UTK Scores an ‘A’ on Reader’s Digest Safety Report

KNOXVILLE — The University of Tennessee has scored an “A” in a special report on campus safety done by Reader’s Digest magazine.

“Safe at School?” — which surveyed 135 colleges and universities nationwide — will be published in the March 2008 issue of the magazine, which goes on sale at newsstands on Feb. 19, and is now available online at www.rd.com.

“Keeping our campus safe is an ongoing issue. We’re constantly evaluating and reevaluating what’s needed,” said UT Police Chief August Washington. “It’s impossible to eliminate crime, but it’s imperative that we continue to do everything we can to keep our faculty, staff and students from falling victim to crime.”

To compile its report, Reader’s Digest asked schools to complete a questionnaire about safety practices, including whether dormitories have cameras, full-time security, self-locking doors, smoke detectors and sprinklers. The survey also asked if the schools monitor their parking lots with cameras, whether blue light phones are used, what topics are covered during freshmen orientation, and whether the school has a mass emergency notification system. Information about size of the campus police force also was included.

Based on their responses, schools were given the grade of A, B or C.

Forty-five of the 135 colleges and universities surveyed received the grade “A.” Forty-six received the grade of “B” and 44 received the grade of “C.”

Aside from UT Knoxville, some of the other schools earning the grade “A” included Johns Hopkins University, the University of Kentucky, the University of Michigan, Florida State University, Loyola University in New Orleans and the University of Arkansas.

“Colleges are a reflection of our society,” said Peggy Northrop, Reader’s Digest editor-in-chief. “You don’t escape crime or other hazards when you head off to school. We hope with this article to help parents and students understand the facts and make informed choices.”


Contacts:
Amy Blakely, (865) 974-5034, amy.blakely@tennessee.edu