College Students Feel Safe on Campus… Sometimes

Crimes are not unheard of on college campuses. With so many people living on campus, going to school, and working on campuses, you can’t always assume that everyone has good intentions. And according to the Fall 2009 National College Health Assessment by the American College Health Association, the times and places college students feel safe can vary.

During the day, 83.4 percent of students reported that they felt very safe on their college campuses and of these students, 85.8 percent were male and 82.7 percent were female. The numbers change drastically when it comes to how safe students felt on their campuses at night. Only 31.6 percent of students reported that they felt very safe on their campus at nighttime, which means an overwhelming majority did not. Only 21.6 percent of females reported feeling very safe while 50.3 percent of males did. Still, students tend to feel safer on campus than they do off of campus. During the daytime, 51.1 percent of students reported feeling very safe in the community surrounding their school. That number also changed when it came to how safe they felt at night with only 17.5 percent of students reporting that they felt very safe.

When it comes to being on campus or in the community at night, students should never be alone. While many areas of a college campuses and community streets are well lit at night, there are even more areas that probably are not. Just because you are in a college town does not mean that everyone there is just like you, so avoid walking in unlit areas that make it hard for you to see someone who may be walking toward you. No matter what type of safety precautions you take, you can’t always avoid dangerous situations. In the study, 4.8 percent of students reported experiencing a physical assault within the last 12 months, and 8 percent reported experiencing a physical fight. While students should try to stay away from these situations at all costs, if they can’t, it is important that they also are able to defend themselves. Many colleges or community centers offer self-defense courses that teach people tips and techniques on how to defend themselves. These types of courses usually show people things they can do in certain situations, such as being choked from behind or thrown to the ground, to get away and increase their chances of survival. Even though self defense is not a guarantee that you will be able to fight off an attacker, it can help you be better prepared for a dangerous situation.