College campuses across the country are crowded this week as students return for the 2013-2014 school year. At the same time, colleges across the company are reviewing and improving their safety measures to ensure that students are safe while on campus, according to WTHR Channel 13.
In Indiana, August 21, 2013, was “move-in day” for students at Indiana University in Bloomington. While classes do not start until next week for IU and Butler University students, freshman orientation begins as students who are there for the first time get acclimated to campus life.
Along with learning about the campus in general and preparing for classes, students will also be learning about ways to keep themselves safe during orientation, WTHR reports. Colleges across the country have created and are teaching their student population about practices in place to alert students and staff about dangerous situations.
“We believe in educating our students for all manner of things,” IU spokesman, Mark Land, told WTHR. IU has a program called “Street Smart” that was launched this past year to give students information about making good choices when it comes to friends, awareness of their surroundings and, of course, the ongoing concern surrounding drinking on campus.
While arguably these subjects are matters parents should discuss with their children prior to moving to campus, schools are supplementing that education through orientation programs. Butler students similarly are being reminded to look out for themselves and others and to be safe when it comes to making choices such as partying and walking alone at night.
In light of IU student Lauren Spierer’s disappearance after a night of partying with friends, these discussions are more pressing than ever. Campuses are emphasizing the need for students to make good choices and know where to turn in a time of crisis.
Many campuses in Indiana have installed call boxes throughout campus that students can use in emergency situations. Butler police told WTHR that they also offer escorts if any student feels they need one while walking in and around campus.
According to WTHR, the most reported crime on college campuses is burglary, so colleges are also instructing students to be watchful of the personal belongings they bring to campus.
In addition, campuses throughout the country have created alerts and warnings that are sent to both students and parents via email and/or text in the event of a dangerous situation. Alerts like these have become more important than ever in light of school shootings over recent years.
To find safety information and crime statistics for individual universities click here.