Assoc. News Editor
Students choose the right college for them based on SAT scores, athletics, location, and a variety of other criteria. One aspect of college life that is drawing more attention is campus safety. According to go4ivy.com, college safety is one of the ten most important factors when choosing a college. The website also advises students to consider extracurricular activities, academic focus, and enrollment into the college planning process. Extensive information about all of these factors can be found at stateuniversity.com, a website devoted to providing detailed information on U.S. state universities.
In the website’s second annual list of the 450 safest colleges, Millersvile University received a score of 92.56 out of 100. Millersville was ranked the 16th safest college in Pennsylvania, and 219 in the nation. The website’s first list of safest colleges ranked Millersville 120 in the nation. “As a whole, we are a safe campus within a safe community, we are definitely not perfect but we do a lot of things right when it comes to being a nice place to live, study, work and visit,” said Pete Anders, Millersville University Police Department (MUPD) Chief of Police. Other Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Schools, such as Shippensburg and Kutztown, were ranked 76 and 292 in the nation, respectively. Schools were graded on a scale that accounts for severity and frequency of a crime per 1000 students. The safety ratings were based on occurrences of forcible rape, theft/larceny, robbery, burglary, vehicle theft, aggravated assault, and murder on campus, and then were weighted on the probability of each student experiencing an incident.
According to stateuniversity.com, less than one out of 1000 students at Millersville experienced incidents of aggravated assault, burglary, and forcible rape. Approximately six incidents of larceny /theft were recorded out of 1000 people. There were no incidents of theft, robbery, murder or arson reported on campus.Chief Anders said, “Our largest crime problem is with thefts and off campus with burglaries. We continue to emphasize to students and employees to keep their doors locked as a general good habit even when you are at home, and to not walk away from valuable property when in buildings on campus.”
Stateuniversity.com stresses that while safety ratings based on college crime are a good way to evaluate a college or university, they don’t reflect the whole picture. Students should take into account unreported incidents, the abundance of campus police and how secure the surrounding neighborhoods are before making conclusions on the safety of a university. In response to how the university can improve safety, Chief Anders said, “M.U. Police has partnered with student groups, Health Services, Wellness and Women’s Center, MU Counseling, and outside agencies like the YWCA to be more supportive to intimate partner violence such as sexual assaults and domestic violence.”
The 2012 rankings are available online, at StateUniversity.com’s website.