A Secure Life recently ranked the the University of Wisconsin– La Crosse as the 10th most secure college campus in the country.
The campus is 128 acres and has around 10,000 undergraduate students.
For Lisa Weston, the Assistant Director of Residence Life, the ranking goes hand -in-hand with how students feel.
“It confirms something that our students have told us for a long time,” said Weston. “That they feel pretty safe on-campus, especially living on-campus, they feel really safe.”
UW-L has a full-time police force and emergency call boxes throughout campus. They also have added security inside each residence hall.
“We have front desks in every residence hall and so the students that work at those front desks get to know pretty quickly who should and shouldn’t be in the residence halls,” said Weston.
Jordan Sazama, a sophomore at UW-L, is one of those desk assistants. He works at Eagle Hall, one of the larger residence halls on-campus.
“I do feel really safe on campus, no matter if it’s 10 o’clock in the morning or 10 o’clock at night,” said Sazama.
Weston says that one factor that makes the university such a safe place to be at, is how much of a close-knit community everyone is.
“We want students to connect with each other,” said Weston. “We want them, when they’re living in the residence halls to get to know the people who are around them. And so when they get to know people (officers, staff, faculty, their neighbors) then they also know when something is different, when something is off.”
The school also takes additional measures to keep students safe at night.
“Past 10 o’clock no one without an ID can get in, so that helps the security of this building and every building on-campus,” Sazama said.
The ranking took into account property crime as well, something UW-L focuses on. Campus police work hard to ensure that students’ bikes aren’t stolen.
“They have a bike bait program and they do a lot of educating of students to figure out how to use a proper bike lock, how to register your bike in the city, so that if it was stolen it can be recovered,” Weston said.
Additionally, the school encourages students to lock their dorms and to never lend out an ID. Weston says they also have plans to add more cameras to the exterior of buildings over the next few months to prevent crime.