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Mar 14, 2017 11:52 AM EDT

Campus Safety: Questions Every Parent Should Ask - Part 1

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Aside from the cost of tuition, housing and textbooks, campus safety is another important factor to know about a student's prospective college or university. Parents should do their research on how safe a certain higher education institution is since they are sending their kids there for a few years.

Concerns about the safety of American campuses have heightened due to reports of increasing violence in these institutions. More and more sexual abuse survivors have spoken up against rape on campus while racism as well as several protests on controversial speakers have become rampant and violent.

According to U.S. News, colleges and universities are required by federal law to design standard protocols for several campus safety concerns. Parents and students can check a school's annual security report on the institution's official website to find data on crime, disciplinary actions and campus safety policies.

The publication noted that parents and students will need to do their research on a prospective school's campus safety policies. Here are a few questions you should ask.

"What is the college doing to cultivate a safe campus?"

Check out the school's programs, specifically on campus safety. Are they keeping up with the issues at hand? Are they making the safety of the people inside the campus their priority? Experts believe that colleges and universities need the heightened awareness of parents and students so that they will make safety a priority.

"How does the school communicate with students in an emergency?"

With social media, colleges and universities have a lot of tools at their disposal to communicate with students. Parents should also check whether a prospective institution has a plan that allows them to alert students in cases of emergencies where there is no access to cellphones or the Internet.

Does the school have its own security team or work with city or county police off-campus?

It's important to know who is providing security for the students in campus. A campus security team should be trained in responding to disorder, supporting the fire department, providing first aid and providing initial support.

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