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Is College Safety Declining?

sarasdadsarasdad Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
edited October 2011 in Parents Forum
Both of my daughters are away at college and recently they have both received notification of college housing break-ins. Is this an epidemic or just plain bad luck?
Post edited by sarasdad on
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Replies to: Is College Safety Declining?

  • ucsd_ucla_daducsd_ucla_dad Registered User Posts: 8,573 Senior Member
    Part of it is probably just due to the automatic texting capabilities colleges have now to issue warnings like this - most didn't have that not many years ago.
  • PizzagirlPizzagirl Registered User Posts: 40,488 Senior Member
    On the other hand, I think colleges today are a lot more likely to run shuttle buses at night or between far points of a campus, have more emergency blue lights on campus, greater presence of campus police, etc. compared to back in the day. If nothing else - from a liability standpoint.
  • barronsbarrons Registered User Posts: 24,803 Senior Member
    Criminals have found students to be soft targets with valuables.
  • bluebayoubluebayou Registered User Posts: 25,126 Senior Member
    I think it is more for prevention (and CYA for the colleges). Reminders like these are important for those students living off campus and who for some reason think an urban apartment is just as safe as living in suburbia.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 69,826 Senior Member
    Lots of students who grew up in low crime areas may not be "paranoid" enough to lock doors and windows, etc. after moving to a school in a higher crime area.

    Crime overall has been on a downward trend since the mid 1990s, though it certainly differs in different areas.
  • RacinReaverRacinReaver Registered User Posts: 6,610 Senior Member
    Both of my daughters are away at college and recently they have both received notification of college housing break-ins. Is this an epidemic or just plain bad luck?

    My guess is these break-ins involved someone leaving their door either unlocked or open while they went to another room down the hall or to take a shower. It's pretty easy on lots of school campuses to just wander around buildings and try to look for an open door with an empty office. I've heard stories of people having their car stolen (staff, not even students!) because they left their office door open and their car keys were left unattended on their desk. All the thief had to do was go to each of the garages hitting the keyless unlock button until they found the car!
  • gouf78gouf78 Registered User Posts: 6,684 Senior Member
    I think it's interesting that if you travel to a big city (especially foreign), Rome for example, they distinguish between violent and non-violent crime. I don't know stats for either for campus crime but it would be nice to know.
  • IcarusIcarus Registered User Posts: 4,336 Senior Member
    Part of it is probably just due to the automatic texting capabilities colleges have now to issue warnings like this - most didn't have that not many years ago.

    This.
    Most people didn't bother to read the Clery Reports, but now that mass texting and other forms of mass communication have become commonplace, people are more aware of the crimes that were already occurring on campus.
  • SmithieandProudSmithieandProud Registered User Posts: 3,038 Senior Member
    I agree that mass texting by colleges has heightened awareness of crimes, and that the most prevalent crime on college campuses is probably theft. Students leaving their doors unlocked, laptops unattended, backpacks in the hall or common room, etc. Oftentimes it can be other students who are doing the breaking and entering to steal. I even know of one case where a student at a large university was part of a theft ring where students would steal electronics from their own suitemates and sell them (fortunately he was caught and expelled).

    Prevalence of electronics is another thing that may be leading to slightly increased rates of theft. Students today are much more likely to have MP3 players, e-book readers, computers, stereos, and of course, cell phones, than previous generations. Those things are super portable, and easily stolen. I know in my city there has been an uptick in crime on public transport because more people are carrying digital devices and using them on trains, and thus more of them are being stolen on trains.

    Many campus public saftey offices keep statistics on college safety. They may even have a hand out that they can provide you with if you ask or that they post online. Feel free to check them out if you think it will make you feel safer.
  • IcarusIcarus Registered User Posts: 4,336 Senior Member
    Many campus public saftey offices keep statistics on college safety. They may even have a hand out that they can provide you with if you ask or that they post online.

    All of them do - they are required to do so by the Clery Act, and to make that report available upon request.
  • trojanchick99trojanchick99 Registered User Posts: 719 Member
    I would imagine crime is down over the past 10 years or so it's just that the colleges and universities are actually notifying students when they take place. The Clery act mandates that statistics be kept and "timely" notifications be sent.

    I also agree that most "break-ins" really aren't by force rather entering unlocked rooms/apartments. The number 1 crime tip I would give would be to NEVER leave your belongings unsecured/alone. This means always locking your doors and if leaving your electronics in your locked room, also locking them down or securing in a locked door. You never know if your roommate will be locking the door when they leave.
  • ucsd_ucla_daducsd_ucla_dad Registered User Posts: 8,573 Senior Member
    Prevalence of electronics is another thing that may be leading to slightly increased rates of theft. Students today are much more likely to have MP3 players, e-book readers, computers, stereos, and of course, cell phones, than previous generations.
    A good point - nowadays the average student has thousands of dollars of highly desirable and and easily disposed of electronics just laying around in their dorm and sometimes on their person as they're walking around. It's a target rich environment.
  • emilybeeemilybee Registered User Posts: 12,789 Senior Member
    When I showed up at UofChicago for graduate school eons ago they gave all the women rape whistles to carry around.
  • HuntHunt Registered User Posts: 26,917 Senior Member
  • sarasdadsarasdad Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
    I did the Skype thing with both my daughters last night to check in with them. I asked them if the break in notifications were general safety notification sent out to all students.

    One was a general email sent to all students in responce to last years events. This particular Big Ten School in Michigan had a rash of dorm robberies while the kids were a sleep. The notification was a general reminder to lock their doors and keep all their fancy electronic devices out of general sight.

    My other daughter’s notification was a lot more disturbing. Apartments on the parameter of the campus where she lives with some friends!!! are having their doors kicked in by thieves looking to grab what ever they can and split long before the police can be notified.

    She said her roommate pushes the couch in front of the door before they go to sleep. I am paying for this "learning" environment?

    I feel I should protect them better while they are away from home. Any suggestions?
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