Campus Safety at U.S. Colleges: What You Should Know

Campus Safety at U.S. Colleges: What You Should Know
Campus Safety at U.S. Colleges: What You Should Know
American college students generally expect to feel secure and protected while living, playing and studying on campus. Schools are traditionally considered safe havens, and many large campuses offer their own sustainable bubble-like community slightly set off from the outside world. But college campuses are not immune to violence, harassment or even tragedy. From widespread shootings to hushed up sexual assault cases, here’s what you should know about campus safety in the U.S.

Ed.gov provides open information regarding campus safety statistics on its website ope.ed.gov/security. You can choose to look up campus safety reports for specific states, colleges and even departments or schools within a university, and this report summarizes criminal offenses that were reported at four-year public universities in the U.S. between 2006 and 2008. According to the report, instances of robbery have increased from 2006, but sex offenses, aggravated assault, motor vehicle theft and other violent crimes have decreased. Besides burglary, forcible sex offenses are the most commonly reported crime reported on U.S. college campuses: nearly 1,300 in 2008. On the campuses of private, four-year universities, 1,054 sex offenses were reported in 2008.

Since students are constantly living, working and socializing together on campus, more traditional lines of separation and privacy are blurred. Dorms can be crowded, and a false sense of security or neighborliness may arise as students become used to seeing their friends and fellow classmates around the clock. But students should understand that they still need to be careful on campus. Don’t walk alone at night, and avoid poorly lit areas and more remote areas on campus, even during the day. Keep important phone number close by, and remember to bring your keys and cell phone with you at all times. At parties, students should watch over their drinks and not accept any beverages from strangers or that they didn’t see poured right in front of them. And above all, trust your instincts and report any circumstances or people who make you feel uncomfortable or who have threatened you. College campuses should be safe communities focused on education and solidarity, but always pay attention to your surroundings.
http://www.onlinecolleges.net/2010/05/

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