A college is supposed to be a safe, nurturing place where students learn. Campus safety is a major concern not only to students and administrators, but also to parents.
Issues regarding campus safety are so important that the U.S. Department of Education has dedicated a site to compiling and dispersing information about campus statistics. The Campus Security Data Analysis Cutting Tool (see Resources) lists the latest data about security and crime on college campuses across the country.
The 2007 shootings of students at Virginia Tech helped bring attention to issues of campus safety and security. Dr. Ronald Stephens of the National School Safety Center said, “If somebody wants to commit an act of crime or violence, our campuses are very open all across this country.”
According to a study published in the Annual Review of Public Health (2005) more than 599,000 students (ages 18 to 24) are injured annually incidents involving drinking, and 1,700 die.
Another significant issue is hazing by organizations, including fraternities and sports teams. At least 5 percent of college students have been hazed at some point.
College administrators have approached the issue of campus safety by creating special programs, special police forces that are focused on schools, campus escorts, surveillance cameras and blue-light phones.