When it comes to campus crimes and campus safety in Pennsylvania, high school shootings most frequently come to mind and with good reason. According to CNBC, by February 2018, there had already been 17 verified school shootings in America for that year alone. However, college and university campuses are often affected by school shootings as well.
In fact, Forbes notes that the deadliest shooting in U.S. history by a single man occurred on the Virginia Tech campus in 2007. The shooter murdered 32 people on campus. This was the primary trigger for an increase in campus safety all across America. It also led to an increase in the number of safety officials employed by universities.
While most college students consider themselves independent adults, another reason behind the big push for campus safety was parental concern. Whether college students were barely past 17 years old or pushing into their early 20s, parents worried about what campuses were doing to keep their children safe while they were away from home.
The good news is that increased employment of security personnel has proven effective, not just for campus shootings but other campus crimes as well. For example, when Temple University in Philadelphia first started hiring more security guards in 2010, campus crime had been increasing by 20% each year. After the new guards were hired, the reverse happened. Campus crimes began to decline by 10% to 20% each year.
Security guards are not the only source of safety on campus. Some campuses also have police officers who regularly make patrols and may act on their authority to make arrests. This not only helps to keep students safe from people who have no business on campus, but sadly, from college students themselves.
Common offenses committed by college students include underage drinking, possession of illegal drugs and DUIs. While being charged with these crimes may have far-reaching consequences for the students involved, many argue that marijuana and booze are “better evils” to encounter than campus shootings.