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NIU ranked among ‘50 Safest Large University Campuses’

November 7, 2016 has named Northern Illinois University to its list of the 50 Safest Large Colleges and Universities in America.

“With self-defense classes, late night transportation services, 24/7 patrol and a police department that staffs over 50 officers who are medically trained and have advanced law enforcement experience, safety at Northern Illinois University is a constant priority,” the college-information website noted in its NIU safety synopsis. “Further, the school provides its students an array of advocacy services that cover everything from health to Greek life.”

NIU President Doug Baker welcomed the news, saying it validated efforts across the campus to ensure the well-being of students. “When we say that the safety of our students is our top priority, we mean it, so it is gratifying to see those efforts recognized,” Baker said.

CollegeChoice examined the safety records of hundreds of large college and university campuses nationwide, utilizing a methodology that examined a comprehensive set of factors. The information evaluated included three years of campus crime reports and five years of data pertaining to drug and alcohol incidents. The website also specifically looked at hate crimes and did an analysis of crimes reported under the Violence Against Women Act (domestic and dating violence, stalking and sexual assault).   

After studying those numbers, College Choice concluded the statistics at NIU painted a picture of a safe campus. “Their safety reports in the last three years are pocked with only minor crime incidents,” the site reported.

Overall, NIU ranked 45th on the CollegeChoice list, one notch ahead of Harvard University. NIU was the only university in Illinois to be ranked in the top 50.

Two other MidAmerican Conference Schools, Akron and Central Michigan University, also were among the “50 Safest.” Other notable institutions on the list were Arizona State, Auburn, Iowa State, Texas A&M and Brigham Young.

NIU Chief of Police Tom Phillips said that the ranking was gratifying, especially because it looked at safety in such a comprehensive manner.

“We try to take a proactive approach to policing,” Phillips said. “We are dedicated to providing solid safety education programs that create a culture of awareness. This award illustrates our commitment to building relationships and establishing trust throughout campus, and it demonstrates our proficiency in responding to crime when it occurs.”

More information on safety at NIU is available in the university’s most recent Annual Safety and Security Report.