Benedictine ranked safest campus in Illinois among four-year institutions

Benedictine ranked safest campus in Illinois among four-year institutions
December 9, 2011

Phil Brozynski
(630) 829-6094
pbrozynski@ben.edu

Benedictine police AUG2011Lisle, Illinois ~ You would not expect to find much crime in the cornfields of west central Illinois or among the sprawling prairies of eastern Illinois.

But according to StateUniversity.com, you are just as safe in Lisle as you are in some of the remotest regions of the Land of Lincoln.

StateUniversity.com, a leading website for college information, has released a new ranking of the safest colleges and universities in the United States. Benedictine University was ranked 34th in the nation and fifth in Illinois -- but tops among the state's four-year colleges and universities – based on a study of statistics provided in 2010.

The results did not surprise officials at Benedictine University, which is one of only 10 colleges and universities in Illinois with its own fully-empowered police department.

"We address safety in order for our students can study and learn without concern and preoccupation of safety," said Marco Masini, Associate Vice President for Student Life. "Parents appreciate our proactive initiatives so their son and daughters can earn their diplomas at Benedictine University."

StateUniversity.com analyzed crime statistics for 450 colleges and universities and assigned a safety rating to each school. Safety ratings are determined based on the number of occurrences of major crimes on campus, and then are weighed based on the probability of each incident happening to each student since larger campuses would be expected to have a higher number ofincidents.

Violent crime is given more weight in the ranking system, and has a greater effect on the safety rating than non-violent crime such as theft.

Lake Land College, a community college in Mattoon, Ill., south of Champaign and west of Terra Haute, Ind., was rated the safest campus in Illinois with a 99.60 rating. Black Hawk College, a community college near the Quad Cities, was ranked second at 97.96.

The next three schools in Illinois -- Oakton Community College, Moraine Valley Community College and Benedictine University – were separated by just .06 points. 

Benedictine University Police Chief Michael Salatino said that maintaining a strong presence on campus serves as a deterrent and a warning to potential troublemakers.

"Maintaining a visible presence on campus sends a strong message to external influences that Benedictine University is in control of its property," he said. "Being proactive and utilizing Intelligence Based Policing helps to identify potential vulnerable areas on campus. Our resources can then applied to ensure a safe environment."

Benedictine University also instituted a Safe Campus initiative, a collaborative effort among students, faculty, staff and the Benedictine Police, which relies partly on some self-policing by the University community and often leads to tips on potential acts of misconduct.

"This same initiative makes the University Police more accessible to our campus community by building relationships and trust," Salatino said. "This is a winning combination for success."

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Benedictine University is an independent Roman Catholic institution located in Lisle, Illinois just 25 miles west of Chicago. Founded in 1887, Benedictine provides 56 undergraduate majors, 16 graduate and four doctorate programs. The Chronicle of Higher Education recently ranked Benedictine University as the seventh fastest-growing campus among private nonprofit master’s universities, and Forbes magazine named Benedictine among the top 20 percent of America’s colleges for 2011. Benedictine University’s Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program is listed by Crain’s Chicago Business as the fourth largest in the Chicago area in 2011.