Take Campus Safety Into Account When Applying To College
High school seniors will begin applying to colleges soon. And, of course, academic reputation, sports programs and campus life are taken into consideration when teens and their families decide where to apply.
Yet parents and high school students should also be aware of one aspect of the college experience not often talked about: campus safety.
Some universities may not disclose their crime rates during high school recruitment events, but the information is public as mandated by the U.S. Department of Education.
For 2011, California State University Channel Islands reported there were five burglaries, two assaults, two car thefts and one sexual assault on campus.
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Those crime statistics are relatively low compared to the California State University system’s 22 other college campuses, such as San Diego State University, which reported 82 instances of crime, and Cal State Northridge, with 52 crimes in 2011.
Location, campus size and student population affect a university’s crime stats. Yet a look at the crime rates of two very different campuses yields some possibly unexpected results.
For example, Channel Islands, a rural campus with less than 5,000 students, arrested 20 students in 2011 on drug charges. Campus police also arrested nine students on alcohol-related charges.
Reid said whether university police arrest drug users is determined by the local district attorney’s office.
“Simple possessions of marijuana aren’t being prosecuted in California anymore, so we’re not going to arrest someone with marijuana if the district attorney’s office is not going to prosecute them,” Reid said.
When drug offenses aren’t prosecuted by local law enforcement agencies, students are typically punished by a disciplinary board as part of the school’s code of conduct.
Setting the statistics aside, Reid said parents should teach their children about personal safety.
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