College Campus Safety 1 . Running head: COLLEGE CAMPUS SAFETY & SHOOTINGS College Campuses Safety and Shootings, Are We Secure While Learning Nadia Clark Troy University College Campus Safety 2 Date rapes, hate crimes and theft have become an apparent concern on college campuses. The most disturbing crime on a college campus is a school shooting. Being a victim of any crime is the last thing any student or parent thinks of when choosing a college or university. The possibilities of danger on a college campus have been increasing over the years due to the reported crimes ranging from theft to murder.
Because of the recent years of college campus reported shootings, both student and parent have become alarmingly concerned about the safety when going off to college. That could never happen at my school or How did this happen is a common response when a student or faculty member is interviewed after a high profile crime that has taken place on a college or university campus. The Virginia Tech shootings motivated school administration to take a closer look at the safety procedures that colleges and universities had in place to protect their from future shootings.
Of course no college can guarantee a safe haven but some colleges are trying to come close (“Campus Safety”). The first reported college campus shooting took place at the University of Texas at Austin on August 1, 1966. The shooter was identified as a student named Charles Joseph Whitman. The shooting massacre took place on the same day Whitman murdered his wife and mother at their homes. After killing his wife and mother, Whitman climbed to the upper observation deck at The University of Texas in Austin and went on a shooting rampage that lasted 96 minutes.
When it was all over, Whitman had killed 16 people and left 31 wounded. (Kingsbury. ) He was eventually shot and killed by Austin Police and this incident was considered the deadliest university shooting in the United States History. Since this date, August 1, 1966, at least 50 incidents of school shootings have shaken the nation. (“Timeline”) College Campus Safety 3 Not all were as shocking as the massacre created by that of Charles Whitman. Some were more so. Like the Virginia Tech shooting this took place in 2007.
Both school shootings have one thing in common: they have forever changed the face of the nation as we thought we knew it. The Virginia Tech massacre took place on April 16, 2007. Cho Seung-Hui was a senior English major from Korea and only 23 years of age. Seung-Hui open fire on his fellow classmates and professors killing 32 people and wounding several more. (“Virginia Tech”. ) When it was all over, Seung-Hui shot and killed himself with a single bullet to this head surrounded by his victims. This shooting is now considered to be the biggest massacre in all of American history.
Who were Charles Whitman and Cho Seung-Hui? What triggered these two men to go on these shooting massacres at their schools? What transpired in their lives to cause them to be so disturbed and to be perceived as psychologically unbalanced? How it is that family, friends and peers did not detect these men mental state? This is what we do know about each shooter. Several months prior to his shooting rampage, Whitman sought medical and psychiatric guidance at the university health center, but failed to return as instructed for further counseling.
It was not until his death that an autopsy revealed a brain tumor. Cho Seung-Hui on the other hand was taken into police custody in December 2005, because a mental health evaluator found him to be “an imminent danger to himself and others as a result of mental illness”. The mental health evaluator also deemed him as “incapable of volunteering or unwilling to volunteer for treatment. ” He was detained for a hearing at Carilion St. Albans Psychiatric Hospital and ordered College Campus Safety 4 o receive outpatient care at the university-run Cook Counseling Center and like Whitman Seung-Hui failed to return as instructed for further counseling. One may asked who is at fault when a shooting takes place on a college campus and could these shooting been prevented? It is my opinion that the lack of security and warning signs overlooked by administration is the chief problem as to how these crimes take place on campuses. Did campus security and school the administrations do enough to keep the students safe? Did fellow classmates and faculty members ignore warning signs of both Whitman and Seung-Hui?
And what security changes have been implemented in the event of another unforeseen shooting? Since the Virginia Tech shootings, school campuses across America have repeatedly discussed campus safety ideas such as emergency responses and communications. Many colleges and universities have increased their security officers on campuses while also trying high tech security options (Saavedra). One of the high tech security measures many colleges are interested in using to alert their students is the mass text-message alerts in case of an emergency.
This is a notification system that sends text message to students on their cell phones during a shooting, earthquake, bomb scare, or any other emergencies (Saavedra). Although this sounds like a very good security idea, most colleges don’t have the money or resources to make this idea happen which means they are having to resort to just adding security officers to ride around campus on bicycles with loud speakers to spread the message during emergencies (Saavedra). Even though schools have increased security measures sense the Virginia Tech shooting, the crime rate on campuses across America still continue to escalate.
In 2002 the U. S. College Campus Safety 5 Department of Education stated that there were 16 million students enrolled in 4,200 colleges and universities across the United States (Carr 2). College students, eighteen to twenty-four years old, fell victim to approximately 479,000 crimes committed between 1995 and 2002. Weapons were present in thirty-four percent of the crimes along with thirty-one percent of robberies involving firearms. Because campus crimes are increasing students should begin to take better safety precautions and don’t rely on college security.
Students should make better choices and not put themselves in potential dangerous situation. There are several safeguards students can do to better keep themselves safe. Although college campus police job is to protect the students, students need to be more cautious of their surroundings. Each college and university campus has an emergency program and it is the student responsibility to know how that program works. Besides being knowledgeable of the campus emergency program, female students should use the buddy system, not isolate themselves and stay in groups (Montaldo).
Students should also let someone know their whereabouts such as a friends or parent. When attending a party where alcohol is involved, students should always remain in control and know their limit. Another way to protect yourself and others from violent campus crimes is by watching for warning signs in people’s actions (Fassler). Like Whitman and Seung-Hui, who is known for the two most shocking college campus shootings in America history, school administration should have a system to report students who they suspect may have emotional and behavioral difficulties.
Students can pay attention to fellow classmates and look for warning signs that can eventually lead to violent conduct. And last but not least, when walking around campus at night, students should stay in the lighted areas and when in doubt use the campus police escort services. College Campus Safety 6 In conclusion colleges will always have crimes committed on campuses and that number will less likely be zero even though ccampus police are working with police agencies to keep students safe. The thought of a parent losing their child to a school shooting is frightening.
So students must remember to always be on guard and be aware of their surrounding while getting their education. College Campus Safety 7 References “Campus Safety” 15 Mar 2008 Kingsbury, Alex. “Timeline of School Shootings. ” Nation & World. April 17, 2007 www. usnews. com . May 28, 2007. “Timeline of incidents: School violence around the world. ” Library Factfiles. October 2, 2006. www. indystar. com . May 28, 2007. “Cho Seung-Hui. ” Who2 Biography. www. answers. com . May 28, 2007. “Virginia Tech shootings timeline. ” Massacre at Virginia Tech.
April 17, 2007. www. cnn. com . May 28, 2007. “The Tower Sniper,” Utmost, Spring 1986. William J. Helmer “Campus Safety” 15 Mar 2008 Carr, Joetta L. “Campus Violence White Paper. ” American College Health Association (Feb 2005) 15 Mar 2008 Fassler, David. “A Common Sense 10-Point Plan to Enhance Safety on College Campuses. ” Montaldo, Charles. “Top 10 College Campus Guidelines”. About. com: Crime and Punishment. 15 Mar 2008 Saavedra, Sherry. “Safety Ideas for Schools: Couriers to Messaging. ” Sign on SanDiego. (24 Apr 2007) 15 Mar 2008