I am originally from Memphis and went to Rhodes. I’ll be honest with you-- Rhodes is not located in the very best part of Memphis. There are some poor neighborhoods within walking distance, and along with poverty also comes crime. That being said, there are also some magnificent houses nearby and Memphians really committed to keeping their neighborhoods safe.
If you are looking for a school where you can walk/bike to places off-campus, Rhodes is not it. The Rhodes campus itself, though, is very safe. It is completely fenced in and the gates are well-guarded. I don’t mean that it needs some kind of hardcore security, but once you enter the campus, it is a completely different world. The grounds are beautiful, and it is a wonderful place to live on-campus.
When I was there 5 years ago, it was not entirely uncommon for people’s cars to get broken into if they left them late at night at a local bar or on the street. I do not know a single person–either from my time in Memphis or my time at Rhodes specifically–who has been the victim of a violent crime (knock on wood). The crime I have heard of is mainly property crimes of opportunity. As a college female, I did feel comfortable running outside the gates and down one of the local jogging trails. You just have to use common sense.