Almost a year after the Virginia Tech tragedy, Reader’s Digest magazine evaluated college campuses in a special report titled “Safe at School?” Loyola Marymount University (LMU) in Westchester was ranked in the top five for readiness to handle on-campus threats to safety and security.

The report examines various safety threats faced by college students today and describes some of the best safety practices employed by certain schools.

The university’s emergency communication system was recognized last spring as one of the first emergency instant notification systems on a college campus.

Members of the LMU community can register their cell phone numbers with the university, to be contacted in the event of an emergency within minutes, according to university officials.

LMU was one of 40 schools to receive an “A” grade for its readiness to deal with safety threats of crime, fire, alcohol abuse and mental illness. Other schools that have gotten smart about campus risks include New York University, Northeastern University and Johns Hopkins University.

LMU’s emergency preparedness was not the only aspect of campus safety that was praised in the survey. Binge-drinking prevention programs and resources for students with mental illness were also considered and both are available at LMU.

“Safe at School?” will appear in the March issue of Reader’s Digest.

The full survey results can be seen at www.rd.com/college, along with a description of the methodology used in comprising the list.

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