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The Pioneer Press

The student news site of Jonathan Alder High School

The Pioneer Press

The student news site of Jonathan Alder High School

The Pioneer Press

Students consider safety while applying to college

Mike Polsinelli
Photo of an emergency tower at Miami University

As deadlines for college applications come and go, students are finalizing their decisions for potential colleges to apply to and attend. Some factors that students are considering are size, walkability, diversity and arguably the most important, safety. 


Emma Kennedy, a freshman attending The Ohio State University, addresses some of her concerns. “Every once in a while, like probably once every two weeks, you can hear like a gunshot or something,” Kennedy says. “It’s just stuff like that.”


However, Freshman Jackson McCoy studying at Ohio University has had a different, safer experience. “Obviously I’m a guy so I’m going to have a different perspective than someone who isn’t a guy or fully male presenting, but even a lot of my friends that are girls say like they feel safe walking home alone at night here,” McCoy says, “but obviously there’s room for improvement.”


According to Kennedy, gender is a factor when it comes to safety on campus, “It’s the circumstances where it’s like, ‘Oh I’m really craving this food but I can’t go and get it because I’m a girl and I’d be walking alone and it’s dark outside.’”


Most college campuses have resources that are implemented for the specific purpose of keeping students safe. Director of Marketing and Communications at The Ohio State University, Dan Hedman, talks about some of the resources available for students on campus. “I think in total there’s more than 200 staff members in the department of public safety, we also have a 911 call center, there’s more than 4,000 surveillance cameras on campus,” he says.


Kennedy acknowledges that the campus has its own separate police, not just the city police. “So we do have…security people but I’m not too sure what they do because I don’t think they have as much freedom as a Columbus City police officer,” she says.


Having separate police departments for the city and the university is key to guaranteeing that campus is secured. According to Hedman, this allows them to have “24/7 police patrol; they work in three different shifts, so there’s 24/7 coverage from both police and security.”


Freshman Maggie Storts, attending Miami University, talks about how size is a factor for safety at Miami. “It’s very small,” Storts says. “Walking from one place to another it doesn’t take more than like 15 minutes, depending on where you’re going, especially when everyone’s going out at night, walking is really not that far.”


The Ohio State University is the complete opposite from Miami University when it comes to size. “At any given time there’s 100,000 students, faculty and staff on campus,” Hedman says. “We have a fully functioning medical center located on campus.”


According to a poll The Pioneer Press conducted through Instagram, 25% of students who responded will not be considering safety as they apply to college. 


Even if you might not be so concerned about the level of safety, guidance counselor Anne Depreist says, “I don’t have students that are typically concerned about safety, but a few of them have mentioned parents that are concerned about the safety of a student.” According to Depreist, students say things like, “My parent doesn’t want me to go there because of a crime rate” or “My parent doesn’t want me to go to this school in that area of town.”

Taking a college visit can help you get a better understanding of walkability on campus and how easy it will be to get across campus incase of emergency. According to Quinnipiac University,  “Spending this extra time on campus can give you a better understanding of which environment feels best to you, and help you make your decision of which college to ultimately attend.”

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About the Contributor
Maddie Saiter, Staff Writer, Social Media Manager
Maddie Saiter is a second-year journalism student, who is a senior this year. You can recognize Maddie by her awesome hair. You’ll often see Maddie playing the guitar, or at least doing something musical, as she is also in the Marching Band. Maddie intends on being a marketing major at Ohio University. 

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    Jacob CameronNov 15, 2023 at 8:57 AM

    very important article!! people should read.