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Wednesday, November 2, 2016
by: Rene Abadie
SOUTHEASTERN NAMED SAFEST IN STATE – A recent report released by the national college resource guide College Choice ranked Southeastern Louisiana University as the safest large college or university in the state and 15th in the nation. Among the many safety features the campus offers is the presence of more than 40 Code Blue emergency phones on the campus that immediately connect callers to the University Police Department.
HAMMOND – Safety at Southeastern Louisiana University ranked No. 1 in the state and
15th in the nation among large colleges and universities by a national college guide
“One of the main fears for parents when sending their children to college is the safety of the college or university that child is attending,” said Christian Amondson, managing editor of College Choice. “Because this is a concern for so many parents, College Choice has created a ranking that helps address this issue.”
Southeastern is the only Louisiana university listed in the report, which was issued by CollegeChoice.com. The report can be found at www.collegechoice.net/rankings/safest-large-universities/.
“Maintaining a safe campus for our students, faculty, staff and other visitors to Southeastern is of paramount importance to the university,” said John L. Crain, Southeastern president. “We are pleased that our continuing efforts have earned Southeastern recognition as the safest university in the state and one of the safest in the nation.”
College Choice created the 2016 ranking for Safest Large Colleges and Universities in America using a three-year methodology that took into account more than just the college campus. Information was collected on the cities that the campuses were located in and their crime rates as well as the campus and its crime rates. Research also included data on the school’s general crime report, as well as the number of documented hate crimes, violence against women, arrests made, fire incidences, and discipline enforced activities.
CollegeChoice.com culled data from the U.S. Department of Education, U.S. News & World Report, the National Center for Education Statistics, as well as statistics reported via the institutions’ own websites. Information on the cities campuses are located in was added using public records of crimes within city limits.
Southeastern earned an anti-discrimination grade of 100 percent, a women’s safety grade of 95 percent, and a fire safety grade of 96 percent.
Crain added that in recent years Southeastern has placed considerable resources into safety efforts, including the installation of enhanced lighting and additional video monitoring cameras in residence halls and other strategic locations on campus. The university maintains the Southeastern Emergency Alert System, an extensive compilation of communications that includes the use of its website, email, text messaging, social media and telephone alerts to send emergency notifications, including storm alerts, to faculty, staff, students, and students’ families.
The Southeastern Emergency Alert System notifies students, faculty, staff and their relatives/friends who have been pre-registered in the case of an emergency. All student, faculty, and staff email accounts are pre-registered with the system, but in order to receive emergency alert text messages and voice calls on a cell phone, additional registration is required. Logging into a university LEONet account and clicking on the Emergency Notification link in the left-hand navigation menu will allow individuals to perform the additional registration. Text messages will be sent only in true emergencies and occasionally to test the system.
The latest innovation added to the safety offerings on campus is the creation of a safe campus app. This free app can be downloaded to any smart phone or device from www.southeastern.edu/safecampusapp. The app can direct dial the University Police Department (985-549-2222) from its home screen and from links embedded throughout its sections. Among the areas addressed on the app are suggested steps to take in the case of an active shooter or stabbing on campus, bomb threat, fire or explosion, intruder/mental health emergency or otherwise. The app also addresses procedures to be taken should there be a need for a lockdown, shelter in place or evacuation. Additional information is provided should instances of physical injury, sexual assault, weapons on campus or weather emergencies occur.
In addition, an outdoor public address system with speakers strategically located across the main campus will sound a siren in the event of an emergency. If the siren is ever activated, individuals are advised to check their devices (cell phones, tablets, etc.) for details. Also, more than 40 Code Blue emergency phones are located throughout the campus and its perimeter that allow anyone to instantly contact University Police with the touch of a button.
A safe environment for students is one of the reasons Southeastern has seen significant growth in its new student population recently, according to Director of Enrollment Services Lori Fairburn.
“More and more we are hearing parents and incoming students express the importance of attending a university and area that are known for safety,” said Fairburn. Southeastern experienced a 14.4 percent increase in new freshmen this fall.