Thursday, August 23, 2007

Who is Looking Out for Student Safety?

From another concerned reader:

"First I would like to thank you for taking this on.

I am a Samish homeowner & I have been concerned not so much by the particular students’ behavior on my street (mostly good kids), but by the risk that Western has put them in. Currently, without adult supervision, there is no barrier between the kids (and they are under age) and either the police or the paramedics.

If I were a parent sending my kid across state to live on their own for the first time, I would not allow Western as a choice. No matter the quality of academic experience, the risk of harm is simply too great! It seems to me that parents are entrusting the futures of their children to an institution that has very little regard for their safety."

My comment:

I would like to invite input here from representatives of the university.

Nevertheless, I do suggest that the university should take more responsibility in the control of off-campus behavior by way of expanding the student code to cover off-campus activities. This is done at other universities acrosss the country. The University of Washington has been considering such a code. Click here for information. Penn State has such a code, click here to see. Likewise the University of Minnesota. See their policy here. Gallaudet University, the premier university for the deaf in Washington, D.C., has this as part of its code:

"An off-campus violation(s) by a student of Gallaudet University of a criminal law or the Student Code that brings the University into disrepute, adversely affects the University’s educational mission, objectives, and/or interests of the University community, or seriously affects the ability of the University to continue its normal activities, for example, are considered to be of legitimate interest to the University. Inappropriate behaviors in our surrounding neighborhood such as public urination, public intoxication, disruptive conduct to neighbors, loud and unruly gatherings, violations of the alcohol and/or drug policies, and misconduct demonstrating flagrant disregard for any person or persons would be in violation of the Student Code of Conduct and may be subject to appropriate disciplinary procedures."

Safety concerns can also be met in part by enforcement of existing municipal codes and, subsequently, by creating a law that licenses landlords and provides for inspection of rental property.


Terry said...

Who is looking out for low-income non-students who need affordable housing?

Zonemaven said...

Certainly not the city and certainly not the university. Builders are not interested in that there is little money in it for them.