May 18, 2021
6 Ways to Improve Campus Safety
By Bridget Minner
Move-in day is a day long awaited by parents of college-bound students. While the thought of it can cause mixed emotions, every parent shares the same concern for their children’s safety on the campus they’ll call home. In fact, a 2015 study through which parents were surveyed showed that 74% considered a safe environment the most critical factor in deciding which college they want their child to attend. Not only must colleges talk about campus safety when marketing to parents, but they must also take measures to make their campus the safe environment parents are seeking for their children. Get started today by taking the following 6 measures to improve campus safety:
- Monitor Campus Visitors
Most campuses have a welcome center that visitors must head to for campus information and parking passes. This offers an easy approach to tracking visitors through an electronic visitor management system. Prospective students, vendors, and other visitors who aren’t directly affiliated with your college would simply provide you with a government issued ID at check-in. This ID is used to enter the visitor’s information in your computer system. Once all necessary information is entered, a visitor’s badge is printed for short-term use. Badges can simply feature a photo and name, or they can also be used to grant visitors access to buildings depending on the nature of their visit. Essentially, electronic visitor management systems give you visibility and control over who enters your campus.
- Implement Access Control Systems
Campus interiors are meant for students, faculty, staff, and approved visitors only. Access control systems allow you to keep unauthorized visitors from entering your buildings through the use of personal identification badges. This commonly used technology requires individuals to scan their badge at all exterior doors to be granted passage into buildings. If you already have an access control system in place, take an audit of the exterior entryways where it is currently implemented. If there are gaps, focus on securing entryways that are not secured today.
- Improve Lighting
Research has proven that well-lit public areas deter crime. Implement ample lighting around campus trails, parking lots, dorms, academic buildings, and anywhere else students and staff might frequent after dark. Simply put, you cannot have too much lighting on your campus. However, lighting systems can offer more than just lighting. Our technology partner ClearWorld offers solar-powered LED street lights with a host of options including wifi, gunshot detection, traffic monitoring, and more.
- Use a Campus Safety App
Over the last decade, blue light boxes have been a security standard implemented on many college campuses. However, there is a simpler and cost-effective solution available at your fingertips in the digital age. That solution is using a campus safety app that can be downloaded onto mobile devices owned by students, staff, and other stakeholders. At a minimum, these apps allow users to contact police and other emergency services quickly in one place. In many cases, these apps do so much more. Research the many options that are available before deciding what is best for your campus. It is important to note that campus safety apps can serve as an alternative or a supplement to blue light boxes. While some campuses are eliminating blue light boxes altogether due to a lack of usage, other campuses have found students are partial to keeping them for the peace of mind offered by the sight of them around campus. Communicate with your campus community to better understand their needs and preferences when implementing this type of solution.
- Increase Surveillance
Keeping a watchful eye over the campus will ensure your security personnel are aware of safety threats as they arise. Ensure cameras are placed not only in high-traffic areas, but also in remote areas of campus. Whether that’s a wooded walking trail or a parking lot on the outskirts, make sure your surveillance system accounts for all corners of campus.
- Gunshot Detection Technology
Since mass shootings in schools have become increasingly common over the years, campuses must take steps to decrease their risk and protect the campus from threats. Gunshot detection technology detects gunshots so that your campus security personnel are alerted to safety threats in real-time. You’ll be able to track the shooter’s location and movement around campus. Having gunshot detection on campus will give parents and students peace of mind knowing you are being proactive in combating an issue college campuses unfortunately face.