Campus Safety

Community college campuses should be a safe place, and these policies, controversial or not, aim to achieve that goal. Schools have banned sex offenders from campus, allowed security to carry guns and installed surveillance cameras in an effort to keep students safe. Here we’ll cover the latest crime and safety policies in place on campuses across the country.
View the most popular articles in Campus Safety:
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Community Colleges Contemplate Armed Security Guards on Campus
Can armed officers make a community college campus safer? Many community colleges think so. Learn about the growing trend of armed guards on community college campuses.
Most students heading to college are consumed with the adjustment to dorm life, the sometimes complex maze of the registration process and the cheapest place to purchase textbooks and supplies. However, recent events on campuses across the country, particularly the tragic massacre that occurred at Virginia Technical College just a few short years ago, have them considering the safety of their schools as well. In response to those concerns, some colleges are thinking about arming the security guards that currently patrol the campus. Others may allow students and faculty to carry their own firearms as a means of self-defense in the event of an attack. We will take a look at both issues, and why community colleges are taking such measures to protect their students and staff.
 

Armed Officers may be Coming to Illinois College

Illinois Valley Community College is just one of the community colleges across the country considering the option of arming security guards on campus. IVCC president Jerry Corcoran told the News Tribune that the upcoming retirement of current Safety Services Director Ken Sangston prompted the idea. Corcoran said, "We're seeing a trend among community colleges across the state where they have armed security. IVCC is like a small city…so if there's an opportunity to raise the bar for security we should explore it."

IVCC currently employs four full-time and six part-time security guards. At this time, all of them are unarmed. If they decide to arm some of their staff, the college may look at hiring retired police officers or contracting
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Lessons Community Colleges Can Learn from the Arizona Shooting Tragedy
The Arizona shooter was a community college student who had shown clear signs of trouble while on campus. What can community colleges learn from the tragedy in moving forward?
Photo Credit: White House
Ever since tragedy hit Virginia Tech in 2007, college campuses have been examining ways to make their schools safer for students and faculty. The more recent shootings in Arizona have further illustrated the need for intervention with disturbed students that could pose a potential danger to themselves or others. However, identifying the problem and finding a reasonable solution are two very different things. We will take a look at how some colleges are learning lessons from the Arizona tragedy and using what they learned to enhance safety on their campuses.

About Jared Loughner

Jared Loughner was a student at Pima Community College in Tucson. The college became concerned about some of Loughner's erratic behavior and eventually suspended him from the school. A few months after Loughner's suspension, he opened fire on a shopping mall in Arizona, wounding 13 and killing six people, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

According to a report at Google News, officials at Pima Community College released 51 pages of police documents on Loughner, depicting him as "creepy," "very hostile" and "having difficulty understanding what he did wrong in the classroom."

When Loughner released a YouTube video that called the college a "scam" and associated it with genocide, school officials told Loughner and his parents that he was no longer able to return to his classes. He would also need to obtain a report from a psychiatrist attesting to his mental health before coming back to the school campus again. Loughner never returned to Pima.
 
In this
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Free Speech vs. Campus Safety: When a Student Writes about an Addiction to Kill
Veteran Charles Wittington, a community college student, wrote about his killing addiction and was subsequently banned from campus. Was he entitled through free speech to express his opinion, or is campus safety more important? Weigh in on the controversy.
A recent "addition to killing" essay written by a student at the Community College of Baltimore in Maryland has shaken the campus and left the student barred from attending classes. The essay, titled, "War is a Drug," refers to an addiction to killing that the student developed after serving in Iraq. Since the essay was published in the campus newspaper, the student, Charles Wittington, has been removed from campus until he receives a psychological assessment stating that he is not a danger to fellow students and staff at the college.

Wittington's Service

Charles Wittington was in the army infantry in Iraq from October 2005 to June 2007, according to a report at CNN. During that time, Wittington survived three attacks from improvised explosive devices, and he had to be medevaced out of Iraq in 2007. After Wittington's discharge, he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. He also lost a finger in one of the attacks. Currently, Wittington is on medication and receiving counseling to help him cope with the aftermath of his war experience.
 
Wittington did not find the transition from the armed service to civilian life an easy road. At one point, Wittington went on a drinking binge that resulted in him crashing a car and hurting a number of people. Wittington spent three months in jail for the incident, according to the Baltimore Sun. When he was released, he enrolled in Community College of Baltimore in an effort to turn his life around.
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Sex Offenders: Banned on Community College Campuses
Sex offenders may soon be banned on community colleges. Learn about the community college that has taken this watershed step in preventing children sex offenders from taking classes on campus.
After serving time for their crimes, sex offenders must register their residence, but should more steps be taken to protect society from them? According to a Michigan community college, the answer is a resounding yes. 

Lake Michigan College, a community college in Benton Harbor, Michigan, made news recently when it announced that it is banning anyone who is registered as a sex offender of children from enrolling in courses.
 
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that the college decided to make the new rule after a student who is a registered child sex offender identified himself as such during course registration in October. The college decided not to let the student register and to suspend other students who are registered sex offenders of children. The college identified three currently enrolled students who are also registered child sex offenders by using a public sex-offender registry, and it suspended these three students in February.
 
Registered Offenders Cannot Attend On-campus Classes
 
The college has declared that students who are convicted of sex crimes against children are “suspended” from being on the college campuses until they are no longer required to register as child sex offenders and are no longer on probation or parole. Michigan’s Herald Palladium notes that under Michigan law, those who commit sex crimes against children are required to register themselves as such for either 25 years or life. Thus, these “suspensions” are more like expulsions. Registered child sex offenders will still be allowed to take online courses
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How Community College Campuses are Preparing for the H1N1 Virus
Learn about how community colleges are putting plans in place to prevent and combat the spread of H1N1 on campus.
With the H1N1 spreading across college campuses from Washington to Massachusetts, community colleges are taking action to shelter their students from any potential outbreak.
 
As reported by CNN, according to a presidential advisory panel, the potential spread of the virus could contribute to as many as 90,000 U.S fatalities this season.  Expected to break out in the fall, experts estimate that 30 to 50 percent of the U.S. population may become infected.  
 
Advisors further predict that schools and shared community areas pose the greatest threats for contamination and contagiousness.  To prepare for an array of plausible H1N1-related challenges, community college leaders are avidly making plans to confront the virus on campus.   
 
Community College Preparation for the H1N1 Virus
 
As reported by the Gazette News, Prince George Community College (PGCC), located in Largo, Maryland, is one of many community colleges making preparations against the H1N1 virus.  Considering that Prince George Community College enrolls more than 40,000 students, leaders are concerned that the large number of students enclosed in shared common areas can lead to rapid virus outbreak.  To proactively address the H1N1 threats, “The college has a pandemic team in place composed of about nine people from different departments.” 
 
PGCC has developed guidelines to help the school employ specific responses for an array of potential H1N1 campus issues.  For example, the leaders have established regulations for when and if the campus should shut down amidst an H1N1 outbreak and how many students should have confirmed cases before classes are cancelled. 
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Campus Safety