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Campus Safety

The Dangers in College and the Importance of Staying Safe 

Photo by Victoria Heath on Unsplash

No matter one's position on campus, overall safety is undeniably a top priority for universities. Usually, the focus is reducing crimes, protecting people from violence and ensuring the welfare of the general public. However, there are many instances in which college party culture and game days increase the numbers of rape and violence within universities. Football games have been proven to intensify partying among college students, which then worsens other issues such as: assault, vandalism, alcohol-related crimes and misconduct. 

In a study done by the American Economic Association, evidence has shown rape numbers between women ages 17-24 increase by 28 percent on game days. At division one (D1) schools, home games increase the school's yearly rape numbers by 41% and away games by 15%. Across 128 D1 schools, these games cause more than 724 rapes per year. The overall rape reports seem to be driven by the intense partying on game days. Research has revealed the timing many of these rapes occur are either before, during or after home games. Unfortunately, the offenders are often unknown and unrecognizable to the victims, which is usually due to the fact many D1 schools are much larger. Statistics have shown one in five women have been sexually assaulted while attending college. Typically only 12 percent of college students end up reporting rape to law enforcement. 

Excess partying on campus due to football games has also increased driving under the influence (DUI) numbers and underage drinking. Increasing DUI numbers not only put the individuals in the vehicle at risk but also others driving, walking home, biking and more. Rates of impaired driving have gotten excessively higher between 2021-2023. In 2015, Brown University banned all alcohol at fraternity parties because of rising numbers in misconduct and sexual assault. Along with Brown, Dartmouth College also banned all alcohol on campus due to various DUI issues and drink-spiking issues. Alcohol misconduct not only risks lives but also stimulates educational unemployment, financial penalties and jail time. 

Little is known about how universities can truly end sexual violence and negative party culture on campus. However, the federal government and many universities have been hard at work discussing possible solutions. Alcohol-control policies have been placed on many campuses in efforts to support safer partying and hopefully reduce the rates of drunken sexual violence and misconduct. Bystander inventions have been formulated as well in hopes to prevent future rape on campus, but too little is known about these inventions to know if they work or not, unfortunately. 

Overall, little is known and being done to stop the prevalent issues of sexual abuse and dangerous behavior, often involving alcohol. However, there are some small things one can incorporate into their everyday lives to keep themselves safe. On game days especially, it is crucial to avoid walking alone at any point during the day or throughout the night, using the buddy system. Making sure one’s phone is fully charged and having a backup portable charger is also a smart idea in the case of an emergency. Though these things are small they go a long way, in the end, to help improve students safety on campus.


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Andy Poll

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