Sure, the University of Texas at Austin is currently ranked by some online lists as one of the best universities in Texas, but is it safe for students?
A new study by education data site Niche compiled a ranking of the state’s 60 safest college campuses using the most recent data available from students and the U.S. Department of Education. The study ranked the universities based on reported campus and local crime rates and reported alcohol, drug and sexual assault arrest rates.
UT Austin’s campus is ranked 49th out of 60, but that ranking is a bit misleading. According to the findings, there are no reported crimes per 1,000 students; no reported residence hall date violence incidents per 1,000 students; no reported residence hall rapes per 1,000 students; and only one instance each of drug and alcohol-related arrests per 1,000 students. And these studies only take into account reported events and can’t calculate how students feel currently (just yesterday a town hall was held on the school’s supposed toleration of racism and discrimination.)
Texas Southern University, in last place, only had one crime reported, one alcohol-related arrest and two drug-related arrests.
Compare those rankings to Baylor University, at No. 35, with a student-reported safety ranking of 4/5, a local crime rate grade of C+, and no reported instances of residence hall date violence incidents or reported residence hall rapes. Baylor has been embroiled in sexual assault scandals, and recent court filings say head football coach Art Briles and his staff cast a blind eye toward players’ misbehavior and allegedly tried to sweep sexual assaults and other criminal deeds under the rug.
It’s also worth noting that 90 percent of all sexual assault victims on college campuses do not report the assault, and 63 percent of sexual assaults are not reported to police, according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.
Also, the University of Houston-Victoria landed at No. 31, but as a former Victoria resident, I wouldn’t feel safe walking alone at night on some of those streets where those residential areas are located. So the rankings are all relative, it seems. The best bet for everyone is to always keep an eye out for your safety at all times.
Other University of Texas campuses landed on the lists, including the medical branch in Galveston (No. 12), UT-Dallas (No. 16), UT-El Paso (No. 21), UT-Rio Grande Valley (No. 27), UT-Permian Basin (No. 29), UT-San Antonio (No. 44), and UT-Arlington (No. 53).