Campus Security: Why it Matters and How We Prioritize it at Grace College
You’ve heard that Winona Lake, Indiana, is a beautiful place to live. But what about its safety? Going off to college for the first time is a big step, both for a student and their parents, and we understand that college safety is a major concern when it comes to selecting an institution. Not only are you living on an unknown campus, but you’re also immersed in a brand new community.
So how do you know if a college town is a safe place to live?
Well, we can’t speak for everyone, but we can speak for Grace College.
Grace’s campus sits on the top of a hill that overlooks the quaint, picturesque village of Winona Lake. According to Niche.com, a website that reviews town safety, Winona Lake is “one of the best places to live in Indiana” with a population of 4,910 and generally conservative residents. The site gives Winona Lake an overall rating of an “A.”
And other sources affirm this. AdvisorSmith did a study on the crime rates of Indiana’s cities and found Winona Lake to be the fourth safest small city in Indiana. College Consensus ranked Grace College’s home as one of the best river and lake college towns in the country. On its website, it states:
“Winona Lake has been recognized as one of the safest towns in Indiana, and is known to students as one of the best college towns in the Midwest.”
We are open and transparent about our campus security. Winona Lake is a safe place to live, and we are dedicated to keeping it that way.
The Village at Winona, located just a few blocks off campus, contains independently owned businesses including coffee and ice cream shops, an art gallery, and unique restaurants, all just a few blocks from the Grace College campus. Grace students often walk down to the village to enjoy a day browsing the shops and walking along the lakeshore.
Nadya Gorbacheva, an international student from Moscow, Russia, has spent a lot of time walking through the village, traveling between campus and her host home. “I always feel safe around Winona Lake because of the friendly atmosphere and people,” she said. “The park, the coffee shops, and other places in Winona remind me of the countryside back home.”
Luke Wright was born and raised in Winona Lake and now runs his business, Belove, in the village.
“Being in Winona Lake has been very valuable to the business,” Wright said. “The community has shown incredible support and has made us who we are today. With the security the Village at Winona provides, we can rest assured that our business is safe. We also have a strong and loving community that will notify us if they see anything suspicious.”
Learn more about the Village at Winona.
Local Law Enforcement
The Winona Lake law enforcement is not only concerned about the safety of the town, but it also closely monitors Grace College.
“Officers are on campus daily, patrolling and developing relationships with the Grace community,” said Craig Allebach, Grace College Campus Safety Liaison. “Over half of the officers in the police department are former Grace College Campus Security officers, graduates, and former employees, so they take a vested interest in the Grace community.”
According to areavibes, a website that rates the safety and livability of areas in the US, Winona Lake’s crime rates are 33% lower than the national average.
Captain Joe Hawn, Chief of the Winona Lake Police Department, confirmed the low crime rate:
“Winona Lake has a relatively low crime rate and Grace College should be considered a very safe college,” he said. “Citizens help make any community safer, and if citizens keep an eye on the community and report suspicious activities, the community will be safer. Along with citizen reports, law enforcement needs to be diligent in patrolling areas and being visible.”
Safety on Campus
Every year, Grace publishes an annual campus security report that describes new college safety measures and reports on the current state of safety on campus. This campus security report is accessible to everyone here.
A few of the safety regulations at Grace include:
- Grace gives all students and employees local emergency numbers and clear guidance in case of an emergency situation.
- Code Blue telephones are located throughout campus to ensure that assistance in emergency situations will always be available.
- Grace restricts access to residence halls on campus to anyone outside of resident staff, student residents, and approved guests.
- Grace College has installed surveillance cameras, which can be monitored by the campus safety office and the physical plant, in high traffic areas on campus that have high levels of public access.
Grace College prioritizes student safety through these security measures and many more.
For Parents, From Parents
Even with all of the facts and statistics on paper, we know what it’s like to be a nervous parent. We know you want to hear from other parents who have been in your very shoes — discerning where to send your student to college with good conscience.
Nate Bosch, a parent in the community, has lived with his family in Winona Lake — just off of the Grace College campus — for almost 12 years.
“In my experience, Winona Lake is safer than other college towns,” said Bosch.
“Parents should feel safe because the campus and town are safe,” Bosch continued. “There are safe walking and biking paths to get all around town. My wife and I are pretty protective of our own four kids, and you can rest assured that if we feel comfortable allowing our young teens to walk around campus and the surrounding community then it is completely safe for college students,” he exclaimed.
College safety is important and should be taken seriously by campus security, local law enforcement, students, staff, and parents. We want you to be safe when you come to college, and we believe that the community of Grace College and Winona Lake provides a place that is safe, secure, and comfortable for all!
To read more about our campus safety and security, use these links: