The safest college campus in South Carolina
Charleston Southern University is considered the safest college campus in South Carolina among all four-year and two-year private and public colleges, and one of the safest in America sitting in the top 8% of all universities nationwide, according to Niche.com’s Best Colleges rankings. So how does CSU compare to its university neighbors in safety stats?
In a recent crime statistics report by the Clery Act, CSU was compared to two other universities in the Charleston area: The Citadel and The College of Charleston. The Clery Act mandates that colleges and universities must disclose their crime statistics each year and, according to documents available through CSU’s website, the school had a total of 15 crimes reported in 2017. With a total student population of 3,724, CSU suffered a single incident for every 248 students.
The data for CSU’s Charleston educational brethren was much different. The Citadel has a total population of 3,527 students and, based upon the Clery data, had an incident for every 78 students.
The College of Charleston, with a significantly larger student population of 11,942, had an incident for every 128 students.
None of the schools reported any hate crimes during 2017.
Jonathan Franklin, residence life coordinator, said he was satisfied with the way security has operated at the school.
“I think, for the most part, campus security has done a great job, with the new installment of the emergency poles on campus, I think that’s gone a long way to clear up some blind spots,” he said, adding that the installation of new cameras is also a positive move forward.
The emergency poles were added to the campus in 2017 and can be used by students, faculty and staff in case of an emergency situation. They are identifiable by the blue light placed at the top of the pole.
While student and Resident Assistant Cameron Cross agreed that CSU was a safe institution, he suggested the addition of more security staff. The number of security staff working at any given time varies, but Cross said that adding two or three more guards to each shift could go a long way in providing full coverage and making sure that students are safe.
John Wilson, director of campus security, said he feels that, even though the school has been very successful at keeping students safe, there is room to improve and the school is always looking to strengthen security. He emphasized that the primary thing holding the security office from implementing some new ideas was a lack of funding.
“I want everyone on campus, whether they are visitors or members of our campus community, to not only be safe, but to feel safe, so that they can concentrate on the reasons they are here,” Wilson said. “I have been here for four-and-a-half years and I feel one of the most important security measures that Campus Security has implemented since that time is the arming and training of our staff. I am committed to doing anything within the law to accomplish this goal.”
Original article published in Dr. Jason Peterson’s communication class, The Buccaneer Beacon, Spring 2019. Revised by CSU Marketing & Communication.