Colleges are suddenly gaining the reputation for being dangerous places. Between the kid at San Diego state who wanted to stage a massive explosion to the stabbing at Lone Star College to the Virginia Tech shooting to the endless amount of gunpoint robberies we hear about in SUNY schools all over New York, we’re actually getting the impression that mentally ill people and criminals view colleges and the towns that surround them as easy opportunities to have some fun.
Let us first examine the typical American college town. Anyone who has ever gone away to school knows that most college towns are usually one of two environments. The campus is either plopped in the middle of nowhere next to only highways, an unnervingly vacant road of shops and the countryside or in close proximity to a town with a higher than acceptable crime rate where walking around at night is a legitimate death wish.
Regardless of which environment a respective institution surveys, each is a haven for the creepiest of creepy looking to take advantage of some innocent young soul who has never lived in a place like this. Young adults have always been popular targets for criminals in any region, but college students are a specifically vulnerable demographic.
First off, they tend to be new to whatever area they are now living in, which means they have probably never been mugged, stalked, threatened or even spoken to by a skeevy-looking stranger. They’ll have no idea what to do in these situations and criminals figure that this will make them more likely to just give the dirtbag what he wants.
Especially if the student is under the influence. Think back to when you were in college and what the massive group of people walking back to their dorms or apartments as the night came to a close looked like.
It’s safe to say that more than a few people are stumbling around, falling over themselves, only able to walk straight thanks to their friends physically directing them the right way. And some of these people are even stupid or just drunk enough to walk through town late at night by themselves.
It seems as though we don’t pay campus police enough to have them constantly patrol the campus perimeters with the amount of officers an area with a sketchy reputation should have. Go ahead and Google “college gunpoint” and we guarantee you’ll be downright appalled by the amount of results that pop up.
We all know the precautions college students need to take when they’re looking to go out for a night on the town in an unfamiliar city. First and foremost, it should be common knowledge that walking down the street alone at a late hour in any college town is equivalent to asking to get robbed, raped or even murdered. Secondly, as we all learned in kindergarten, never talk to strangers.
If a townie approaches you or even touches you, it’s time to either run, call the cops or scream, preferably all of the above.If only college students could remember these rules when they’re too drunk to see straight.
Next we have the issue with mentally ill students who want to bring their fantasies about murdering their hated peers to life. Let’s be honest here, college messes with your head and has the power to completely alter your perception of the outside world and the people in it because, for the time being, college is a representation of the whole world.
The whole experience can be quite traumatic. No, getting an STD or getting put on academic probation might not drive you over the edge, but coming to the conclusion that college made you hate the world even more than high school did could probably do the trick.
More and more young people are committing horrifically violent crimes nowadays because it’s become a lot less difficult to get a hold of guns and explosives. But there’s no way these sadistic people could ever get accepted into an accredited college, right?
Wrong. Unless you are deemed severely disturbed to the point where you are a danger to other human beings, there’s no psychological examination required to dorm at the college of your choice. Diseases such as Asperger’s or Bipolar disorder cannot stop someone suffering from these illnesses from getting room and board just like anyone else. It’s apparently against the law to prohibit people who aren’t in the ballpark of mentally retarded from having a good time at college.
We’re not saying that every kid with a mean streak or somewhat unstable past should be denied a college education. We’re saying that kids with mean streaks or unstable pasts look at college as their best chance to experiment with the lust for violence and blood they have kept inside for so long.
In high school, you are forced to get mental counseling if there is any sign of mental illness. In college, unless the medical case is on the severe side, it is 100% your choice whether you want to see a counselor or not. Even scarier, college counselors don’t get paid anywhere near enough money to actually care about what happens to their patients.
You could be going to a class with someone plotting a mass murder and you won’t even know it until it’s too late. The examples of why this is a dangerous attribute about college don’t stop with Virginia Tech shooter Seuing Hei-Cho. James Holmes, the guy who will soon be executed for gunning down 12 people in a movie theater, was a college student. So was Adam Lanza! These people weren’t even deemed too mentally ill to roam around a college campus.
So we’ve got dangerous criminals and dangerous students all looking to capitalize on the abundance of targets innocently walking around right in front of them. Most would agree, at least those who Googled “Gunpoint College” earlier in the article, that something should be done to prevent any more horrible incidents.
We need to pay campus police officers and college mental health counselors more money so they have an incentive to become more dedicated to serving students who depend on their protection. The money we give these counselors would go towards them giving students with a history of mental illness a more comprehensive to determine how dangerous they are.
As for the campus police, they might not have to monotonously cruise up and down the streets at night, but it wouldn’t hurt to take part in searches (yes, just like real cops) to cleanse the nearby college town of as many potentially violent people as possible. As per our knowledge, campus police currently don’t do anything of the sort because they don’t have the incentives or manpower to do so.
College is supposed to be the most freeing and overwhelmingly enjoyable period of a young adult’s life, and any lack of safety associated with that environment is detrimental to the golden years of being a kid. This should be a time every teenager looks forward to without any worry of violence or crime because they are being attentively protected for the case of extreme danger. Right now, that isn’t entirely true.
To bring that characteristic to fruition, however, changes need to be made before fear and insecurity due to all these recent college crimes hinder a student’s desire to truly feel at home at school.
Sean Levinson | Elite.