Business Insider names BYU safest campus in United States

Elliott Miller
BYU Sgt. Ryan Judd surveys campus. BYU was named the safest campus by Business Insider. (Elliott Miller)

Business Insider recently named BYU as the safest college campus in the United States.

Business Insider used data collected from the school review site Niche, which rates college campuses from one to five in different categories like health and safety. BYU has an overall grade of A+ or 4.5 stars. The news, however, is not surprising to students.

BYU sophomore Brendan Smith said he was not surprised in the slightest about the news.

“Shocker,” Smith said. “I posted the article on Facebook and kind of got the same response from everyone, even from people who didn’t go to BYU.”

BYU senior Caroline Macfarlane said she expected the news as well. She grew up in Provo in a house just a block from campus.

“I don’t think It is surprising to me,” Macfarlane said. “BYU is a crazy-safe campus and growing up near BYU, I have always felt really safe.”

University Police has made a commitment to keep students safe with things like the Safewalks program and Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) classes.

Lt. Arnold Lemmon has been a campus officer for 37 years, and said he has seen the success of these programs in action.

“Our RAD program is our most successful protection program,” Lemmon said. “Our goal is to harden the target and teach skills and proactivity to students. Without fail, the signups for this class always fill up.”

University Police’s 2015 Clery Report showed there isn’t much crime on campus. There have only been four reported hate crimes in the past four years.

“Fifty percent of reported crimes that happen are not committed by students,” Lemmon said. “They are usually people that prey on the trusting nature of the students, especially incoming freshmen.”

Another reason behind BYU’s safety is the people that come onto campus, according to Macfarlane.

“I think it’s the people,” Macfarlane said. “Everyone is really friendly and I feel safe walking around campus.”

Lemmon also attributes BYU’s low crime rate to the Honor Code.

“The Honor Code plays a huge part,” Lemmon said. “Other universities may have 20-to-30 arrests every football game. Here, we may get half a dozen in the entire season.”

He said the low crime rate doesn’t mean students should fall complacent; crime still happens on campus.

“We can’t accurately report on crime if it is not reported,” Lemmon said. “Officers have lots of experience, but that doesn’t really mean anything unless a crime happens to you.”

University Police urges students to keep safe by following the Honor Code and remembering that students can take responsibility for their personal safety and property. Lemmon said by doing this, BYU campus can remain the nation’s safest.

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