On The Street | Do UI students feel safe in Iowa City?

University of Iowa students express varying levels of safety in Iowa City.


Matt Sindt

Police tape is seen near the entrance of Yotopia after reports of shots fired near the Pedestrian Mall on in Iowa City, Iowa on Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023. No one was injured and officers were able to detain the shooter.

DI Staff

The Daily Iowan spoke with several University of Iowa students to hear about how safe they feel in the area in light of local and national gun violence.

In 2022, 44,320 people in the U.S. died because of gun violence, according to the Gun Violence Archive, an independent non-profit research group dedicated to collecting data about national shootings.

As of March 21, the Archive has reported 116 mass shootings, meaning there’s been more than one mass shooting a day in many cases. The Archive classifies mass shootings as incidents where four or more people are shot or killed, not including the shooter.

Within the past year, Iowa City has also been alerted to local shootings. More recently, Iowa City law enforcement confirmed a gunshot was fired in the early morning on Feb. 26 on South Clinton Street.

A month earlier, on Jan. 14, multiple shots were fired in the Pedestrian Mall near campus, and in October of 2022, one person was killed and another was injured in a shooting outside of H-Bar. H-Bar also experienced a shooting on Aug. 7, in which a woman was shot and survived.


“I feel like as a woman, I don’t feel safe ever, but especially on this campus, definitely more safe in the day.”

– Abigail Adams (right)


“I feel safe, but I also have been like a homebody, so I guess it doesn’t really like bother me. But like … its concerning, but like, also where I’m from, it’s a lot less [violence] here.”

Anna McCarthy

“It depends, like, what time of day it is and if I have people around me or if I’m just walking around with myself … everyone usually feels safe in the daylight. But when it’s nighttime, and I’m just roaming around myself, that’s when a little panic starts setting in.”

–Emanual Sanchez


“I feel safe. But, overall, in general, just in public, I think it’s a little spooky … It’s probably scarier during nighttime.”

– Kloe Soukup


“I feel pretty safe just because of the amount of cops I see driving around, and sometimes I’ll see them walking around, so I just feel overall safe.”

– Jack Denten

“Typically, I feel pretty safe just because it’s Iowa, and most things don’t really happen in Iowa, but I did notice the shootings and stuff like that, so I do keep an ear out … It’s not as bad as I’ve noticed in other places, like in Chicago or in Georgia where I came from.”

– Ahmondre Atkins

“I generally do feel pretty safe. I have been out at night just a couple of times due to concerts and stuff like that, and generally there are other students around, and I know that if something were to happen, there are people that I could rely on to help me out of a situation.”

– Gabby Johnson


“I definitely feel safe in the day. Night, not so much — like I don’t walk alone at night.”

– Gwendolyn Hanson (left)