Most students at UVA feel pretty safe. The UVA police and security force is quite a noticeable presence on campus—in addition to the school’s 59 police officers, there is a staff of about 71 security workers, not to mention the greater Charlottesville police task force. Standard campus security services are offered at UVA (blue-light phones, escort services), but the best tools are common sense and simple awareness. If there’s one flaw in the security at UVA, it’s that students sometimes don’t understand the importance of looking out for safety. As one student said, it’s easy to feel “almost too safe,” and get lulled into a false sense of security. On campus and in parts of Charlottesville, life can seem over-insulated at times, and when tragedies happen, it comes as a shock to many.
As with any college, UVA can be unsafe if you’re not looking out for yourself. Sexual assaults have become a bigger problem over the last few years, particularly in off-campus housing areas where it is more difficult for campus police to monitor activity. For the most part, however, you’ll have little to worry about during your time at the University. Students are advised to simply use common sense, not walk home alone late at night, and take steps to protect themselves.