Safety on parents' minds as college students head back

Published: .
Updated: .

Campuses across the state and across the U.S. are welcoming back students this week, and one thing on the minds of parents is keeping their children safe.

Today is "move-in day" on the Indiana University campus in Bloomington. Classes don't start at Butler University until next week, but you can already feel a dramatic change on campus as students and staff gradually settle in.

Freshman orientation groups are getting acclimated to different surroundings. It's an exciting time for the first-year students.

But along with learning about their new environment, they are also getting some resources about how to keep themselves safe. Most colleges and universities have plans in place to alert students and staff about dangerous situations. 

At Butler University, there is also a priority in finding ways to communicate with students on their level.  "Colleges and universities do great things as relates to programs and education, " said Butler's Levester Johnson, "and the latest and greatest systems with security within campus environments. What's missing is everybody knowing what those items are. It's about awareness."

Butler posts call boxes around the campus for students to use in emergency situations.  The Butler police department also offers escorts if any student feels they need one in and around campus.

IU has a program called "Street Smart" that was launched this past year to give students information about making good choices when it comes to drinking, friends and awareness of their surroundings. "We believe in educating our students for all manner of things," said IU spokesman Mark Land.

Butler students are reminded from orientation to graduation to look out for themselves and others. It's a discussion parents should have with their students before they leave them at college. 

Basically, students should know their friends, make good choices, and know where to turn in a time of crisis.

The most reported crime on most college campuses is burglary. So it's also good to make records of all those electronic devices your student will be bringing to campus.

Many campuses throughout the country have also initiated alerts and warnings that will come to students and parents via email or text, so be sure to sign up if your student's school offers them.

To find safety information and crime statistics for individual universities click here