Crime on campus returns to pre-pandemic levels

The number of crimes reported by college campuses rebounded to pre-pandemic levels in 2022, government data show.

Crime reported from nearly 6,000 institutions rose about 8% from 2019, even though enrollments dipped during that timeframe. The jump in offenses between 2019 and 2022 coincided with students’ post-pandemic return en masse to campuses. Compared with year-over-year changes before 2019, the recent spike represents the largest increase since post-secondary institutions that receive federal funding began reporting campus safety statistics.

Experts see little reason to worry and say the numbers are largely consistent with what colleges have been experiencing since 2013, according to S. Daniel Carter, president of the consulting firm Safety Advisors for Educational Campuses.

Full story: Crime on campus returns to pre-pandemic levels

17 Replies to “Crime on campus returns to pre-pandemic levels”

  1. It is crazy to think that experts say that there is no reason to be concerned. What has caused the rise in crime on college campuses? There was a recent stabbing on campus and the majority of the student population was unfazed. We have become desensitized to violence and that is a cause for concern. What can be done about the societal desensitization to violence?

    1. I think you make a good point about the desensitization Sarah but I think in the case of the stabbing it was somewhat obvious when it happened that it was an isolated issue and not an attempt to harm many people. I do agree with us being desensitized though. I think the media plays a large role in this. We are in touch relatively small acts of violence that happen across the globe. So, when events like last weeks stabbing happen we just assume “yeah, happens all the time”. Personally I agree with Ethan, violent content gets the most attention. I think the media should take responsibility and focus on more productive news but that’s not what sells so I doubt that will happen anytime soon.

    2. I do agree that there must be some kind of desensitization to violence because of what we are exposed to. When it comes to the stabbing however, I doubt that the majority of the students are unfazed because of that. Since it was an isolated incident, the offenders were caught, and the victim got the care they needed, there was no real reason for people to be scared anymore. The rapid response and conclusion to the incident made people very quickly feel like they can just go back to how things were again.
      In the end I do agree with you about the desensitization part and that it is important to look at it’s effects, but I feel like pointing to the stabbing is a good example to use.

  2. Sarah, you make a good point about how desensitized we’ve become, and unfortunately, I don’t know if there’s any way to remedy that. We see violence in the news, in popular media, and in everyday life through the internet and social media. Violent content gets the most attention, which ultimately encourages more of it in the real world. Normally in the realm of college violence, I’d say implementing more gun control laws would be a great step, but with the recent stabbing, I’m reminded that if people want to commit violence, they will find a way. It seems we need to shift the focus to more preventative measures with students.

  3. In my opinion, this is part of an association with lockdowns. Lockdowns forced kids to stay at home in their rooms without a lot of social interaction. Not to mention the fact that when they did go out of their house they had to wear masks and be six feet apart from anyone that they saw. This in my opinion is associated with the uptick in crime this year because now that generation is in college and has free range to do whatever they want within reason. Because of this, some college students want to try and do a lot of things because they have been kept inside for so long. In my opinion I think this uptick in crime is just a phase that the generation in college is going through and it will fizzle out.

  4. This article was very interesting to read, I wonder if this increase in crime has anything to do with inflation and rising living costs? I’m curious if they are financially motivated as the chart indicates that motor-vehicle theft has risen the most. I also found it interesting how experts aren’t concerned, I think its partially due to how it has returned to a previous level but could it be the start of a continual upwards increase?

    1. You make a several really great points. I think you bring up something that should be looked into more deeply, the rise in the cost of living. Not only how that plays into crime rates but also the way that overpopulation on campuses could cause issues along with that. Part of the reason, especially in Boone, for the higher cost of living is the supply and demand. People love App and want to experience life in Boone but that becomes difficult when you can’t find a place to live or you can’t get into the classes you need to graduate and the list goes on. How do things like this play into a person’s tendency to commit crime. Are things exacerbated due to these types of conditions?

    2. Hey Mateo. You make a really good point that I didn’t think about. The rise of living-cost has made it difficult for some people to continue to live in their current residence. It’s hard to say whether the rise of campus crime is due to the rise in inflation and the cost of living but it could definitely be a factor.

  5. I found so many facets of this read to be interesting. The first thing that really grabbed my attention was the lack of concern about the rise in crime. The Berkley parents who hired private security was also very interesting. It is sad and quite scary to think that parents feel the need to hire their own security because their kids don’t feel safe on a campus they are paying to learn on. What can the education system do to remedy that? Is there anything that can be done? Is it a problem due to lack of money for security or a lack of concern on the part of the heads of universities? Either way, we should be able to feel safe in our learning environment and the schools we are oftentimes paying to be at should take into consideration the feelings of their students and faculty.

    1. I agree the lack of concern is concerning. Parents had to step in to give themselves the peace of mind that their children would be safe. This should not be the case as schools often promote themselves as a safe environment for individuals in order to recruit more students. Many of these parents are already paying the school for their children’s education and the extra stuff the school has to offer which includes the safety of their children. This could have an impact on the school potentially seeing a decrease in enrollment as well as conflicts with the private security and the on-campus police departments.

      1. Seeing that the school was against the parents’ plans of hiring a private security company makes one question the real motive behind their resistance to the action. From a hopeful point of view, it would make sense that the school would want that money to go towards the school’s police force. Improving an in-house police force could result in closer relationships with students and staff, and make community engagement a little easier- easier than a private company would be able to do. If they cared about their students’ safety as much as they claim they do, why did it get to a point where the parents of students came together to hire a private security firm? Was the school upset that money had gone to the private security firm rather than their own police force, or were they upset that this all had gone public?

    2. Rebecca, I agree with your points. After reading the article I also believe that why we aren’t so concerned with the lack of concern on the rise in crime. Why are we as Americans not concerned about the rise in crime? These parents shouldn’t have to step in for the safety of their children. The colleges should have the student’s safety as a top concern. Colleges should have the funding for security. Are the colleges not using their funding for this reason? Students should feel safe in their learning environment and this article makes it sound like they are not.

  6. Rebecca, I think that the idea of having higher security is both sad and necessary for the modern campus. It may be negative for the students, as no one wants to be subject to over policing, but with issues such as violence and shootings, it is a necessary evil. Students deserve to have the best security possible, and on the administrative level, the colleges themselves do not want a potential shooting on the level of the Virginia Tech shooting. Perhaps a compromise between security and less policing overall could remedy this issue.

  7. I think it’s no surprise that once the pandemic ended and things started to return to normal crime would rise back up in college. Things already get crazy in college due to it being college. Many students do not know how to act and go with the mob mentality for certain things like a football game victory. The issue now is what are college police going to do about it. We have systems in place like with Appalachian State University Police Department where they are the law enforcement for campus. They regulate parking and occasionally react to crazy parties or pull someone over for speeding. Campus police is pretty much reactive instead of actively looking for issues to solve. Campus police should look to how local and federal polcie are reforming with more of an approach to community policing in an effort to make connections.

  8. The rise in crime in college is an issue that should be prioritized and not taken lightly. With the advancement of technology and the amount of lives that can be affected in a particular environment protocols should be taken into action for the security of students’ lives. The United States shows an abundant amount of school shootings to the point where many students are becoming desensitized to the news on more recent incidents. Security in many college campuses would need to be tightened and there may be the need to increase staff which can be a problem for many universities that are already lacking law enforcement staff on campus. There was seen a drop in students reporting crimes which should never be the case because that shows the lack of importance schools are prioritizing for the safety of students.

    1. I agree with you Rebeca and with the concern of safety on campus. Providing the safety of students requires increasing staffing and tightening security measures in response to escalating crime rates. A decline in the number of students reporting crimes is concerning as well, since it suggests that they may not be as confident in the school’s response systems. While I understand that this matter has to be given top priority, I’m interested in knowing what particular actions you believe universities should take to successfully address these issues. The issue is always the “how” in stuff like this as we do know the need is there. One solution that has been shown to be effective is a more proactive and community-focused approach to policing, which I can say is really present in App State with our DICE unit and most of the officers. It’s difficult to know how much more and further you can take and do to be more a part of the community while still maintaining the duties of law enforcement.

  9. While experts dismiss the relevance of recent figures, worries about violence on college campuses have been heightened, according to a recent USA TODAY piece by Suhail Bhat and Zachary Schermele. Although the story emphasizes that crime rates have decreased on campuses, experts claim that these figures are consistent with longer-term patterns observed throughout the previous ten years. While experts stress there’s no reason to be alarmed, some parents in particular parts of the nation still worry about safety on campuses. This article highlights the differences in viewpoints between professionals who stress more general statistical patterns and individual parents who place more importance on specific local safety issues.

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