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  • Lily Warden

Is UMSL's Campus Safe?

By: Lily Warden

Safety is one of the most essential components students consider when choosing a university. According to a study performed by Best Colleges, 60 percent of current and prospective students said campus safety was a factor when considering where to go to college. Furthermore, 57 percent of college students believe colleges should do more to protect students on campus. 

Photo by UMSL Student Resources

Every year, UMSL publishes an annual fire safety and security report. This report details information about campus security, citing crime prevention, university police law enforcement authority and crime reporting policies. Each report also details how the current year compares to the previous two calendar years regarding crime on campus. The report is published every year in October under the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, which is a federal law requiring colleges and universities to disclose campus crime data and outline the policies and procedures put in place to improve campus security. 

Concerning campus safety, the fire safety and security report states, "The University of Missouri-St Louis (UMSL) is committed to providing a safe and secure environment for all members of our community. The safety of our students, facility, staff and visitors is a priority. UMSL’s reported crimes are low compared to other metropolitan areas. Our crimes against person specifically are much lower than those in similar urban settings.”  

The most current UMSL annual fire safety and security report was published in 2023 and reports crime statistics from 2022. The report also categorizes crime locations as campus property, residential facilities, non-campus property and public property. According to the report, the most frequent crime reported was domestic violence. In 2022, there were three reported instances of domestic violence on campus property, specifically in residential facilities. Other crimes reported in 2022 include dating violence, stalking, and burglary. In 2022, there were two reported instances of dating violence, two reported instances of stalking, and two reported instances of burglary. There were no reported crimes in 2022 in the areas of homicide, negligent manslaughter, rape, fondling, incest, statutory rape, aggravated assault, motor vehicle theft or arson. 

UMSL’s low crime rate could be due to the lack of students living on campus. In Fall 2022, 15,192 students were enrolled at UMSL. US News estimates about 11 percent of students live in college-owned, operated affiliated housing. The other 89 percent of students live off-campus. With such a low percentage of students living on campus, crime might occur less frequently because of the smaller population. UMSL’s low crime rate is a stark contrast to Normandy, with 133 violent crimes and 302 property crimes reported in 2022.  

The UMSL Police Department also has resources available for students, faculty and staff to stay safe on campus. The Rave Guardian Safety App is a free mobile app that allows any smartphone to be used as a personal safety device. The app offers a speed dial functionality to reach campus police and allows users to share their location with others. Additionally, the app also allows users to dial another user, campus police or 911 with one-touch dialing. The Rave Guardian App also has resources for campus support services through phone numbers and web links. The UMSL Police Department strongly encourages all students, faculty and staff to download and use the Rave Guardian Safety App to stay safe on campus. Additionally, UMSL Mobile is free to download and provides users with links to different safety resources available on campus. 

Rave Guardian App icon by Google Play

In addition to providing resources, The UMSL Police Department also participates in several safety initiatives to keep students, faculty and staff safe. On safety, the UMSL Police Department states, “The Police Department strives to make the campus a safe place to learn, live and work. Providing safety to the campus community is a continuous process of re-evaluating existing policies and practices so that they conform to the changing needs of the community.” 

The campus is continuously patrolled 24 hours a day through marked patrol cars, foot patrols and bike controls. Lighting across campus is monitored continuously and emergency telephone systems are available throughout campus, most notably in parking lots. Card access systems are in place on residential doors to ensure only approved personnel have access to buildings. The UMSL Police Department also offers free on-campus safety escorts to parking lots, bus stops, MetroLink stops, or anywhere else on campus. 


Although not all crime on campus can be prevented, resources and safety initiatives are put in place by UMSL to create a safe learning and working environment. For more information regarding campus safety, contact the UMSL Police Department.


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