Security on Campus
It may surprise you to know that college and university
campuses are scenes to more than just socializing and learning.
All too often, they can also be the scenes of a crime. Awareness
of this problem has grown dramatically over the last twenty
years, and many institutions are taking appropriate measures
to protect their students from malice. Wise parents do not
close their eyes to these issues, but discuss them openly
with their students. When choosing schools for their sons
or daughters, they consider the security programs and features
utilized by the schools. You must do all you can to ensure
that your student doesn’t get an education they didn’t plan
Drugs and Alcohol
Nine out of ten student felonies involve alcohol or drugs.
Annually, 1,700 college students die from alcohol-related
causes. On their own for the first time, students often feel
a surge of independence that can lead to poor decision-making,
such as binge drinking. There are many resources available
to help parents discuss substance use with their young adult
children. Meanwhile, when choosing a school favor institutions
with strict policies regarding alcohol and drug abuse, and
effective parent-notification. In this way, colleges and universities
keep better control of this problem.
Unfortunately, 25% of undergraduate women nationally will
be victims of an attempted or completed sexual assault. Many
schools have embraced innovative technological solutions in
an effort to protect their students. Residence halls that
use electronic key-card systems are superior to the ones still
using old-fashioned metal locks, and most commons areas of
dormitories are now outfitted with video surveillance. At
the very least, residence halls should be monitored, and nighttime
access should be limited to residents only. Room doors should
be equipped with peep holes and dead bolts. Bathrooms are
safer when restricted to floor residents. For peace of mind,
you may see if single-sex and “substance-free” dormitories
are available. Crime is lower in these halls.
Another important deterrent against sexual predators is awareness.
Your student should study the campus and neighborhood with
respect to routes between his or her residence and classes/activities
schedule. Parking lots should be adequately secured, lit and
patrolled. Many campuses offer emergency phones, escort services,
and shuttle systems so that students should never have to
compromise their safety by walking across campus alone after
dark. These are free services that have dramatically decreased
College students are often the target of fraudulent identity-theft
and credit card schemes. Make sure your student is savvy about
personal information. They should never leave bill payments,
credit card offers, health insurance statements, or any personal
mail lying around. Instruct them never to give personal information
over the phone to any company unless they initiated the call,
and they know the company is reputable. Caution students not
to give out their social security numbers to obtain credit
cards or memberships, and to keep a personal record of all
such cards, with expiration dates and company phone numbers
in a locked drawer or cabinet. PIN numbers should not be kept
in wallets, and should never incorporate birthdates, social
security numbers, telephone numbers or addresses.
The Jeanne Clery Act is a federal law that was signed into
effect in 1990, requiring colleges and universities to disclose
annual information about campus crime and security policies.
It is your privilege and right to know these statistics. This
law was passed at a great cost. In 1987 Jeanne Clery was raped
and murdered in her dorm room by a student with whom she was
unacquainted, who had passed through three propped open doors
in order to rob dormitory rooms. Knowing they could never
bring their daughter back, Mr. and Mrs. Clery demanded safer
campuses for future students. More advice regarding security
on campus can be found on their outreach site at www.campussafety.org.
About the Author:
Rob Daniels develops educational material for
http://www.security-port.com and http://www.security-protection.net
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