What to Look for in a College Committed to Campus Safety
Campus safety is one of the top concerns of college students and their parents. But how do you determine whether a school is dedicated to campus safety for its students, staff, and community? Let’s review some key things to look for when considering a school.
The importance of campus safety at any school
When your loved one is beginning college, it’s natural to be concerned about their safety and well-being. Everyone on campus should feel comfortable working, learning and growing together. Here are some of the key factors that colleges and universities consider when building a safe campus.
Campus crime statistics
The Clery Act, informally known as the “Campus Crime Statistics Act,” requires colleges and universities to report campus crime data, support victims of violence, and publicly outline the policies and procedures they have implemented to improve campus safety. This goes beyond adhering to the basic guidelines. A campus should be proactively committed to providing a safe community for everyone, particularly regarding sexual harassment, violence, or discrimination.
Regent University was ranked the #1 Safest College in Virginia in 2021. Regent’s outstanding safeguards were recognized in a new report by YourLocalSecurity, an ADT authorized provider and partner of SafeStreets. In the report, Regent was also ranked the #13 Safest College in the United States. Regent is also dedicated to transparency regarding campus crime statistics and issues an annual security report. Regent’s police department shows the specific crimes reported each year in this document.
Campus security and police
Campus security police are tasked with maintaining the safety and security of anyone who steps foot on campus. This applies to protecting more than just students, but also faculty, staff, and visitors. Any campus that maintains its reputation as a safe environment has a dedicated and trustworthy security team or police department.
The Regent University Police Department (RUPD), headed by Chief of Police Chris A. Mitchell Sr., is dedicated to protecting students, faculty, and staff. Its officers monitor the campus 24 hours a day by video surveillance, vehicle, and foot patrols. All RUPD officers are sworn law enforcement officers under the Code of Virginia. They are armed and possess the same powers under the law as city police officers.
Regent’s campus police have the authority to apprehend and arrest anyone involved in illegal acts on campus and adjacent areas. Moreover, they immediately respond to all police, fire, and medical emergencies, and vehicle accidents on campus.
Regent’s police department also holds itself to a high standard of accountability. Individuals can make commendations, complaints, and appeals as they feel necessary.
Resources for reporting misconduct and addressing infractions
College campuses have a duty and obligation to handle misconduct appropriately. “Sweeping incidents under the rug” is not an option. If students need to report crimes, particularly those of a violent or sexual nature, they should have available resources to safely disclose information, including support and counseling services. The other half of the equation involves addressing infractions with appropriate severity. A college is only as safe as its willingness to appropriately discipline proven offenders.
Regent has an anonymous crime report portal.With a student’s permission, the chief or a designee of RUPD can file a report on an incident. They can also successfully file the report without revealing a student’s identity. Anonymous reports are counted and disclosed in Regent’s annual security and crime statistics. Click here for more information on how Regent University and its police address both major and minor offenses.
It’s everyone’s responsibility to keep college campuses and communities safe, no matter who you are. Title IX of the Educational Amendments Act of 1972 requires gender equality for males and females in every educational institution receiving federal funding. Fundamental to this goal is the prevention of sexual assault and harassment.
Regent University is committed to supporting a Christ-centered community that provides a safe and secure academic and work environment. As such, Regent is obligated to help try to prevent and address sexual harassment and assault complaints per Title IX.
Crime prevention strategies
One of the critical tenants of campus safety is providing immediate resources for students in case of emergencies. The efforts of a dedicated police force, security guards, or its own security team are invaluable. However, a college’s overall crime prevention strategy relies on student accountability, trust, and proactive self-protection measures.
Many college campuses have emergency call boxes dispersed throughout the grounds. These 24/7 campus phones emit blue lights for easy identification. Before you begin living on or traveling around the campus, locate them on a campus map. That way, you’ll know where to find them in an emergency. When you hit the button to activate a call box, a police officer will come to assist you.
This is just one way campuses like Regent work to implement crime prevention. For more tips on how students can keep themselves safe from crime on campus, check out these safety tips.
Secure residence halls
Residence halls are a student’s home while living in a college community. Students have a right to personal safety in and around their campus homes. Here are some things you can expect from campuses like Regent’s that are committed to student safety in residence halls:
- Updated fire safety information.
- An updated residence life handbook.
- Front desk residence hall assistants to check in anyone who enters.
- Measures to prevent intruder entry (digital ID/ key card for entry).
- Updated medical emergency info (including emergency contacts) for all students.
Resources addressing public safety/terrorism
Campuses need to protect students from gun violence and terrorism threats that affect the student body and anyone on campus. All schools should have widely-available resources, so students know exactly how to respond in case of an intruder or threat.
Regent has detailed, public information regarding emergency response to a hostile intruder or terrorist threat on campus. Regent also has RegentAlert, an Emergency Notification System (ENS). The Blackboard Connect system can be used to send mass emergency notifications. Its primary purpose is to notify Regent faculty, staff, and enrolled students in the event of an emergency on campus.
Regent also uses this system to notify constituents of weather-related delays, closings, or shelter-in-place procedures. RegentAlert will use numerous means to contact users with timely warnings in the event of a campus emergency. These notifications include email and text alerts by cell phone.
Campus safety at Regent University
Any college dedicated to the safety and well-being of students provides adequate resources, safeguards, and information. As one of the safest campuses in Virginia, Regent University provides peace of mind as students pursue educational excellence rooted in the teachings of Christ. For any more questions about campus safety or campus safety policies, check out Regent University’s Police Department page.