05 Mar Will Your Teen Be Safe on Campus?
In the five years since the Virginia Tech shootings, most colleges and universities have implemented notification solutions to alert and inform students and the campus community regarding in-progress or impending crises or natural disasters. Some institutions have acquired or built very sophisticated, multi-path (siren, Facebook, text messaging, phone, email), redundant solutions and mandate that all students contact information be in their database. Campus officials might also conduct yearly drills to test the effectiveness of the systems and procedures. Other institutions have voluntary opt-in (student choice) solutions that might include barebones text messaging and/or campus message boards.
Today, the Clery Act (named for Jeanne Clery who was killed in her residence hall in 1986) requires all colleges and universities that participate in federal financial aid programs to keep and disclose information about crime on and near their respective campuses. Although most students never experience this level of crime during their years at school, we would like to suggest that students and their parents review campus safety web pages prior to a campus visit. This might spark additional questions to ask while visiting the campus. We also suggest that you spend the time to dig into a schools campus safety statistics. When on campus, ask questions about the schools alert notification system and on-campus emergency healthcare procedures. During your visit, travel outside the actual campus to understand what your teen might encounter when leaving the immediate campus.
Along with academics, facilities, dining and housing, you and your teen should be comfortable with the colleges safety record and their emergency response procedures.