want to consider taking feedback from the student body as well. Students have first-hand experience with any hazards on campus, so they can provide input on how to create a safer environment.
Remember that preventative and responsive actions are equally important. Even the safest campuses will have safety risks at some point, so be sure to provide resources for students who have been victims of crimes or other dangerous situations.
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