Students report feeling safe on campus

The vast majority of Colorado State University students report that they feel safe on campus, and that the Colorado State University Police Department does an excellent job of maintaining safety on campus as well as interacting positively with students, according to a recent student opinion survey.A CSUPD officer interacts with students on campus.

Survey results specifically indicated that 97 percent of surveyed students felt safe or extremely safe on campus. More than 75 percent indicated that they had a mostly positive or positive overall impression of CSUPD.

“Serving on a campus police force offers CSUPD officers a greater opportunity to be a part of the community,” said CSUPD Chief Scott Harris. “We have a unique opportunity to partner with our community and proactively address crime and safety issues, and to create positive, educational relationships with young adults as they transition into adulthood.”

Survey identified students with CSUPD interaction

The survey, conducted by the university’s Department of Sociology, asked about 200 students via the phone up to 30 questions, depending upon responses.

The survey also identified that most students who had had a recent interaction with CSUPD felt very high or high satisfaction with the department’s professionalism (88 percent) and were satisfied overall with the experience (86 percent).

Other results indicate that 97 percent of students surveyed did not feel fearful of being a victim of crime while attending or spending time at any CSU campus.

Additional survey results indicate that students who experienced interactions with CSUPD felt that officers:
• listened to them (85 percent),
• were helpful (87 percent),
• answered their questions, (90 percent),
• were respectful (90 percent),
• were fair (85 percent),
• provided prompt service delivery (93 percent),
• and were knowledgeable (94 percent).

Insights for improvement offered, too

Several questions focused on student opinions about bike enforcement on campus, which, at the time of the survey, was primarily conducted by trained students in the Campus Security Officer program. Students no longer conduct bike enforcement. The survey as well as other information sources indicated that although students felt bike regulations were appropriate, they did not like being policed by their peers. Bike enforcement on campus is now carried out by fully sworn CSUPD officers.

Additional suggestions for improvement include increasing visibility across campus through patrols.

“I’m pleased with the results of the survey, and with what the results say about the continuing efforts of our officers when they are out across campus, serving our community,” Harris said. “While these responses are satisfying, we’ll continue to strive for excellence in all areas, and evaluate feedback from across campus regarding ways we can continually improve.”

In addition, the survey gathered comments about the need for increased lighting across campus, which is infrastructure overseen by Facilities Management. CSUPD coordinates an annual Walk of Lights across campus that involves employees who identify areas where lights need maintenance or increased lighting is needed. Facilities Management has also been made aware of survey comments regarding specific areas of campus that may need assessment. Facilities Management anticipates that some areas mentioned in the survey will be resolved as multiple construction sites wrap up and buildings are completed this spring, summer and fall, beginning as soon as next month.

The survey was conducted by Sociology Prof. Prabha Unnithan and three of his Ph.D. students, Chris Moloney, Jeb Potterf and Ian Greenwood. It consisted of a phone survey randomly targeting 800 CSU students who were called by nine trained undergraduate sociology majors who were supervised by the survey researchers.

Funding for the study was provided by CSU’s Public Safety Team and the Division of University Operations.