Poll shows people believe Virginia's college campuses are safe - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Poll shows people believe Virginia's college campuses are safe

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

The majority of Virginians believe the state's college campuses are safe, according to a new VCU poll.

Pollsters interviewed 827 adults over a week and found many also believe universities can't do anything to prevent violent crimes from happening in the first place.

UVa-alum Rebecca Aarons-Sydnor agrees with the 80% of Virginians who believe the Commonwealth's college campuses are safe.

"Now you have cell phones, campus alerts and most of the buildings have card readers," said Aarons-Sydnor. "Overall, I think they're safe."

Aarons-Sydnor is also a parent and hopes her son will one day choose a Virginia college.

She says safety is a factor but not a deal breaker when choosing a college and she isn't alone.

According to a VCU press release, "41 percent of respondents said that the issue of campus safety would affect the decision of whether to attend a particular college or university a great deal."

A staggering 56 percent responded that no matter what universities do, they can't prevent violent crimes. Though some respondents say, certain steps can help prevent crime.

One way, is education, said Aarons-Syndor.

"A big thing is education. You should stay in groups, not walk alone late at night, be aware of your surroundings."

The VCU poll also shows where people live in the Commonwealth affected their answers. Northern Virginia had the most optimistic outlook on safety of college campuses while those in the Tidewater area were the least optimistic.

For a PDF of the 10-page report including complete question wording and detailed tables of results see http://www.CommonwealthPoll.vcu.edu/poll_data.htm.

Copyright 2013 WWBT NBC12.  All rights reserved.

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