Despite urban area, AU students and staff feel safe

Emergency blue light towers stand throughout American University Northwest Washington, D.C. campus and offer an extra l

An American University staffer walks by an emergency tower on campus.

An American University staffer walks by an emergency tower on campus. Photo credit Jordyn Fields.

ayer of safety and protection, but many interviewed on campus this month said they feel completely safe.

“I think on certain campuses safety is an issue but not here,” said 20-year-old Cristina Tejada, sitting at the campus Starbucks. “I feel safe on AU’s campus.”

Almost a dozen students and staff this week said crime is not one of their major concerns at American University. But nationwide, in 2014, 50,000 criminal offenses took place on college campuses, according to the U.S. Department of Education Campus Safety and Security website.

Crimes at American University’s campus have ranged from bike theft and burglary to alcohol violations and aggravated assault, according to the Public Safety website.

Incoming college first-year students at American are given tips and guidelines about staying safe in college. Tips include using the “buddy system,” getting home early, and knowing where those blue emergency towers are.

“It’s better to start with the individual because there’s such a good campus security presence,” said Denise Paolella, who works at American.

Campus police patrol cars circle campus.The school also offers a self defense class.

“I didn’t have a lot of concerns about campus safety,” said 42-year-old Joy Adams, who now works on campus. While she was a college student in Texas she said, “I was mindful of my environment by making sure I didn’t walk in dark place on my own.”