Campus Violence- A Problem at Cal U?
Although violent behavior is an issue among some schools and colleges, statistics show that California University of Pennsylvania is not among those problem schools, with low incidences of assault and mostly minor
According to the 2013 crime statistics report, there has been one aggravated assault on campus in 2012, three simple assaults in 2012, and two simple assaults on campus in 2010.
The crime statistics report is maintained by campus police and can be found under the student affairs section of the Cal U website.
James Jeffrey, a Cal U campus police officer, said that campus police have been working to decrease violence. Jeffrey, who started working at the police department in 2010, said they have had more serious incidents of violence then, which have been decreasing.
“We do a lot of work with the drug and alcohol coalition,”
Jeffrey said. “A lot of violence is alcohol related.”
Cal U provides more things to do at night rather than drinking and hired more officers, Jeffrey said.
University police also attend classes and programs with tips about how people can protect their selves, Jeffrey
Associate Dean for Student Conduct Jim Pflugh, said he saw “one or two significant violent incidents and five to 10 minor disputes” so far in the fall 2013 school year.
Pflugh, who has worked with Cal U for 20 years, said violence decreased since he first started at the school. He deals largely with arguments and relationship disagreements, which he said are a result of “lack of conflict
resolution skills,” and alcohol.
Fifty percent of the cases over the five years have been related to alcohol or underage. Fighting and sexual assault are often results of drinking, Pflugh said.
The Student Affairs office looks at the causes of
violence. Depending on the extent of the violent behavior, Student Affairs can suspend or expel students who violate conduct regulations. Non students can be banned from the university or a specific residence hall for sexual violence or
extreme aggressive behavior.
Kay Dorrance, end violence center coordinator, sees issues of sexual and relationship violence on a weekly basis, she said.
“Sometimes we have to order a no-contact directive or a
Protection from Abuse order” Dorrance said. “These provide protection from future injury to those dealing with abuse.”
According to the Crime Statistics Report, there were two
forcible sex offenses on campus in 2010, four in 2011, and two in 2012.
Students can come in and request no action be taken against their attacker. If an anonymous report of sexual assault is placed, the Student Conduct office must make sure the report isn’t a threat to others on campus, Pflugh said.
Since October is sexual violence awareness month, a panel and group of Cal U students will be attending a conference in October in order to shine light on the issue of
sexual assault and harassment, Jeffrey said. Any student can attend to get more information about sexual violence and proactively take a stance.
By Victoria Martin.