I'm a 09 grad of UC. I lived on campus my freshman year, in the Calhoun dorm. Campus is great, and has a lot of new amenities to offer. As far as safety, I never felt in danger or threatened during my stay, but with that being said I was cautious. Yes, the surrounding neighborhood of Clifton is not the greatest, but just use common sense, and don't walk alone at night and you will be fine.
It really is a great school, and a great campus. I hate that the poor neighborhood scares people off.