Slippery Rock ranks as 11th safest college town

Published by adviser, Author: Haley Barnes - News Editor , Date: September 17, 2015

Slippery Rock was recently named the 11th safest college town in the United States by SafeWise.

According to Elli Bishop, head of the company’s outreach, SafeWise is a Utah based community-focused security organization committed to increasing safety education, awareness and preparedness.

“We help our users compare security options in an informative and pressure-free environment, so they can make the choice that’s right for their family,” Bishop said.

The list was comprised of 50 different college towns from all over the United States.

Bishop explained that in order to comprise the list, the company looked at a list of all accredited four-year universities and colleges along with the towns and cities that correlate with each of those schools.

“Then we paired up each town with the most recent crime data as released by the FBI,” she said. “The crime data includes both violent crimes  and property crimes.”

Violent crimes included murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault. Property crimes included burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft and arson.

“We also gathered population data for each town and we filtered out all towns below 10,000 residents,” she explained. “From there, we also used the population data to calculate the average crimes per 1,000 residents in order to level the playing field between cities with varying population sizes. Finally, we sorted each city according to their crime rates from lowest to highest and ranked them accordingly.”

The list explains that The Women’s Center at SRU partners with VOICe, the Victim Outreach Intervention Center of Butler County, in order to train student advocates to work with victims of sexual assault. This partnership helps promote student safety on campus and around the town of Slippery Rock.

SRU SGA President Logan Steigerwalt explained that the Happy Bus has helped the Slippery Rock community immensely with safety. He said it is a safe option for students who are traveling at night to use.

“As the SGA, we like to advocate for the best interest of the students,” he said. “Safety is a huge concern and we want to make sure that we help provide the safest environment.

SGA advocates at the Slippery Rock Borough and Township meetings on behalf of the SRU student body.

“Recently, the lack of lighting and sidewalks from Kiester to the Grove has been brought to our attention and we are currently making a big push for something to be done,” he said. “As it stands now, it is very dangerous for pedestrians and drivers at night due to the very low visibility.”

Clarion, Pennsylvania ranked 17th, Millersville, Pennsylvania ranked 22nd and California, Pennsylvania ranked 29th. These three cities along with Slippery Rock house four universities that are part of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE). These four universities were the only universities to make the list out of all 14 PASSHE universities.

President of Millersville University John Anderson explained that the Millersville campus recently adopted an app called “LiveSafe” to their campus. He said that the app helps ensure student safety on campus and in town.

“Users have the ability to keep their friends safe by virtually walking them to their destination, request a safety escort from University Police, or be tracked via GPS in the event of an emergency,” he said. “It also facilitates discreet and risk-free bystander intervention.”

Director of Public Relations at California University Christine Kindl explained that safety is a priority at California.

“Both students and employees can use the emergency call boxes on campus, or register to receive text-message alerts should an emergency arise,” she said. “And beginning at new-student orientation, we talk with students about making smart choices that can help to keep themselves and their property safe.”

South Dakota Stated University (SDSU) in Brookings, South Dakota ranked as the safest college town in the United States. According to the list, SDSU has a Behavioral Intervention Team that addresses potential threats to the community and the Brookings Police Department features initiatives like an LGBT Liaison. Brookings, South Dakota also ranks 12th on SafeWise’s “100 Safest Cities in America.”

For full list, visit


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