Students Speak: How safe do students feel on campus during the day and at night?

For many students, the Institute can sometimes feel like an oasis  in the middle of Atlanta where they can live and learn in a relatively low-crime environment.

With both the Georgia Tech Police Department (GTPD) and the Atlanta Police Department (APD) working to ensure the security of students at all times, students often have a sense of protection during daylight hours. At night, however, it is still important to maintain constant vigilance.

Generally speaking, the large variety of safety measures that have been implemented on campus have strengthened the confidence of many students when it comes to their feelings about safety.

“I feel safer here on campus than I do anywhere else in Atlanta. The cops are everywhere which also makes me feel pretty safe,” said Ryan Kelly, a third-year NRE major.

The issue of safety on campus during the day is different from safety on campus at night, however, when there are fewer people around and the darkness makes it easier for criminals to commit crime. In this sense, many students feel more wary at night and the safety measures provided for them on campus are most appreciated.

“I feel safe on campus. I walk late at night a lot so I really like the emergency call button.  It makes me feel safe, especially when I walk from east to west campus, which I do a lot.  I rarely use the Stingerette, though,” said Lillian Ayala, a first-year ARCH major.

Which part of campus students are on also makes a difference on how secure they feel. While there are many wide-open and vacant pathways on west campus where students could feel vulnerable, the proximity of east campus to comparatively risky areas near North Avenue and Centennial Olympic Park has also created an incentive for students to err on the side of caution.

“As long as in I’m in well-lit areas around campus, especially the center of campus, I feel very safe. When I’m on the outskirts of west campus, though, I usually walk with a group,” said Sarah Moseley, a second-year PSY student.

For others, thanks to the presence of multiple options for easily-accessible transportation as an alternative for traversing campus on foot after dark, as well as resources for contacting GTPD quickly and efficiently in emergency situations, getting from one place to another has become less daunting for students.

“During the day, I feel completely safe on campus.  At night I feel safe just knowing that we have the midnight trolley and the Stingerette and the emergency buttons that call the police. I haven’t had to use any of the buttons yet but it makes me feel safe just  knowing that they are there,” said Sara Khalek, a second-year BME major.

Campus safety isn’t just limited to safety outdoors. There are a variety of security measures, such as the requirement of scanning a BuzzCard to get inside a building after a certain time, that are help maintaining the safety of students in their dormitories, apartments and research buildings after-hours.

Most buildings lock automatically after a certain time to ensure that unwanted visitors cannot get in. Facilities like the library have even installed  electronic gates that must be tapped with a valid campus ID for entry, which are in use in the Campus Recreation Center (CRC) for security purposes as well.

“It makes me feel safe to know that there is a lot of security in all of the buildings,” said Shalini Pandya, a second-year BME student.

Despite occasional thefts, Tech campus remains a safe environment at large and the most serious crimes have been kept to a minimum due to the security measures and safety initiatives available.

Ultimately, making wise choices is an effective way to ensure a safe experience at Tech, day or night. Protecting oneself is often a personal responsibility.

“I feel safe all the time during the day, but also at night. I see cop cars around all the time and I know their presence is there, which is reassuring.  The Stingerette service is there, too, but I haven’t used it yet.  You just have to be smart about being out at night and there shouldn’t be any issues with safety,” said Matt Todaro, a first-year PHYS major.