Is Your College Campus Safe?

Find out from this study of campus crimes at over 11000 college campuses.

Feel Safe in Your College?

Remember the 2015 Umpqua Community College shooting in Roseburg, Oregon? It was the worst mass shooting in the three years covering 2013 – 2015 with 9 deaths and multiple injuries. These and other stats were gleaned from the data made available by US Department of Education’s Campus Safety and Security website.

US College Campuses

This study includes data from over 11000 college campuses at more than 6600 colleges nationwide and show safety trends at college campuses.

These are largest 25 colleges in the study segmented by gender. It looks like University of Phoenix-Arizona is real popular with women.

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Crimes Resulting in Death

The numbers represent deaths caused by murder and negligent manslaughter. Murder represents intentional killing while negligent manslaughter refers to killing without intent, perhaps while committing an unlawful act.

The mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in 2015 tops the list.

Thankfully, these incidents seem to be isolated in the sense that there is no year-to-year recurrence. The one exception is Savannah State University which reported 1 death in 2013 and 2015.

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Sex Crimes

The report groups sex crimes as follows:

  • 2013 – classified into forcible sex offenses and non-forcible sex offenses.
  • 2014 and 2015 – includes rape, fondling, incest and statutory rape.

Bad bad bad University of Iowa. 9 cases in 2013, 71 in 2014 and 123 in 2015 for a total of 203. Better get a handle on that sex crime spiral. Why don’t you learn from Swarthmore College which has continued to improve with 89 cases in 2013, 27 in 2014 and 14 in 2015 (hopefully 0 in 2016) for a total of 130 cases. Other steep drops include Occidental College with 60 in 2013 and 14 each in 2014 and 2015.

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Theft

Theft covers crimes including robbery, burglary and motor vehicle theft.

The numbers for theft are really high compared with the other categories of crime. University of Utah topped the list at 191 cases in 2013, 123 in 2014 and 94 in 2015. Michigan State University-College of Law reported high numbers too: 142 in 2013, 154 in 2014 and 108 in 2015. Maybe the law students were checking what they could get away with?

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Aggravated Assault

Aggravated assault is an attempt to cause serious bodily injury to another or to cause serious bodily injury purposely, knowingly or recklessly, with an extreme indifference to the value of human life (from http://criminal-law.freeadvice.com/criminal-law/violent_crimes/aggravated_assault.htm).

Top campuses for aggravated assault include Washington University in St Louis with 43 cases in 2013, 12 in 2014 and 24 in 2015. Boston University reported 27 cases in 2015 and none in the other years. Holy Name Medical Center School of Nursing filed 18 cases in 2013 and 12 in 2014. Maybe this college believes in practical training at putting people in hospitals, eh folks?

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Burn it Down!

The University of Oregon tops the list of arson cases for all three years with 29 cases in 2013, 12 cases in 2014 and 10 cases in 2015 for a total of 51 cases. Maybe the University of Oregonians can easily find inflammable stuff. Kent State University at Kent had 16 cases in 2013 but has dropped off since, while Chapman University had 13 cases in 2013 and none in the other years.

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Domestic Violence

Oh Dear! Violence on intimate partners! Rutgers University-New Brunswick seems particularly prone, with 68 cases for 2014 and 114 for 2015, far more than any other campus. The next worst is University of Washington-Seattle Campus with 18 for 2014 and 64 for 2015.

Note: data missing for 2013.

Dating Violence

University of Iowa tops again! In addition to being top in the Sex Crimes group (the two numbers are probably related). 9 cases in 2014 and 85 in 2015. Other campuses are nowhere near close; University of Michigan-Ann Arbor reported 12 cases in 2014 and 29 in 2015. Michigan State University-College of Law reported 28 in 2014 and 21 in 2015.

Note: data is absent for 2013; likely data was not collected for that year.

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Stalking

In addition to domestic violence and dating violence, stalking is also classified under VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) category.

It appears that three campuses are the worst for stalking: University of Iowa (again) with 25 and 52 cases, George Mason University with 34 and 45 cases and Iowa State University reporting 29 and 50 cases for 2014 and 2015.

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Summary

Reviewing this brief look at college campus safety statistics, we found that while death numbers are quite low (within single digits), sex crimes, theft and VAWA related incidents are higher. Arson falls in between with under 50 cases per year.

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