BYU-Idaho was ranked the 23rd safest campus out of 450 campuses in the U.S. by stateuniversity.com.
Colleges and universities are ranked for campus safety on a scale that accounts for severity and frequency of crime, according to stateuniversity.com.
“In my opinion, I feel safe here because we’re on a campus that is dedicated and protected by God,” said Katie Spjute, a freshman studying psychology.
Garth Gunderson, the director of Security and Safety at BYU-I, said 80 to 90 percent of crimes at BYU-I are thefts.
“The most common items stolen are backpacks and bicycles,” he said.
BYU-I reported 13 cases of burglary in 2013, the most recent available report, according to the U.S. Department of Education.
Brenden Stuart, a senior studying business management, said he feels safe and secure because of the standards that students are held to on campus.
Gunderson said he thinks BYU-I has one of the best student bodies in the country.
He said he thinks the student body makes a big difference in the overall safety of the students on campus.
Compared to other campuses in Idaho, BYU-I has the least amount of sexual offenses, according to stateuniversity.com.
In 2013, there were no reports of sexual offenses or aggravated assault at BYU-I, according to the U.S. Department of Education.
More than 500 registered sex offenders live within Rexburg and the surrounding counties, according to idaho.gov.
Kayla Wawro, a senior majoring in international studies said, “That freaks me out. I had no idea.”
Sex offenders in Idaho are registered for what the courts determine as qualifying offenses, including rape, according to idaho.gov.
“It’s also kind of scary to think that even in a place (BYU-Idaho) that is dedicated, there are things like that out there,” Spjute said.
Gunderson said that if a rape occurs, it needs to be reported as soon as possible.
“In order to investigate a rape, there are some time-sensitive evidence that needs to be collected by medical professionals,” Gunderson said. “It’s important not to delay. The sooner that can happen, the better. We encourage all victims to contact the Rexburg Police Department.”
Gunderson said that in the majority of sexual assault cases, the victim is somebody the assailant knows, such as a friend or family member.
RAD (Rape Aggression Defense) classes are offered at BYU-I, according to the Student Activities Web page.
“We have a number of instructors for that course,” Gunderson said. “It’s an excellent course; it’s a block, one-credit class and is offered every semester.”
Gunderson said campus security works 24 hours a day, with their primary focus being at night when most crimes are expected to take place.
“The best thing that we’ve been able to do to prevent having your property stolen is that we promote locking your apartment,” Gunderson said. “A lot of thefts occur when people walk into an unlocked apartment and nobody’s home.”
Gunderson said that when a student reports a crime to the Rexburg Police Department, they should notify campus security of that report through email.
Campus security can then work with the Rexburg Police Department by providing them with surveillance footage from their security cameras.
The email address for campus security is firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We work hand-in-hand with the Rexburg Police Department,” Gunderson said. “We feed them the information on who was there and try to identify the person who walked off with the laptop, coat, backpack or whatever it was.”
Gunderson said students should be cautious, but not paranoid.
“Be aware of your circumstances, and don’t do anything dumb,” Gunderson said.