How Safe are Local Universities?

JONESBORO, AR -- In light of the deadly shooting at Virginia Tech University, K8 News takes a look at how safe our local college students are when they're on campus.

At Arkansas State University anyone can enter a building but the residence halls where hundreds of students live are harder to get into.

"Our officers work foot patrol in virtually every building on campus," said Jim Chapman, Director of University Police.

The campus and classrooms at ASU are carefully monitored by the 17 trained officers at the University Police Department.

But even with all that training, no one is truly ready.

"In reality, something that happens this quick with that many people injured or killed, it's very difficult to prepare for something like that," said Chapman.

While the buildings are open access to visitors, residence halls are not.

"Those are card access only.  You can only get in if you have a card or if someone lets you in as a visitor," said Dr. Rick Stripling, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.

A problem they've seen in the past is students propping a door open.  Students caught propping a door open do face a penalty, but that small act could lead to something more.

"Hopefully they too will look at this and realize that maybe they can prevent something like this from happening," said Chapman.