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Safe Place to Learn

Montclair State tops NJ in list of safest college campuses

Posted in: University

Three students sitting around a table outside on the MSU campus.

Montclair State University is a safe place to go to school, according to national listings that rank the safest colleges and college towns in America.

On a list of the Safest College Campuses in America 2018, Montclair State ranked first in New Jersey and No. 16 in the nation. The list includes high ed institutions with enrollment of 10,000 students and is compiled by using data from the FBI’s compilation of local police department statistics and the U.S. Department of Education’s campus safety security survey.

Montclair, New Jersey, meanwhile, ranks No. 32 among the safest college towns in America, according to the 2018 listing of the Safest College Campuses. The SafeWise Safest Cities analysis for 2018 reviewed FBI crime reports for cities home to more than 15,000 residents and accredited four-year institutions.

“Montclair State University takes the issue of student safety very seriously,” says Dr. Karen Pennington, vice president for Student Development and Campus Life. For parents sending their children off to college, safety is among their top concerns, and Montclair State provides a variety of orientation events to help build relationships and ensure a secure college experience.

“As an African-American woman of the LGBTQ community I truly feel safe on this campus,” says Camille Blue, a sophomore Dance major. “Coming from out-of-state, I was worried about the protection of the students on campus; however, with the constant reassurance of the officers on campus, whether it is 2 a.m. or 2 p.m., I feel safe.”

Montclair State has its own University Police Department, an autonomous, fully certified and operational law enforcement agency that serves New Jersey’s second largest university. “This campus is well lit and there are always other people around,” says Natalie Angulo, a sophomore studying Jurisprudence, Law and Society.

“Common sense and self-awareness are a student’s best protections against danger,” Pennington says, “and the University provides multiple educational programs throughout a student’s years to help them learn more and better ways to protect themselves.”

Programming includes self-defense, crime prevention, and sexual assault awareness and alcohol/drug presentations. In addition, students may opt-in to several applications for safety including Mobile Guardian (GPS technology), Emergency Alert Systems (via RAVE applications) and the Crime TIPS texting program. A SafeWalk program is provided during after-hours.

“For my three years that I have been a student here at Montclair I have never felt unsafe,” says Kayla Henry, a junior Public Health major. “Knowing that we have a blue light system on campus and campus safety apps like Mobile Guardian is refreshing.”