The Official Student News Site of Orono High School

The Spartan Speaks

The Official Student News Site of Orono High School

The Spartan Speaks

The Official Student News Site of Orono High School

The Spartan Speaks

Crime Rates at College Campuses on the Rise

Graduates protesting for their rights

In the last decade, the significant increase in crime has led to dangers on college campuses. Robert Yin, a social scientist who published, “Case Study Research and Application 6th Edition,” found that student’s fear of assault and violence restrict movement in their day to day lives. With this knowledge, it is evident that campus safety plays a big role in attracting students. While hoping to reduce campus crime risks, along with maintaining a high attendance rate, many colleges have implemented new safety technology with hopes of diminishing the issue.

This rise creates fears for prospective students and their parents. In recent years, this rise of violence has evoked anxiety amongst students, generally making them feel unsafe. Now more than ever, campus safety is a priority for students.

“Today campus safety is a much larger issue than even when I was there. I think that’s partly due to just a general rise in violence overall in the past few years. Our society has become more violent in general, and because there’s such a variation, sharp divide in people’s priorities, it’s much more discordant now than it was when I went there,” OHS English teacher and University of Minnesota alumna, Kyle Herring said.

As a result of the general rise in violence, many students said they feel restricted in their day to day lives. This may require them to adjust their activities, which may ultimately hinder their college experience.

According to Chris Linder, an associate professor and publisher of the Journal of Higher Education, modern data highlights the increased fear female students feel when being out in public past certain times. In fact, women report avoiding the local library at night, in fear of returning home.

As a result of the rise in violence in today’s world, many college campuses have taken the necessary measures to protect their students and promote an overall feeling of safety. Common safety technologies include, the blue light system, safe walkers, and text alerts. The blue light system, an amenity at most college campuses, operates as an emergency phone system.

“Every campus is going to have the blue light system on their campus grounds. If anyone ever feels unsafe, they can press the button and campus security will come right away,” OHS Counselor, Jamie Menne said.

In addition to the blue light system, there are other programs in place to provide safety to students. Even though they may look different depending on the campus, many campuses have implemented an escort program for students returning home after class.

“When it gets darker nowadays at five, I feel really unsafe walking back from my classes to my apartment because there’s no lights, I’m alone, and I’m a girl. It just makes it that much more scary for me when it’s dark and I’m much more vulnerable. We can call “Safe Walkers” and there’ll be two people who come and pick you up from your location and they drop you off at another location wherever you want. There’s also another thing called the “Gopher Chauffeur” that you can call and it’s basically a big minivan that picks you up and drops you off. It’s basically like a free Uber,” University of Minnesota student, Audry Link said.

Students said they have started to factor safety into their college choices. As a result of the rise in crime, many prospective students and parents have expressed their concern about campus safety.

According to the Journal of College Admission, 70 percent of parents believed campus safety was critical in deciding a school. “The Princeton Review Survey,” also found that more than half were very worried about sexual assault.

According to Kelley Maloney, marketing director of enrollment at Duquesne University, “Safety questions tend to come more from parents than prospective students.”

Parents’ high level of safety concern may involve restriction of certain colleges and repetitive discussions about safety protocols. As for parents of current college attendees, safety continues to be prevalent in many parents’ minds.

“We get campus alerts on our phones. So if there’s ever a robbery or an assault, the parents of the students and the students always get a campus alert via text message. We all get the reports that happen, which makes me very nervous everytime I see that,” parent of a University of Minnesota student, Britt Theis said.

In an effort to increase the report of crime and safety related incidents, technology usage has become more prominent. The Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management mentions how as crime rates on campuses continue to rise, administrators have begun to improve technology use, such as mass email messages and platforms for reporting incidents.

“Being safe on campus is obviously very ideal. It wasn’t necessarily a factor in deciding colleges, and I’m not sure why it wasn’t because campus safety at the U is not the best. Looking back on it, I do wish I would have considered that,” Link said.

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