Young Memorial ranked safest college in state

MORGAN CITY, La. — If you are looking to attend a safe college campus, you cannot get any better in Louisiana than staying in Morgan City on the Young Memorial campus of South Central Louisiana Technical College, according to rankings released by StateUniversity.com.

The Young Memorial campus ranked No. 1 followed closely by L.E. Fletcher Technical Community College in Houma at No. 2. The campus crime statistics published on StateUniversity.com are compiled from crime reports submitted by college/university staff during 2012. Each college’s safety score was calculated based on the number and type of campus crime reported and crime in the surrounding community.

Karl Young, Young Memorial dean, said the college’s instructors, staff and administration are committed to providing a safe environment for its students and employees.

“We have a family atmosphere here that has been cultivated for umpteen years,” Young said. “We are vigilant … If something is out of the ordinary, we investigate.”

There were no reported crimes or arrests on either technical college campus. The Morgan City campus got its higher ranking due to a lower local crime rate according to StateUniversity.com. The local crime rate around Young Memorial of 0.13 incidents of crime per 100 people was better than Fletcher’s local rate of 0.17 incidents per 100 people.

Young said part of the campus’ success at keeping the campus safe is a proactive approach in dealing with issues that may arise in students’ lives.

“We try to communicate with our students. They may have a problem at home or they may have an issue with something here. Before an issue becomes critical we try to deal with it,” Young said.

Although the college has a counselor, the communication and counseling given to students is not assigned or limited to a single person or department.

“The instructors and our staff help in addressing issues that students may have,” Young said. “We deal with problems as they arise on a day-to-day basis.”

The Student Government Association is another asset in addressing the needs of students and the issues they may be facing, he said.

Young said the safety of the campus goes beyond crime statistics. Workplace safety is an important component in industries for which students are training and the college addresses that, he said.

“Everything at a technical college starts with safety,” Young said. “That is where our teaching begins. You have to know how to do things in a safe way.”

The Morgan City Police Department helps keep the campus secure and contributed to the lack of criminal activity in 2012, Young said.

“The local police are great,” he said.

Morgan City Police Chief Travis Crouch said his officers patrol the area of all the schools in the city, including Young Memorial, during the day and check in on them to make sure they are safe and secure. At night they patrol the parking lots and check the security of doors and entrances, he said.

Forty-four Louisiana colleges and universities were ranked for campus safety. There were 11 college campuses that reported zero crime and arrests on the list.

Nicholls State University in Thibodaux was listed at No. 6. Nicholls was the second-highest rated non-two-year school.

The three worst ranked schools were in Shreveport. They were Centenary College of Louisiana, Career Technical College-Shreveport and finally Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center-Shreveport. LSU’s Baton Rouge campus ranked No. 37.

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