Violence on college campuses is gradually acquiring broad social significance. For many years, college campuses were believed to possess sufficient level of student safety and security. Violence and campus life seemed the two incompatible categories. However, as news are overfilled with the examples of violence in colleges that range from mass shootings to incidents of rape and assault, parents and education professionals are becoming more concerned about the atmosphere, in which students are bound to spend several years of their college life.
Numerous examples confirm the relevance of campus violence issues. Addressing these issues is impossible without a systemic approach to defining and preventing violence on campus. Students must also understand how to prevent, to report, and to explain specific acts that hinder their freedoms or violate their basic rights on campus. Campus violence remains one of the most serious issues, which college and university students have to address.
Either in the form of direct physical abuse or emotional pressures, many students report experiencing violence on campus. For example, the authors of the recent study published in The Journal of Adolescent Health surveyed 2,091 students in three universities on the subject of campus violence. As a result, 17 percent of male students and 16 percent of female students reported having experienced some kind of violence in the six months preceding the research (Stone). That campus violence remains an issue is further supported by detailed statistical research.
Between 2005 and 2007 the number of reported murders on campus has grown from 4 in 2005 to 41 in 2007; 2 cases of negligent manslaughter were registered in 2007; the same year, the number of forcible offenses reached 1400; almost 800 cases of robbery and 1300 aggravated assaults were reported to authorities (U. S. Department of Education). These figures reveal the shocking truth: college students living on campus are subject to a whole set of physical and emotional threats. Moreover, the majority of these threats come from inside the campus.
“Students are responsible for 80% of campus crime, although rarely with weapons” (Siegel). Thus, neither electronic alarm systems nor better safety grounds can secure students from becoming victims of a crime. The truth is in that research regarding violence on campus is scarce. On the one hand, professionals in education and students lack a clear definition of campus violence and thus are not always able to report the incidence of violent assault or emotional threat to authorities.
On the other hand, college authorities are willing to silence the cases of violence as a matter of preserving their positive reputation. However, even the scarce information on college violence reveals several tendencies. First, campus violence often happens between students, who know each other or have already met on campus. For example, Siegel writes that “four percent of female students stated that they had been raped, predominantly by other students. Researchers report that 74% of sexually related crimes were committed by fellow students”.
Second, in case of mass assaults, these are the students on campus, who become instruments of such violent attacks: for example, the case of mass shooting Steven Kazmierczak on February 14, 2008 at NIU University implies college authorities’ inability to trace possible violent threats and to protect students from similar assaults (Schlueter). Stone refers to her girlfriend, who became the victim of numerous fights with her boyfriend – a bright example of campus violence. Third, in many cases, students simply fail to define violence. “The definition of violence is hard to pinpoint, and that may be why people don’t speak out” (Stone).
In this atmosphere, students should be given a chance to look deeper into what violence is. This is impossible without a profound and detailed research of what violence is and how it can be prevented. Students on campus must be able to delineate violence threats from insignificant cases of possible quarrels and conflicts between students. Students should know statistical figures and far-reaching implications of campus violence. Conclusion Violence on campus is gradually becoming a matter of the major societal concern. Numerous examples confirm the growing violence complexities on campus.
Unfortunately, in the current state of research, universities and colleges fail to protect their students from violence threats; nor are they able to develop effective prevention and violence reduction strategies. Beyond the need to give a single specific definition to campus violence, colleges and universities should realize that the majority of violence dangers originate from inside the campus. As such, addressing and eliminating the discussed violence issues is impossible without a detailed systemic and scientifically grounded approach. Works Cited Schlueter, K. “Campus Violence Increases. ” 2008. Chicago Flame.
02 August 2009. http://media. www. chicagoflame. com/media/storage/paper519/news/2008/02/25/News/Campus. Violence. Increases-3232501. shtml Siegel, D. “What Is Behind the Growth of Violence on College Campuses? ” USA Today (Society for the Advancement of Education), May, 1994. Stone, L. “Both Sexes Suffer Campus Violence: Study. ” 2009. The Province. 02 August 2009. http://www. theprovince. com/news/Both+sexes+suffer+campus+violence+Study/1795356/story. html U. S. Department of Education. “Campus Security. ” 2008. U. S. Department of Education. 02 August 2009. http://www. ed. gov/admins/lead/safety/campus. html#data