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Campus Crimes Types and Causes Essay

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Updated: Dec 12th, 2019

Over the last decade, there has been an increase in the number of crimes associated with college students. By comparing the current crime rates in all our college campuses, experts have indicated that campus crime rates have risen exponentially over the last century (Flowers 23).

Psychologists have blamed this unprecedented increase on stress, romantic obsession, relationship anguish, and drug abuse. Notably, relationship anguish, romantic obsession, and drug abuse have been cited as the leading causes of campus crimes in the U.S.

Currently, law enforcers, researchers and college administrators are struggling to find ways of controlling violence, crimes, and unusual behaviors within our colleges. On the other hand, students, staff, faculty, and external communities are being called upon to advocate for nonviolent behaviors and acts (Wessler & Margaret 45).

Through this, they will reduce their chances of falling victims of campus related crimes. This paper focuses on types of campus crimes, their causes, and the responsibilities college administrators have on their prevention.

Types of crimes and their causes

College crimes include all acts of breaking laws or rules governed by both college authorities and law enforcement authorities. The most rampant crimes committed by college students are binge drinking, underage drinking, and drug abuse. Other extreme crimes committed within the campuses are murder, burglary, robbery, vehicle theft, and sexual assaults.

According to the college administrators’ records, crimes in campuses were minimal in the 19th century and in the early 20th century. The decreased rate of crime was attributed to minimal student populations in colleges, few non-foreign college students, and strong cultural values.

In the early 20th century, there was an increased in the number of students accessing college education. To cope up with the increase, several colleges had to be expanded. Similarly, during this period, there was an increase in the number of foreign students in our colleges.

As the population increased, during the 20th century, the number of crimes within the college campuses skyrocketed. Currently, increase in campus crimes has been an issue to most college students and administrators.

It is noted that the increase in campus crimes affects the students, college administrators, college staff, and the community at large. In a recent U.S Campus survey, a report indicated that there is an increased in the number of murder crimes committed by college students.

This trend is not only disturbing, but also compromises on the relationships among students within the campus. In a similar survey, it is indicated that murder crimes in colleges mostly occur between the months of April and June. During this period, students are normally preoccupied with enormous class tasks.

It is believed that students exhibit high stress levels during the period. This concept is confirmed by rampant student unrest cases in between the period. College murder crimes are normally targeted at their fellow students, college staff members, and the college security officers.

For instance, In April 2007 at Virginia college campus a student armed with a pistol murdered 23 students and seriously wounded 25 other students. From this example, it is evident that college murder crimes are devastating.

Crimes such as murder, sexual assaults, and student’s molestation do not only affect the students’ safety, but also affect them psychologically (Bohmer 45). Students, who have fallen victims of such crimes normally depict withdrawal signs, and perform poorly in their academics.

In some extreme cases, affected students may drop out of their studies. This implies that the overall damage caused by campus crimes needs to be tackled.

Other common crimes in campuses are theft and burglary. Unlike murder crimes, the motives behind these crimes vary. their intentions differ from one college to another and from one student to another. It is believed that students’ family backgrounds and ethnic backgrounds are to be blamed for the increased in theft and burglary related crimes.

According to the recent investigations carried out by the police, more students from humble background are involved in theft cases, as compared to those from affluent backgrounds. Although some people have disagreed with these investigations, it should be noted that students from humble background are at higher risk of committing theft and burglary crimes to meet their demands.

According to some individuals, peer pressure is a major cause of theft and burglary crimes in campus. On the contrary, some researchers believe that the major cause of theft and burglary crimes in college campus is still uncertain.

Other types of crimes in college campus are attributed to students’ behaviors. Among these crimes are drug abuse, student molestation, and sexual assault. In the last decade, cases of sexual assault have increased immensely in most of college campuses (Schwartz & Walter 123).

Alcohol abuse and other substance abuse have contributed hugely to the increase in crime rates. Most students, who have been involved in sexual assault cases, have reported that they were influenced by alcohol and substance abuse to perpetuate these crimes.

Another campus crime common in all colleges is binge drinking. Binge drinking has become a public issue in most college campuses. According to the National Institute of Alcohol and Alcoholism (NIAAA), binge drinking among student has been on the rise. Involvement in binge drinking affects students’ cognitive measures.

Through this, those involved may be tempted to behave in unruly behaviors, and may end up being expelled from campus. Eventually, these students may also end up with alcohol related disorders.

Most campus crimes are committed within the college vicinity. College administrators have confirmed that campus crimes are perpetuated within their colleges and their neighboring communities.

Theft and burglary crimes are rampant in the college hostels during the deserted times. These are the times when most of the students are in their classes. On the other hand, most sexual assault crimes are committed in private, isolated places inside and outside the college campuses.

Colleges’ responsibilities

To end these crimes, college administrators, law enforcers and student leaders should be more agile and innovative in the development of new solutions to these complex challenges caused by campus crimes. Solutions to these crimes should be achieved without compromising the state of our learning institutions.

Stakeholders should act swiftly to ensure that these crimes are minimized. In this regard, strict laws and regulation should be implemented to curb the ever-increasing rate of crime in our colleges. Apart from enforcing strict laws, relevant measures should be put in place to thwart the damages caused by these crimes.

These measures may be gained through introducing and restructuring social clubs in colleges. Through this, students’ idling time will be reduced. In this essence, social clubs should come up with innovative and attractive programs to keep the students engaged.

Other ways to ensure that students are refrained from such crimes are introduction of social education in all campuses. Through this, all campus students will be informed on the repercussions of various campus crimes and ways to avoid the vices.

Similarly, through the college counseling programs, more students should be identified to offer counseling services to other students. It is believed that student-to-student counseling approach will be effective in reducing the increasing cases of college crimes.

Similarly, through this approach effects of alcohol and substance abuse will be discussed openly enhancing awareness among students.

It is believed that if the entire college student population could cooperate with both student leaders and student counselors, 40% of the current college crimes could be avoided (Smith & Richard 107). This implies that colleges should ensure that the students elect effective and morally upright student leaders.

Another solution can be achieved through community workshops. Workshops can be conducted in the community to educate the community on the significance of maintaining a peaceful society. Through these workshops, parents will be advised on the need to counsel their children to be morally upright individuals.


In conclusion, college administrators have the ultimate responsibility in ensuring that college related crimes are reduced (Paludi 48). They should provide appropriate security within all campuses. Similarly, all colleges must ensure that their security systems function effectively. In so doing, safety performance would be enhanced.

Equally, college Safety departments should provide appropriate training to their security officers to reduce conflicts between them and the students. In addition, college administrators should work collectively with the law enforcers in identifying criminal students in and within their campuses.

Works Cited

Bohmer, Carol, and Andrea Parrot. Sexual assault on campus: the problem and the solution . New York: Lexington Books ;, 1993. Print.

Flowers, R. Barri. College crime: a statistical study of offenses on American campuses . Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Co., 2009. Print.

Paludi, Michele Antoinette. Understanding and preventing campus violence. Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 2008. Print.

Schwartz, Martin D., and Walter S. DeKeseredy. Sexual assault on the college campus : the role of male peer support. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications, 1997. Print.

Smith, Michael Clay, and Richard Fossey. Crime on campus: legal issues and campus administration . Phoenix, Ariz.: Oryx Press, 1995. Print.

Wessler, Stephen, and Margaret Moss. Hate crimes on campus: the problem and efforts to confront it. Washington, DC: U.S. Dept. of Justice, Office of Justice Programs Bureau of Justice Assistance , 2001. Print.

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