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Ashland University ranked 30th safest college town

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Ashland, OH was recently ranked as the 30th safest college town out of 50 cities in the United States.

According to a university press release, Ashland was deemed the ranking by a company called Safewise. The company focuses on home security systems with a mission of keeping communities safe.

According to President Campo, the data that Safewise collected was publicly available information.

“Although Ashland University did not have to provide any figures for this evaluation, the university is required to report any crimes to the federal government and post them,” Campo said.

This indicates that AU’s campus did have an impact on the ranking.

“Safewise focused more on violent crimes,” Campo said. “But sexual assault was taken into the safety considerations.”

The relationship between the Ashland community and the university is a work in progress.

“We are trying to do even more to align the town and the university, particularly around service and safety,” Campo said.

The community plays a role in the safety of Ashland University students.

“AU’s number one priority, beyond educating students, is to keep them safe,” Campo said, “if we do not, nothing else matters.”

Safety is an important issue on many college campuses.

“Even here in Ashland we have to be diligent about these things because one safety incident is one too many for us,” Campo said.

He expressed the importance of campus safety, stating that “it is everyone’s business.”

The Safewise ranking mentioned that AU’s Associate Professor of Educational Administration, Dr. Amy Klinger, is a “national school safety expert, and she co-founded the Educator’s School Safety Network.”

“We are very lucky to have her and are looking to possibly develop a center around safety that she would help lead,” Campo said.

According to the Safewise ranking, Ashland “boasts abundant civic pride and friendly community spirit.”

“We want to promote this achievement,” Campo said, “because parents mention that safety is among one of their top five considerations when choosing a school.”

Campo said that when compared to other institutions in the Ohio area “we are always among the lowest in terms of reported crime.”

Senior, Social Work major, Marissa Johnson recognizes the importance of safety on campus as an RA for Clark Hall.

“It is amazing that we ranked so high,” Johnson said. “A lot of things can happen on college campuses.”

RA safety training consists of being given information about Safety Services, such as the number to call and the hours of operation.

Johnson also said that they were recently updated on the new safety app for Ashland University, Campus Shield.

“I do believe it is a fairly safe campus,” Johnson said. She suggested that this could be because of the isolation from bigger cities like Cleveland or Columbus.

Johnson also noted that the lighting in parking lots could be brighter. However, she has appreciation for Safety Services and the ability to get an escort if needed.

Both Campo and Johnson stressed the significance of Campus Shield.

“We want students to know that if they see something, it is safe for them to share,” Campo said.

The app has the means to give an anonymous tip about an incident that may occur, request a safety escort, call an emergency number, and provides campus resources.

Another feature of Campus Shield is the ability to notify friends if you have been gone for longer than the predicted time of the activity you are doing.

The app is free to download on any smartphone or you can call Safety Services with any problems that may arise at 419-207-5555.

 

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