Federal data shows increase in sex, drug crimes on campus
- The National Center for Education Statistics has released a new report on school crime and safety indicators at public and nonprofit four-year and two-year institutions between 2001 and 2015, finding large upticks in forcible sex crimes and drug violations are on the rise.
- Sexual offenses increased 262% and posted an 18% increase between 2014-2015 alone. Campus alcohol violations dropped over the measured period, but drug violations increased from 10.2 violations per 10,000 students in 2001 to 13.1 in 2015.
- Vandalism, intimidation and simple assault were the commonly reported forms of campus hate crimes, 40% of which were tied to race. Another 40% were targeted based on sexual orientation or religion.
The report offers a blueprint for where campuses should focus specific public safety, counseling and academic intervention resources. But it also shows what could be a disconnection from trends in enrollment management, and issues of racism and classism among student bodies.
Campuses have an obligation to be clear about their stances on sexual violence, drug use and personal character. Beyond the responsibility of warning about policy and consistently enforcing those policies, it is difficult to design residential, classroom and public space safeguards against these types of crime, however it is incumbent upon leaders to quickly and thoroughly adjudicate all claims and to not promote a culture of negligence that encourages students, by way of not enforcing any penalties, into poor behavior. And it is equally incumbent upon leaders to establish and promote a climate of respect — not only is doing so aligned with a moral imperative, enrollment depends on it, and with proposals to tie funding to retention and other outcomes, so does the securing of the public dollars that remain up for grabs.
- The Chronicle of Higher Education 3 Key Takeaways From New Federal Data on Campus Crime
- Education Dive How college athletics perpetuate a culture of rape on campus