George Mason University

News at Mason

Mason ranked No. 12 in ‘safest campus’ survey, more safety features on the way

July 5, 2017   /   by Buzz McClain

George Mason University is the 12th safest campus in the country according to Alarms.org, the official website of the National Council for Home Safety and Security, a Washington, D.C.-based trade association representing the home safety industry.

Alarms.org created the ranking using data provided by the schools, the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting and the National Center for Education Statistics. Of 2,000 schools studied, 100 were ranked in order, with George Mason placing 12th overall.

“This ranking showcases Mason’s collaborative and holistic approach to make campus safety a top priority,” said Julie Zobel, assistant vice president for Safety, Emergency, and Enterprise Risk Management at Mason.

Partners in campus safety include the Environmental Health and Safety Office, the Department of Police and Public Safety, Title IX experts and offices in University Life.

In 2016, Mason established the Student Support and Advocacy Center, which offers one-on-one support, interactive programming and on- and off-campus resources in the areas of healthy relationships, stress management, nutrition, sexual assault and other life issues.

Mason also has close partnerships with nearby off-campus law enforcement and emergency responders.

Zobel said that Mason is making these safety improvements:

  • Membership in local task forces: The Department of Police and Public Safety has joined the Joint Terrorism Task Force and the Fairfax County Narcotic Task Force to enhance relationships with local law enforcement partners.
  • Safety orientation video (summer 2017): Increases awareness and community engagement and focuses on campus safety, student rights and how to be an active member of a safe community.
  • The Rave Guardian Mobile App (fall 2017): Allows users to create their own network of peers, family and campus safety professionals and provides a “virtual escort” feature, an emergency call button and an anonymous crime reporting feature.
  • Outdoor speaker system (fall 2017): The system will allow emergency managers to broadcast real-time emergency messaging when there is an active threat or a severe weather warning at the Fairfax Campus.
  • Three new police K-9s (fall 2017): Two police dogs and their handlers will be trained in narcotics detection. A dog trained to detect explosives will join the force later in the academic year.
  • Additional campus police officers (fall 2017): Ten additional officers have been added to the police force, an expansion of 30 percent.