College Campus Safety 1
Running head: COLLEGE CAMPUS SAFETY & SHOOTINGS
College Campuses Safety and Shootings, Are We Secure While Learning
College Campus Safety 2
Date rapes, hate crimes and theft have become an apparent concern on college campuses. The most disturbing crime on a college campus is a school shooting. Being a victim of any crime is the last thing any student or parent thinks of when choosing a college or university. The possibilities of danger on a college campus have been increasing over the years due to the reported crimes ranging from theft to murder. Because of the recent years of college campus reported shootings, both student and parent have become alarmingly concerned about the safety when going off to college. That could never happen at my school or How did this happen is a common response when a student or faculty member is interviewed after a high profile crime that has taken place on a college or university campus. The Virginia Tech shootings motivated school administration to take a closer look at the safety procedures that colleges and universities had in place to protect their from future shootings. Of course no college can guarantee a safe haven but some colleges are trying to come close (“Campus Safety”). The first reported college campus shooting took place at the University of Texas at Austin on August 1, 1966. The shooter was identified as a student named Charles Joseph Whitman. The shooting massacre took place on the same day Whitman murdered his wife and mother at their homes. After killing his wife and mother, Whitman climbed to the upper observation deck at The University of Texas in Austin and went on a shooting rampage that lasted 96 minutes. When it was all over, Whitman had killed 16 people and left 31 wounded. (Kingsbury.) He was eventually shot and killed by Austin Police and this incident was considered the deadliest university shooting in the United States History. Since this date, August 1, 1966, at least 50 incidents of school shootings have shaken the nation. ("Timeline") College Campus Safety 3
Not all were as shocking as the massacre created by that of Charles Whitman. Some were more so. Like the Virginia Tech shooting this took place in 2007. Both school shootings have one thing in common: they have forever changed the face of the nation as we thought we knew it.
The Virginia Tech massacre took place on April 16, 2007. Cho Seung-Hui was a senior English major from Korea and only 23 years of age. Seung-Hui open fire on his fellow classmates and professors killing 32 people and wounding several more. ("Virginia Tech".) When it was all over, Seung-Hui shot and killed himself with a single bullet to this head surrounded by his victims. This shooting is now considered to be the biggest massacre in all of American history. Who were Charles Whitman and Cho Seung-Hui? What triggered these two men to go on these shooting massacres at their schools? What transpired in their lives to cause them to be so disturbed and to be perceived as psychologically unbalanced? How it is that family, friends and peers did not detect these men mental state? This is what we do know about each shooter. Several months prior to his shooting rampage, Whitman sought medical and psychiatric guidance at the university health center, but failed to return as instructed for further counseling. It was not until his death that an autopsy revealed a brain tumor. Cho Seung-Hui on the other hand was taken into police custody in December 2005, because a mental health evaluator found him to be "an imminent danger to himself and others as a result of mental illness". The mental health evaluator also deemed him as "incapable of volunteering or unwilling to volunteer for treatment." He was detained for a hearing at Carilion St. Albans Psychiatric Hospital and ordered
College Campus Safety 4
to receive outpatient care at the university-run Cook...
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