Overall, Penn State is a very safe campus. The students tend to get a bad rap when a high profile crime occurs, like a sexual assault or a fight involving an athlete. But when you consider there are over 40,000 students here, plus hundreds of visitors each weekend, the number of crimes is miniscule. Most students have no problem walking the streets of State College at night. As long as you don’t look for trouble, trouble will rarely find you.
There are well-placed blue-light emergency phones around campus, and the student police services are friendly and helpful at all hours. At night, however, there are few police patrolling the campus. The presence of the State College police is strongly felt downtown, especially during the weekends. Police cars patrol the streets looking for blatantly drunk kids and out-of-control parties. Although the local police seem overbearing at times, with officers in cars, on foot, or riding horses down the streets, it’s important to remember that they are concerned about everyone’s safety. On home football weekends, the population nearly doubles from the influx of fans and tourists, so students are not the only concern of patrolling officers.