Photo By: wcupa.edu Public Safety
The 2022 Campus Safety and Fire Report states “the West Chester Borough Police Department routinely provides information to the University regarding incidents involving students residing or visiting within the Borough of West Chester or East Bradford Township. However, these external law enforcement agencies do this out of courtesy.” The page details further that they’re not required to notify or involve the WCU Police Department when they respond to a call involving private property.
The Federal Right-to-Know and Campus Security Act requires colleges and universities that receive Federal funds to make their security policies and the number of reported on-campus crimes public. According to NeighborhoodScout.com, West Chester campus itself is perfectly safe. However, directly off the campus property line is a different story.
I found within the 2021 Campus Security and Fire Safety Report that “a campus-wide “Timely Warning” will be issued for any Clery Act crime that gets reported to any Campus Security Authority or local police agency. A timely warning will also be issued in judgment of the Director of Public Safety if believed to be a serious or continuing threat to students and employees and occurs on or within the University’s Clery geography.” The Clery geography is defined as the core campus boundaries including university-owned or controlled property on campus, public property within or immediately adjacent to the campus, and in Clery designated non-campus properties.
Timely Warnings are issued for the following Uniform Crime Reporting Program (UCR)/National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) crime classifications:
- Aggravated assault
- Robbery involving force or violence
- Sexual assault
- Major incidents of arson
- Other Clery crimes are determined when necessary by the Director of Public Safety
WCU’s Policies and Procedures page has a variety of divisions, offices and services where you can find further information. Under “Security Services” and “Public Safety,” I found that security services only detail guest policies for the residence halls, and public safety includes drone policies. The two additional public safety tabs cover crisis response and emergency management. Essentially, these reiterate calling public safety, 911 or counseling services depending on the situation. However, the most notable information I found was at the bottom of the page.
While we shouldn’t need to consider it, there’s a possibility of danger entering any college campus.
Active shooters have been more active within K-12 schools, but college campuses are not immune. Michigan State University had an incident on Feb. 13 where an active shooter open-fired in two different buildings. West Chester University does detailed FAQs, preparedness videos and classroom safety instructions under “Public Safety.” On this end, I do see this as one of the most superior and thorough findings within my research into WCU’s safety, crime and procedures.
There are 14 state universities within the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, and it is difficult to compare all statistics for each of those in terms of crime and safety. However, Collegetransitions.com compiled data from 2018–2020 including all state universities and University of Pennsylvania.
Here you can find a West Chester Safety Survey to help us get a better understanding of how safe the student population feels: https://forms.gle/SU6gUaT6119D4iMu6
Sydney Troxel is a fourth-year media and culture major with dual minors in journalism and digital marketing. ST0935596@wcupa.edu