Published in the January 25, 2017 issue of The Bells
College is supposed to be one of the best times in a person’s life. It is a time when young people leave home for the first time, make friendships and memories that last a lifetime, and discover more about who they are.
Unfortunately, nothing is perfect. Besides worrying about tests and homework, there is one major concern for all college students – our physical safety.
According to the University of Oregon, 17% of all college students have experienced violence on campus.
The city of Belton is a fairly safe place to live. On bestplaces.net, Belton has a violent crime rate of 29.3 out of 100.
Sophomore Nursing major Corey Johnson said he feels safe on campus.
“I believe UMHB is fairly safe because as far as I know, nothing huge has happened,” Johnson said.
Junior Education major Katelyn Leistico said for the most part she feels safe on campus as well, but she thinks there is always room for improvement.
“I mean, there’s obviously more that we can do, like some of the lights aren’t necessarily working and there are definitely parts of campus that are really dark when you’re walking back, especially back to the apartments.”
One great thing about attending a Christian college is that most people’s priorities are usually in the right place. A major aspect of attending UMHB is the emphasis on faith-informed discernment..
“Although there are always people who will cause others harm, I think that UMHB is less likely to have those kinds of people,” said freshman interdisciplinary studies major Jordyn Brinkman.
Although UMHB has a safe environment, it is always wise for college students to know the resources available to them. Fortunately, UMHB has many tools for students to use to help keep them safe.
“Through being involved in student organizations, I have been well-trained on the resources available to ensure student safety,” said sophomore Christian studies major Samuel Kinnin.
“The Cru Card scanners, locks on doors, emergency poles, and constant police supervision are great tools we have to keep us safe.”
The police department is also a major on-campus resource when it comes to providing safety and security.
“The police department does an incredible job of making sure we feel safe through CruAlet systems and having so many policies in place to help provide safety and confidentiality among students,” Kinnin said.Officers are known for having a quick response time and patrolling campus for any suspicious happenings.
“We also have a safety liaison through the Student Government Association to make sure all your concerns are addressed to the police department. If any students have any concerns, that liaison is there to represent them.”
In addition to knowing about the various resources the university has regarding safety, it is important to know how to prevent assault from happening.
Public safety officer Roy Trevino says that there are many ways to stay safe on campus.
“The biggest thing is being diligent and knowing your surroundings and being aware of who’s around you,” Trevino said.
Here are some other tips the officer said will help keep students safe:
– Stay with a buddy or a group of people, especially at night
– Don’t go out in the dark if you don’t have to
– Don’t be too trustworthy, especially of people you don’t know
– Carry a whistle or pepper spray
– Let someone know where you are going and if you need a ride
The first thing to remember if you feel you are in danger is to call the campus police right away so they can help you.
“[Students] should call the police department immediately,” Trevino said.“There is always a police officer on duty 24/7.”