Study Names Tarleton Safest Texas College
Haley Barnett–Associate Producer
Tarleton was named the safest college in Texas according to a study conducted by Your Local Security. Tarleton was ranked highest among schools such as West Texas A&M, Stephen F. Austin, and Texas State University. The study was conducted with 41 different schools all with an enrollment of at least 5,000 students, two-year or four-year degree programs and available crime data.
“To evaluate the safety of Texas college campuses, we tallied campus hate crime and violence against women (VAWA) rates per the U.S. Department of Education’s Campus Safety and Security report,” the Your Local Security website said. “We also tallied violent and property crime rates in each college’s hometown per the FBI Uniform Crime Report, to give relevant context about the city where students may live and work while attending school.”
Campus hate crimes and violence against women weighed 80%, citywide violent crime 15% and citywide property crime 5%. This decrease in property crime is thought it be due to the fact more property owners are choosing to install Wireless smart alarm systems that deter burglars and vandalism. According to the website, “City crime trends were deemphasized to avoid holding colleges responsible for crimes outside their jurisdiction.”
“I am proud that we are number one, and I would love to stay in the top ten as long as I am here,” University Police Chief Matt Welch said. “There are a lot of things that are out of your control. You can’t control what happens, but you can try your best to prevent things and respond in an appropriate fashion.”
Welch says that the campus’ location in Stephenville is a huge factor to the high safety levels on campus.
“For the most part, I do feel very safe,” sophomore Agriculture Communication major Kaylan Chavers said. “It’s great knowing that the campus police are always so happy to help if something did seem unsafe.”
Tarleton PD does many things to help students feel safe on campus, such as safety escorts, after-hour building checks and Rape Aggression Defense (R.A.D.) classes.
Tarleton PD is giving away safety-related items, including a slide camera cover for laptops, a keychain whistle and card that tests to see if a drink has been drugged. These will be given away at the Tarleton Police Station or at campus events.
“I’m very happy and excited to get this recognition,” Welch said. “It was a team effort. We have some great people that work here, officers and support staff. I am glad we have students and faculty that help us do a good job. It’s a team effort, all of us, the whole university.”
Along with Welch, sophomore English major Sierra Dyson is excited about Tarleton’s safety status.
“I am so proud to be a part of Tarleton State University,” Dyson said. “The fact that they care about their students so much that they consistently promote safety on campus, means a lot to me. Therefore, being awarded the title of safest college campus in the state of Texas confirms that I chose the right place to go to school!”
To view the Your Local Security study, go to https://www.yourlocalsecurity.com/availability/tx and scroll to the bottom of the homepage.