Ultimately, Safety is the Student's Responsibility

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Heading off to college can be a really exciting time for most students. Itís a time for finding yourself, making friends, and letís be honest, probably partying. College is supposed to be fun, however† violence in college campuses is on the rise.

Look at a recent incident that happened on a University of Cincinnati on-campus apartment. Around midnight, six college students were watching television when three guys suddenly broke through the front door, one of them holding a gun on the students. The invaders took computers, video games, cell phones, and even money. The crooks tried to flee but the three students ran one of them down and subdued him. A struggle ensued and the gun discharged grazing the student in the leg. The other two students sat on the guy until police arrived.

Anyone watching TV on April of 2007 remembers what happened at Virginia Tech when a crazy, unhinged senior killed 32 students and injured many others before killing himself. It used to be that a college student could feel safe being around their peers but that may not be the case any longer. 80% of crimes committed on campus are committed by other students. The lesson here is to know the background of the people around you, be vigilant, be informed. Some colleges report a sharp 30% increase in calls from student victims during the first 6 weeks of classes. Hazing, alcohol and drug abuse, physical violence, assault, and acquaintance rape all increase in the first weeks of college.

Web cams are another concern for security and safety. Consider the recent case of the student who killed himself when he discovered another student secretly taped his intimate encounters. It's always best to keep any camera on your laptop or computer obscured, with a sticky note or piece of tape over the camera aperture.

College and university security departments are not always truthful, sometimes concealing what they know for the supposed safety of others. In 2006, a senior at Eastern Michigan University was found dead in her dorm room, an apparent victim of sexual assault. The school's response was to post a statement the next day assuring the campus community that they were "fully confident of the safety and security of the campus." This simply means that you, as a college student, are ultimately responsible for your own personal safety. Take time to learn about making your self, and your space more secure and safe.

So please tell me what you think. Do College campuses need to be safer? If yes how? If no, why not?

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