Safety in Numbers
Kennesaw State ranked among nation’s top 50 safest large universities
KENNESAW, Ga. (Nov 10, 2016) — With the evenings growing darker, staying safe is a concern for many within the campus community, but the success of several safety initiatives is proving that Kennesaw State continues to persevere as a safe campus.
The University was recently ranked among the top 50 safest large universities in America, by CollegeChoice.net, an independent online publication dedicated to helping students and their families find the right college. The annual ranking named Kennesaw State as 27th.
The rankings reflect campus safety issues, including the rates of discrimination, a strong Violence Against Women Act presence and a number of programs and services that maintain the holistic wellness of students, according to CollegeChoice. Low rates of crime against women and minorities, low fire incidences and low numbers of drug and alcohol incidences were also key factors in the ranking.
“Kennesaw State prides itself on its commitment to a community-oriented policing philosophy. It’s the responsibility of the community and police department to work together to ensure a safer campus,” said Roger Stearns, chief of police and assistant vice president of public safety. “To facilitate the ease of reporting criminal and suspicious activity to police, we must leverage the advantage of technology.”
One of the newest tools for making the campus a safer place for students, faculty, staff and visitors is already in their pockets. LiveSafe, a campus safety mobile application, rolled out to the Kennesaw State campus a year ago.
“It is definitely comforting to know the LiveSafe app is available and active for students to use,” said Jessica Stewart, a communications major who serves as a resident assistant on the Kennesaw Campus. “I am glad the university is taking a step in the right direction to enhance students’ safety. We’re on our on phones all the time anyway, so having another app for our safety can’t hurt.”
Since its launch, more than 3,600 Kennesaw State users have downloaded the free app. Its features include the ability to report safety issues, such as a broken utility light, provide tips about suspicious activity, and have friends walk users home virtually.
“LiveSafe is like having a panic button at your fingertips,” said Stearns. He explained that when a suspicious activity tip is reported, a chat can be established to clarify the exact nature of the suspicion, which is passed on to the responding officer. Pictures can be sent to help in these situations, too, he added.
Over the past year, 100 emergency calls and more than 400 tips have come to the KSU Police via the LiveSafe app. Ninety-six percent of users engage with the chat feature, which allows tipsters to communicate directly with KSU public safety officials via text as an incident occurs.
Another popular feature is the app’s SafeWalk, which allows user to contact a family member or friend who can watch them virtually walk to their destination. More than 1,500 users, including students like Stewart, benefit from this unique feature.
“I don’t drive, so I use the SafeWalk feature with my friends and family,” said Shannon Wells, of Kennesaw. “My family is very safety oriented, so it’s a great app to make sure everyone is OK.”
The 45-year old says that the one-tap feature for non-emergency calls is also very beneficial. Although not a Kennesaw State student, Wells lives and works nearby and was able to notify police of suspicious activity when someone was rummaging through the parking lot looking in cars.
“Imagine walking by a broken window, hole in a storm grate or a light out in a parking lot,” Stearns said. “With the LiveSafe app, KSU’s campus community can easily and immediately send in a tip that will then be sent to the appropriate department to have the issues fixed.”
To learn more about KSU’s campus safety initiatives, read more in the Kennesaw State Magazine.
A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers more than 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 35,000 students. With 13 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the third-largest university in the state. The university's vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 92 countries across the globe. A Carnegie-designated doctoral institution, it is one of the 50 largest public institutions in the country. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.