University Life: How to Prevent Crime on Your College Campus

University Life: How to Prevent Crime on Your College Campus
  • Opening Intro -

    Crime on college campuses ranges from minor offenses like drug use or petty theft to major offenses like active shooter incidents.


While the thought of these incidences causes real angst, there are many steps that campus members can take to prevent crime on campus. Besides, campus safety is the shared responsibility of all members of the campus community. Here are four tips to help you prevent crime on your campus.

1. Use Common Sense

Although it is never a victim’s fault when something happens to them, there are still somethings that people can do to avoid being the victim of a crime on campus. First of all, it’s best not to walk alone on campus when it’s deserted, especially at night. Second, people should avoid walking with a headset on. Wearing a headset while walking impairs how much a person hears. Finally, students and faculty shouldn’t display valuables like computers or phones if it can be helped. Granted, in common areas like the library, students will be using these, but they shouldn’t bring them out while walking in isolated areas or at night.

2. Avoid Participating in “Harmless” Crimes

It’s understandable that college students feel like they want to let loose: After all, it’s their first experience with having freedom. While for some this may only mean skipping a morning class to go get coffee with friends, it can also include more serious activities, like experimenting with drugs. However, students who do get caught in the commission of activities like smoking marijuana still have options.

According to attorney Brian Zeiger, authorities must prove charges like drug possession beyond a reasonable doubt. Avoiding these activities is the best policy in terms of campus safety, but if they’ve already been done then the best bet is to get on the right side of the law by getting an attorney to work out the issue.

3. Follow Up

Most people intending to commit crimes leave clues about their intentions. For example, many people planning serious crimes on campus have already been banned from campus, according to Campus Safety magazine. Additionally, students and faculty can actively help law enforcement by reporting any suspicious activity.

Very often, a person intent on committing a serious crime on campus like a shooting will scope out his intended target area first. Anyone who suddenly seems interested in non-touristy areas of campus like faculty or service entrances or who brags about acquiring a firearm should be reported to campus police.

4. Get Help

Many people who commit crimes on campus are faculty or students with serious problems. Students or teacher who observe people displaying troubling attitudes or behaviors can encourage such a person to get help. According to the University of Oregon, the best long-term solutions to these problems involve prevention and mental health counseling. These services can help troubled individuals learn to express emotions like grief or anger in more positive ways.

Preventing crime and violence on campus is a campus and community-wide responsibility. Crimes can range from stealing some money from someone’s lost wallet to more serious crimes like rape or assault. However, many of these crimes can be prevented by having good campus awareness. Finally, individuals who are troubled should be encouraged to get help. This may be the best remedy for many of the challenges that cause these individuals to act out in the first place.

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