As if it weren’t tough enough to send your student off to school each year, it is common to worry whether the protection, resources, and security is sufficient enough throughout Oxford. As a current student, I can say that UPD and OPD give 110% to keeping this town as safe as they possibly can. They are on duty 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. They work overtime when it comes to football games and college parties. They give several presentations regarding resources and procedures to students and I see patrol cars around campus almost every time I walk to my classes. But what happens if the worst-case scenario were to happen? It is a discussion my parents had with me and something every student should be made aware of.
Ole Miss is touted as one of the safest college campuses in the SEC. Here are some of the resources they offer to deserve this recognition:
If you have taken a tour around the Ole Miss campus, you may have noticed short blue towers throughout campus with blue buttons in the middle of them. These are what the University calls “Code Blue Buttons” and are placed strategically throughout campus where students may need them the most. Click here to see their locations. All the student has to do is press it, and emergency assistance will be provided to them ASAP.
If your student is in a compromising situation where they need to be more discrete than pressing a giant blue button, the Live Safe app is available. If they don’t already have this app – please advise them to download it asap! The app allows students to report suspicious activity, be monitored while walking home when they feel unsafe and gives access to multiple sources of emergency contacts through out Oxford. Click here to learn more about the Live Safe app.
After Freshman year, it is common for your student to take the step from living on campus to moving into their first apartment. Though most apartment complexes are located only a short distance from campus, several still take separate measures from the University when it comes to security. A couple of examples are:
The Hub: Every night the Hub as a courtesy officer that stays until 1am Sunday through Wednesday and 3am Thursday through Saturday. This officer patrols the complexes premises making sure that the residents are safe and that no rules are being broken. They also have an on-call staff that is ready to help residents whether they are locked out of their room or if they have to report suspicious activity. Each apartment is also only accessible by a key that is given to residents and their roommates.
Cambridge Station:This apartment complex has a security guard on site 24/7. If there is ever an issue at one of the buildings or if any resident feels unsafe, the guard is available to help.
Uncommon:Not only does every building and unit entrance require a key FOB for entry, but the elevators also will not go above the first floor without scanning your key as well. They have a system at the front of the building that residents can use to 'buzz' guests in through an app on their phone, it even shows the guests face through a FaceTime-like setup. The gated parking garage also requires a separate key to enter, regardless of whether you are going through the stairs or the gate.
Several Oxford apartment complexes have some kind of safety measures similar to these. I also remember that when I lived in an apartment sophomore year, I would often see and OPD patrol car drive through weekdays and weekends to check for suspicious activity. As a 19- year-old girl with female roommates, this was extremely comforting for me and my parents.
Overall, Ole Miss does everything it can for students to be able to say “I feel safe here” -but no college is perfect. It is essential to have a conversation with your student about safety measures and what their plans would be in case various of emergencies. In the meantime, make sure they have a safe ride home, download the LiveSafe app, and read these tips from UPD to protect themselves against various crimes.