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Preventing Violence 
and Promoting 
Safety in Higher 
Education Settings 

Overview of a 
Comprehensive Approach 

The Higher Education Center 

for Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse 

and Violence Prevention 

Funded by the U.S. Department of Education 

Preventing Violence and Promoting Safety in 
Higher Education Settings: Overview of a 
Comprehensive Approach 

by Linda Langford, Sc.D. 

Institutions of higher education 
(IHEs) are often regarded as sanctuar- 
ies, protected environments where 
young people explore great ideas in a 
collegial atmosphere and make lifelong 
friendships. Consequently, incidents of 
violence on campus are particularly 
shocking for the extended campus 
community, evoking questions about 
whether there is any safe haven. An 
abundance of evidence indicates that 
in fact campuses are not immune from 
such incidents. There are many types 
of campus violence — including rape, 
assault, fighting, hazing, dating vio- 
lence, sexual harassment, hate and 
bias-related violence, stalking, rioting, 
disorderly conduct, property crime, 
and even self-harm and suicide. While 
grappling with these complex prob- 
lems is challenging, lessons learned 
from community-based prevention 
research point to a set of best practices 
to guide the development, implemen- 
tation, and evaluation of interventions 
to improve campus health and safety. 

This publication was developed to help 
campuses prevent violence and promote 
safety. It reviews the scope of campus 
violence problems, describes the wide 

7 his publication was funded by the Office of Safe and 
Drug-Free Schools at the U.S. Department of Education 
under contract number ED-04-CO-0137 uith Education 
Development Center, Inc. Tide contracting officer's repre- 
sentative was Richard Lucey, Jr The content of this publi- 
cation does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of 
the U.S. Department of Education, nor does the mention 
of trade names, commercial products, or organizations 
imply endorsement by the U.S. government. This publi- 
cation also contains hyperlinks and URLs for informa- 
tion created and main tained by private organizations. 

1 his information is provided for the reader's convenience. 

'. The U.S. Department of Education is not responsible for 

controlling or guaranteeing the accuracy, relevance, 

timeliness, or completeness of this outside information. 

Further, the inclusion of information or a hyperlink or 

URL does not reflect the importance of the organization, 

nor is it intended to endorse any views expressed, or 

products or services offered. 

array of factors that cause and con- 
tribute to violence, outlines a compre- 
hensive approach to reducing violence 
and promoting safety on campus, and 
lists specific recommendations that 
administrators, students, faculty, staff, 
and community members can follow to 
review and improve their policies and 
strengthen their programs and services. 
The document concludes with vignettes 
describing initiatives specific campuses 
have undertaken to reduce violence and 
promote a safe environment. 

Scope of the Problem 

Estimates of campus violence range 
widely due to both the underreporting 
that skews official statistics and the use 
of differing definitions and data collec- 
tion methodologies in surveys. Exist- 
ing data indicate, however, that a 
substantial minority of college students 
experience some type of violence and 
related consequences. According to 
one nationally representative survey 
of college students, approximately 
17 percent of students reported 
experiencing some form of violence 
or harassment in the previous year. * 1 

Common forms of campus violence 
include sexual and interpersonal vio- 
lence. A 1997 national telephone sur- 
vey found that 1.7 percent of college 
women had experienced a completed 
rape and 1 . 1 percent an attempted 
rape in the seven months prior to the 
study. Projecting these figures over an 
entire calendar year, the survey’s 
authors concluded that nearly 5 per- 
cent of college women might be vic- 
timized annually and that up to 25 
percent might be assaulted by the end 
of their college years. In the same 

study, 1 3 percent of college women 
reported they had been stalked during 
the seven-month period. 2 * * Other stud- 
ies, using varying definitions, estimate 
that from 20 to 50 percent of students 
experience dating violence by the end 
of college. 3,4 In addition, 13.2 percent 
of college students report having been 
in a physical fight in the past 12 
months, 5 8.5 percent report carrying a 
weapon in the past 30 days, 5 and 4.3 
percent report “having a working 
firearm with them at college.” 6 

Elazing is also a common concern. Of 
the 25 percent of National Collegiate 
Athletic Association (NCAA) athletes 
who responded to a 1 999 Alfred 
University survey, 79 percent had 
experienced some form of hazing, and 
5 1 percent of respondents had been 
required to participate in drinking 
contests or alcohol-related hazing. 
Approximately 20 percent of the 
respondents reported what the authors 
called “unacceptable and potentially 
illegal” hazing. 7 

Hate and bias crimes occur all too 
frequently on campus. A 1998 study 
estimated that an average of 3.8 hate 
crimes per campus occurred that year, 
80 percent of them motivated by the 
victim’s race or sexual orientation. 8 In 
a study of gay and lesbian students, 

42 percent reported experiencing some 
level of physical aggression due to their 
sexual orientation. 9 

Victims of violence experience a wide 
variety of physical and emotional conse- 
quences, often leading to social and aca- 
demic difficulties. 10 Violence can lower 
the quality of life for all campus con- 
stituents, who may become fearful and 


Preventing Violence 

restrict their activities out of concern for 
safety. In addition, violence affects the 
bottom line for colleges by increasing 
costs, lowering retention, and absorbing 
resources that could otherwise be used 
to further the academic mission. 

What Causes Violence? 

Studies have found that no single fac- 
tor causes violence. Researchers have 
identified many determinants, includ- 
ing both individual characteristics and 
attributes of campus and community 
environments . 11 These factors can be 
organized according to a “social eco- 
logical framework,” a commonly used 
public health model. This model rec- 
ognizes that health- and safety-related 
behaviors are shaped through multiple 
levels of influence — individual, group, 
institutional, and community as well 
as public policy and societal factors . 12,13 
The nature and strength of these fac- 
tors will vary across settings and by 
type of violence . 11 

In a campus community, the following 
are examples of possible influences at 
each level: 

• Individual factors, such as student, 
faculty, and staff attitudes and 
beliefs about violence; skills for 
negotiating conflict. 

• Interpersonal or group processes, 
such as group norms regarding 
appropriate behavior; responses of 
bystanders to violence. 

• Institutional factors, such as campus 
policies and procedures; existence 
of high-risk settings that contribute 
to violence; high levels of alcohol 
consumption in the campus envi- 

• Community factors, such as high 
rates of violence and drug selling in 
the surrounding community; extent 
of community law enforcement. 

• Public policy and societal influences 
that influence campus life and stu- 
dents, including the existence and 

enforcement of federal, state, and 
local laws and statutes; cultural 
contributors such as male gender 
role socialization and media images 
that glamorize violence. 

Any given violent event typically results 
from a convergence of some or all of 
the above factors. The National 
Research Council concluded: “A violent 
event requires the conjunction of a 
person with some (high or low) predis- 
posing potential for violent behavior, a 
situation with elements that create some 
risk of violent events, and usually a 
triggering evenf (emphasis added ).*' 11 

The complexity of violence suggests 
that efforts to reduce violence will 
require multicomponent initiatives 
designed to address the array of con- 
tributing factors. In addition, efforts 
should take into account the typical 
dynamics of campus violence. For 
example, most incidents of campus 
sexual assault are perpetrated not by a 
stranger who jumps out of the bushes 
but by someone known to the victim . 2 

Addressing Campus Violence 

Campus administrators understandably 
struggle with their roles and responsi- 
bilities with respect to influencing stu- 
dent behavior. While some incidents of 
violence are unpredictable, it is possible 
to identify and reduce the factors that 
make violence more likely. Recent 
court decisions reflect a growing expec- 
tation that campuses will deal proac- 
tively with these foreseeable risks to 
students . 14 Thus, campuses must con- 
sider whether there are factors within 
their control that might contribute to 
the likelihood of violence or injury. 

A “triggering event” is a description of the 
immediate circumstances surrounding an act of 
violence and is not intended to convey a lack of 
agency or responsibility by perpetrators. A trig- 
gering event can occur at a social level, e.g., the 
football game that precedes a riot, or within an 
individual, e.g., a cognitive error in informa- 
tion processing that impairs decision-making. 

Failure to institute basic measures such 
as educating students about common 
types of violence, creating and enforc- 
ing strong policies, implementing com- 
prehensive alcohol prevention efforts, 
and reviewing incidents with the aim 
of preventing future problems may 
expose institutions to legal action. By 
identifying and adequately addressing 
local conditions that contribute to vio- 
lence, individual campuses reduce both 
the probability of harm and the likeli- 
hood of a successful lawsuit, while also 
enhancing the learning environment. 

While avoiding liability is desirable, 
recent legal and scientific work urges 
administrators to broaden their view 
beyond a “rules and regulations” orien- 
tation in order to foster a safe, healthy, 
and civil campus environment . 14, 15 
Violence prevention and safety promo- 
tion should be seen as part of the 
broader mission of any institution of 
higher education, namely, to create a 
context in which all campus con- 
stituents flourish both academically 
and personally. 

The Need for Prevention 

Often, responses to violence focus on 
reacting to specific incidents, typically 
relying on disciplinary measures or the 
criminal justice system. Such efforts 
are essential to maintain a safe envi- 
ronment, and strong enforcement 
sends a clear message about an institu- 
tion’s intolerance for violent behavior. 
A comprehensive approach to violence, 
however, also includes complementary 
measures aimed at early intervention 
and prevention. As the social ecologi- 
cal model suggests, campuses must 
seek to minimize the broad spectrum 
of factors that contribute to violence, 
as identified through a local assessment 
of campus conditions. A comprehen- 
sive program will include approaches 
such as the following: 

• Addressing attitudes, beliefs, per- 
ceptions, and skills that contribute 


to violence through education, skill 
building, curriculum infusion, and 
other efforts. 

• Supporting healthy group norms 
and promoting bystander interven- 

• Conveying clear expectations for 
conduct among students, faculty, 
staff, and visitors. 

• Creating and disseminating com- 
prehensive policies and procedures 
addressing each type of violent 
behavior, and instituting training 
programs to ensure that policies are 
followed and enforced. 

• Providing a range of support ser- 
vices for students, including mental 
health services, crisis management, 
and comprehensive and compas- 
sionate services for victims. 

• Helping students to avoid harm 
through such measures as escort 
services and self-defense classes. 

• Establishing comprehensive alcohol 
and other drug prevention programs. 

Some of these approaches, such as 
escort services and self-defense classes, 
are already common on campuses. 
While such risk reduction efforts can 
be an important part of an overall 
approach, they focus on protection 
against assaults by strangers and target 
only potential victims. Therefore, these 
measures must be supplemented with 
other programs and policies targeting 
violence among acquaintances, friends, 
and intimates and addressing potential 
perpetrators and bystanders. 

Given the complexity of violent behav- 
ior and the diversity of settings, struc- 
tures, cultures, and students among 
campuses, there is no simple, one-size- 
fits-all solution for violence in higher 
education settings. Officials at each 
institution must design a program that 
meets their particular circumstances 
and needs. 


In recent years a consensus has 
emerged from community-based pre- 
vention research about the best prac- 
tices for developing, implementing, 
and evaluating interventions designed 
to reduce health and safety problems. 
Taken together, these lessons from pre- 
vention science suggest a number of 
clear principles that should govern 
efforts to address campus violence. 

Principles for Designing 
Effective Campus Violence 

Interventions should be 

• prevention-focused in addition to 

• comprehensive, addressing multi- 
ple types of violence, all campus 
constituents, and on- and off-cam- 
pus settings 

• planned and evaluated, using a 
systematic process to design, imple- 
ment, and evaluate the initiative 

• strategic and targeted, addressing 
priority problems (and their risk 
and protective factors) identified 
through an assessment of local 
problems and assets 

• research-based, informed by cur- 
rent research literature and theory 

• multicomponent, using multiple 

• coordinated and synergistic, 

ensuring that efforts complement 
and reinforce one another 

• multisectoral and collaborative, 

involving key campus stakeholders 
and disciplines 

• supported by infrastructure, insti- 
tutional commitment, and systems 

The following recommendations build 
upon the above principles, providing 

concrete actions that individual cam- 
pus and community teams can use to 
assess their campus and community 
conditions, set priorities, and imple- 
ment well-designed strategies. 

Campus and community teams should 
do the following: 

1. Use multiple, coordinated, and 
sustained intervention approaches 
designed to achieve synergy among 
program components. 

Most campuses already have some pro- 
grams, policies, and systems in place to 
address violence. However, many edu- 
cational efforts are one-time programs, 
and they are rarely coordinated with 
other policies or services. Some may 
even present conflicting or confusing 
messages. Prevention research shows 
that coordinated and sustained activi- 
ties are more effective than one-time 
programs. Ensuring that multiple 
efforts are coordinated and synergistic 
is the single most important way in 
which practitioners can improve their 
initiatives against violence. For exam- 
ple, programs such as staff training on 
policies and procedures, student edu- 
cational programs, and disciplinary 
actions for policy violations should all 
be examined to ensure that their mes- 
sages are consistent. The remainder of 
these recommendations provide addi- 
tional guidance for coordinating and 
integrating multiple strategies. 

2. Engage in a “problem analysis” to 
assess local problems and resources, 
which will inform specific goals and 

To be effective, programs must be 
based on data that reveal the most seri- 
ous local problems and the factors that 
contribute to them. For example, one 
campus may experience problems with 
fights outside bars in the local commu- 
nity, whereas another may be faced 
with high rates of sexual assault in on- 
campus fraternity houses. Such dissimi- 
lar problems require very different sets 


Preventing Violence 

of intervention strategies. A thorough 
review of campus conditions also can 
help college administrators identify 
campus assets and existing initiatives 
that can be mobilized as part of a coor- 
dinated and comprehensive campus 
response. Helpful sources for the prob- 
lem analysis include statistics, policies, 
and programs compiled to comply 
with the Clery Act 16 and the Drug-Free 
Schools and Communities Act 
(DFSCA). 17 Additionally, campuses 
may (1) survey students to obtain 
information about behaviors, knowl- 
edge, norms, and skills; (2) perform 
environmental scans; 18 (3) conduct 
regular safety audits; 19,20 and (4) collect 
information from key campus stake- 
holders to document existing efforts 
and priority concerns. The planning 
team should analyze the collected data 
to identify specific problems and their 
contributors, articulate the conditions 
that need to be changed, and translate 
the campus’s needs into concrete goals 
and objectives. 

3. Draw on existing research, theory, 
and logic to decide what strategies 
might work to solve the targeted 

Keeping in mind the specific problems 
and their contributors identified in step 
2, planners should examine existing 
research and theory to determine how 
best to make changes. The key is to 
remain focused on local problems 
rather than to adopt initiatives that 
seem generally promising but do not 
address the locally identified issues. For 
example, if the problem analysis found 
that fights in residence halls usually 
involved unaccompanied outside visi- 
tors, the planning team would look for 
programs, policies, and procedures that 
have been effective in monitoring and 
supervising visitors to campus. 

Good sources for such promising 
strategies are evaluations of efforts 
designed to address similar problems 
in both campus and community set- 
tings. Reviews of “best practices” for 

community and youth violence pre- 
vention compiled by federal agencies 
may provide programs, policies, and 
services that can be adapted to campus 
settings (see “Non-Campus Best 
Practice Reviews” in the Resources sec- 
tion of this publication). In the 
absence of evaluated strategies, inter- 
vention approaches may be based on 
behavioral or other theories. 21, 22 

While practitioners at other campuses 
can be an invaluable source of informa- 
tion to help generate ideas and avoid 
stumbling blocks, it is advisable not to 
adopt programs and policies from 
other campuses uncritically. Planners 
should examine any strategy under 
consideration to determine whether it 
has empirical or theoretical support 
and whether it is a match for their own 
local problems and conditions. 

4. Create a logic model and program 

Regardless of the source of program- 
ming ideas, planners should choose 
programs and policies based on the 
likelihood of their achieving the 
defined goals and objectives. There 
should be a logical connection 
between program activities and desired 
results. Many campus teams find it 
useful to create a “logic model,” a dia- 
gram illustrating how each planned 
activity will contribute to the long- 
term goal of reducing campus vio- 
lence. 23 In addition, to ensure that the 
initiative stays on track, it is helpful to 
create a detailed work plan that lists 
specific tasks, states who is responsible 
for each, and sets out a timeline for 
completing those tasks. 

5. Build infrastructure to support 
planning and implementation 
efforts, including partnerships and 
collaborations, institutional support, 
and systems. 

In order to succeed, planned initiatives 
require supportive infrastructure, 
defined here as the broad range of 
resources, systems, and processes need- 

ed to develop, implement, and evaluate 
interventions. While developing infras- 
tructure will not by itself reduce vio- 
lence, these components are critical for 
creating the strategic changes needed to 
improve campus safety. Important types 
of infrastructure for such efforts include 
partnerships and collaborations, institu- 
tional support, and systems. 

Partnerships and Collaborations. 

Because violence is a multifaceted 
problem, solutions must engage multi- 
ple campus and community stakehold- 
ers. Most violence-related issues will 
require consultation with numerous 
stakeholders, including representatives 
from campus law enforcement, cam- 
pus judicial or disciplinary systems, 
student affairs, health services, coun- 
seling, health education, victim advo- 
cacy, students, faculty, and parents. 
Campus legal counsel and risk man- 
agers should ensure that policies and 
programs comply with federal, state, 
and local laws. Other departments that 
may be involved include equity, diver- 
sity, or social justice offices; residence 
life; admissions; fraternities and sorori- 
ties; athletics departments; and human 
resources. Some initiatives, such as 
those involving threat assessment or 
crisis management teams, also might 
draw on multiple departments. 

Because many violent offenses on cam- 
puses involve alcohol, some campuses 
have developed task forces specifically 
to coordinate violence interventions 
with alcohol and other drug preven- 
tion efforts. In addition, because 
problems are rarely confined within 
campus boundaries, campus officials 
will need to engage members of the 
surrounding community in order to 
make systematic and lasting changes. 

Research suggests that successful part- 
nerships share such qualities as an 
inclusive and broad-based membership; 
a strong core of committed partners; a 
shared vision for the group’s work; 
effective and stable leadership; adequate 
staff support; clearly defined roles and 


responsibilities; concrete goals and 
objectives; and avoidance or resolution 
of severe conflict . 24, 25 There is, however, 
no one partnership structure that will 
work for every campus at all times, and 
campus officials are encouraged to 
think strategically about which struc- 
ture best meets their current needs. For 
example, an institution addressing off- 
campus student riots would need to 
work with a broadly inclusive campus 
and community coalition from the 
start, whereas a campus that is revising 
the student conduct code may start 
with a campus-based task force, 
expanding the groups membership or 
consulting community representatives 
to address off-campus issues. To facili- 
tate cooperative working relationships 
and information sharing across depart- 
ments and agencies, campuses should 
consider creating formal and informal 
interagency agreements. 

Institutional Support. Without high- 
level support, efforts to address vio- 
lence will languish. College presidents 
must establish campus violence pre- 
vention as a priority and to that end 
provide support and funding for plan- 
ning, implementation, and evaluation 
processes. Administrators also should 
assist program directors in their efforts 
to obtain external funding. 

A common barrier to implementing 
proposed initiatives is lack of staff 
time. Simply put, efforts that are 
inadequately staffed are unlikely to 
succeed. It is essential for planning 
teams to specify whose staff will imple- 
ment each effort and to create a system 
of accountability for follow-through. 
Ideally, every campus should have a 
dedicated office or staff person to 
coordinate programs, policies, and 
services addressing violence. 

Systems. In some cases, institutional 
systems may actually hinder violence 
intervention efforts. For example, the 
problem analysis may reveal that data 
sharing is difficult. In this case, campus 

officials might create a new data system, 
shared between campus security and 
judicial systems, to facilitate the collec- 
tion and use of crime and disciplinary 
data by both departments. Other strate- 
gies may require creation of specialized 
infrastructure, for example, cross- 
departmental teams devoted to crisis 
management or threat assessment. 

6. Evaluate programs, policies, and 
services, and use results for improve- 

Given that resources are scarce, it is 
imperative to use them both efficiently 
and effectively. The key to ensuring 
accountability is to evaluate whether 
initiatives are achieving their intended 
outcomes. Long-term financial support 
for violence intervention, whether it 
comes from outside sources or is part of 
a college’s regular budget, will be avail- 
able only if evaluation results warrant it. 

Because most program planners associ- 
ate evaluation with measuring results, 
they often delay thinking about it until 
after a program is up and running. To 
be most effective and useful, however, 
the evaluation should be planned as the 
program is being developed. Building 
this component into the process from 
the outset will sharpen everyone’s 
thinking about the program — its mis- 
sion, goals, objectives, and tactics. 
Additionally, planning teams can use 
evaluation results to revise and improve 
their programs to maximize their effec- 
tiveness. Including a professional evalu- 
ator on a project team helps to ensure 
that outcome-based thinking is an inte- 
gral part of the project’s design and 
implementation . 26 


Campus violence is a complex problem, 
and there are no easy answers. It cannot 
be solved by a one-time program or a 
single department, nor is there a one- 
size-fits-all blueprint for successful 
efforts. Rather, prevention science sug- 
gests a set of principles and a process that 

campus and community stakeholders 
can use to guide their work. Senior 
administrators must exercise leadership 
by establishing and supporting a long- 
term, collaborative process to create and 
sustain a comprehensive, strategic, mul- 
ticomponent, coordinated approach to 
preventing violence and promoting 
safety on campus. This process will 
bring together multiple partners in 
order to examine local data; identify 
and prioritize local problems; target 
those problems with an appropriate mix 
of strategies; construct a logic model, 
work plan, and evaluation plan; create 
infrastructure to support implementa- 
tion; and evaluate the effectiveness of 
these efforts. This strategic planning 
process can be used to formulate inte- 
grated initiatives addressing specific 
subtypes of violence and to coordinate 
efforts across different types of violence. 

While this process may seem burden- 
some, ultimately there is no other way 
to ensure that scarce campus resources 
are well spent. Despite the challenges, 
many campus communities have 
begun to establish long-term initiatives 
and share lessons they have learned. 
Ongoing efforts to prevent violence and 
promote campus safety require dedica- 
tion, commitment, resources, and 
persistence, but they are a necessary 
investment if all campus constituents are 
to reach their full potential. This view is 
summarized eloquently by the National 
Association of Student Personnel 
Administrators: “A safe campus environ- 
ment is one in which students, faculty, 
and staff are free to conduct their daily 
affairs, both inside and outside the class- 
room, without fear of physical, emo- 
tional, or psychological harm. Personal 
safety is a basic human need that must 
be preserved if the mission of the uni- 
versity is to be pursued .” 27 

Linda Langford, Sc.D., is associate 
director for violence prevention initia- 
tives at the Higher Education Center for 
Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse and 
Violence Prevention. 


Preventing Violence 

What Campuses Are Doing 

Given that no single approach to 
violence and safety will work for 
every campus, the following 
vignettes illustrate targeted inter- 
ventions implemented by individu- 
al campuses in response to an 
identified need or problem. Each of 
these programs follows the princi- 
ples and process described above 
for developing successful initiatives. 

Multicomponent Approach to 
Campus Violence 

University of Northern Colorado 

The University of Northern 
Colorado’s (UNC) approach to vio- 
lence includes complementary and 
coordinated initiatives designed to 
support victims, hold perpetrators 
accountable, and minimize violent 
incidents. The university has intro- 
duced strong administrative policies 
and procedures, rigorous admissions 
standards, crime prevention and 
awareness programs, proactive polic- 
ing, management of the physical 
environment (lighting, vegetation, 
emergency telephones), and other 
prevention and intervention initia- 
tives such as peer education, a men’s 
program, and services for survivors. 

“Stop, Look, Listen” (SLL), UNC’s 
unique and comprehensive safety 
program, is a two-hour workshop 
required for all incoming freshmen. 
SLL explores a variety of health and 
safety issues geared toward promot- 
ing personal health and safety, and 
it emphasizes discussions concern- 
ing sexual assault and alcohol con- 

These measures are strengthened 
further by ongoing review of inci- 
dents and potential problems, cam- 
pus and community partnerships, 

coordinated alcohol and violence 
reduction efforts, and a strong 
emphasis on victim support. 

UNC’s efforts are based on firm 
policies combined with rapid and 
consistent enforcement. All campus 
constituents are urged to report 
incidents. Campus policy requires 
all alleged sexual offenses to be 
investigated; when appropriate, 
cases also are referred to the local 
district attorney. Graduated admin- 
istrative sanctions are based on the 
principle of student accountability, 
and penalties provide for potential 
removal of problem individuals if 
deemed appropriate. Emphasis is 
placed on supporting and protect- 
ing victims during the disciplinary 
process. A cross-departmental com- 
mittee meets regularly to ensure 
that policies and procedures are 
appropriate, to locate loopholes in 
existing policies, and to revise and 
initiate policies as needed. 

UNC holds a variety of prevention 
education programs throughout the 
year, including a required workshop 
for first-year students at summer 
orientation. To ensure that mes- 
sages concerning the need to pre- 
vent alcohol use and sexual assault 
are consistent, these sessions are led 
jointly by campus law enforcement 
and alcohol and other drug preven- 
tion staff. The Student Code of 
Conduct further highlights the link 
between alcohol and sexual assault 
by noting that “voluntary intoxica- 
tion is NOT an excusable justifica- 
tion for inappropriate or illegal 
behavior.” Victims of crime, howev- 
er, are rarely sanctioned for alcohol 
consumption or possession, and 
sexual assault victims, in particular, 
are never sanctioned. 

Additional personal safety, sexual 
assault prevention, and alcohol pre- 
vention education programs are 
held throughout the year. These 
educational efforts include informa- 
tion about advocacy services avail- 
able to victims. 

Other initiatives address the physi- 
cal environment. Each year, campus 
police conduct visual security sur- 
veys and facility audits to scan for 
physical hazards and unsafe areas. 
An array of measures has been 
instituted as a result: emergency 
telephones, electronic alarm sys- 
tems, a high-security lock/key 
system, regular trimming of veget- 
ation, and registration for bicycles 
and other items of value. Walking 
and golf cart escort services are 

UNC police take a proactive 
approach to crime prevention. 
Campus areas are actively patrolled 
by police officers, and officers par- 
ticipate in the ongoing safety audits 
and educational programs described 
above. In addition, mutual aid 
agreements between UNC and local 
police allow for shared training, 
mutual assistance, and systematic 
reporting to campus officials of inci- 
dents in areas adjacent to campus. 

A campus and community commit- 
tee, Sexual Assault Lree Environ- 
ment (SAFE), which meets 
monthly, includes representatives 
from the assault survivors advocacy 
program (ASAP), the counseling 
center, the dean of students, resi- 
dential life, campus police, the 
alcohol and drug office, Greek life, 
and the district attorney’s office. 
UNC’s crisis response committee 
also meets weekly. The staff who 


serve on this team regularly share 
information about new and ongo- 
ing safety issues and concerns. 

Consequently, the structures 
described allow campus and com- 
munity officials to coordinate poli- 
cies and programs, ensure that they 
remain effective, and respond to 
new mandates as required. For 
example, Colorado recently passed 
a state law forbidding any student 
convicted of riotous behavior from 
enrolling in a state institution. 
Because UNC’s admissions stan- 
dards already allowed for a special 
committee to review applicants 
with felony and sex crime convic- 
tions, they were more easily able to 
respond to this new law. 28, 29 

The Center for the Prevention 
of Violence Against Women 

Marshall University 
(West Virginia) 

Because Marshall University serves 
the area of West Virginia with the 
states highest reported rates of 
domestic violence and sexual assault, 
it is likely that many students on 
campus have witnessed violence in 
their families. Within the context of 
this high-risk environment, the uni- 
versity’s Office of Womens Programs 
noted that the number of crimes 
against women reported was lower 
than expected, suggesting underre- 
porting. This information, taken 
together, indicated the need for a 
more comprehensive campus pro- 
gram addressing both domestic 
violence and sexual assault. 

In the year 2000, the Office of 
Women’s Programs applied for and 
received funding from the federal 
Violence Against Women Office 
(VAWO) to establish a campus- 
based Center for the Prevention of 

Violence Against Women. The cen- 
ter developed a multifaceted set of 
initiatives aimed at reducing the 
incidence of violence and ensuring 
that perpetrators are held account- 
able for their actions. The project 
involves collaborations among judi- 
cial affairs, the counseling center, 
the women’s center, and public 
safety. The program is designed to 
do the following: 

1 . Provide advocacy services for vic- 
tims and increase student aware- 
ness of the availability of these 

2. Educate students about how to 
report these crimes. 

3. Establish networks of advisers 
and mentors to students among 
faculty, staff, and other universi- 
ty personnel. 

4. Increase awareness of violence 
against women on campus 
among university and local 
police departments through a 
media campaign and training 
programs for officers. 

5. Develop educational content 
about violence against women 
and incorporate this material 
into existing courses and fresh- 
man orientation. 

While many campus programs 
focus primarily on preventing sexual 
assaults, Marshall staff responded to 
the particular needs of their stu- 
dents by also including extensive 
information and education about all 
forms of intimate partner violence. 
Educational efforts include separate 
programs for men and women. 

The project also has allowed the 
university to create partnerships and 
initiatives to solve newly identified 
problems. For example, the Center 

for the Prevention of Violence 
Against Women teamed up with the 
office of judicial affairs, the counsel- 
ing center, and public safety to 
develop an antistalking policy to 
increase the accountability of perpe- 
trators for their stalking behaviors. 

As a result of these combined 
efforts, referrals to the women’s 
center and counseling center have 
increased dramatically. 30, 31 

University Counseling and 
Advising Network (U-CAN) 

Cornell University 

Cornell University has created a 
problem-focused early intervention 
program characterized by cross-dis- 
ciplinary collaboration and coordi- 
nation of existing services. While 
not specifically focused on violence, 
this initiative is designed to facili- 
tate early identification of problems 
that might lead to aggression or 
self-harm. Cornell’s University 
Counseling and Advising Network 
(U-CAN) grew out of five interre- 
lated observations: 

1 . Cornell’s counseling center staff 
noted a growing demand for 
counseling services locally and 
among college students nation- 

2. Campus-specific survey data 
revealed a wide array of student 
mental health and substance 
abuse problems at Cornell for 
which students were not seeking 
assistance, indicating that unmet 
needs for service were high. 

3. Staff noted that students experi- 
encing difficulty manifested a 
range of symptoms, which in 
some cases probably reflected 
more serious underlying prob- 
lems (e.g., substance abuse, 

Preventing Violence 

eating disorders, self-harm, 

■ depression, aggression). 

4. Many staff, faculty, and students 
were aware of student distress but 
were unsure of whether or how to 

■ respond. 

I 5. Campus prevention and interven- 
tion responses were characterized 
by departmental fragmentation 
_ and other institutional barriers to 

integrated efforts, as well as lack of 
funding for program staff. 

In 1999 the director of health services 
. at Cornell University responded by 
1 initiating a program designed to 

increase early identification and refer- 
- ral of a broadly defined category of 
* “students in distress.” With funding 
from supportive alumni, two full- 
_ time staff members worked with 
" cross-departmental teams from medi- 
cal, nursing, counseling, health pro- 


motion, academic advising, and other 
departments to create a network to 
facilitate, coordinate, and enhance the 
work of the many service providers 
who were already supporting stu- 
dents. U-CAN accomplished this 
goal through five basic initiatives: 

1 . Training faculty, teaching assis- 
tants, secretaries, and other people 
not in formal helping roles as the 
systems “eyes and ears” by increas- 
ing their ability to identify and 
reach out to students in distress. 

2. Offering student-centered con- 
sultation by U-CAN staff to 
guide and support faculty and 
staff in working with individual 

3. Providing program-centered 
consultation to assist depart- 
ments and divisions in develop- 
ing organizational practices and 

protocols — for example, U-CAN 
works with Cornell’s “advising 
offices” to develop guidelines and 
procedures for when and how 
advisers should share information 
with U-CAN staff about students 
in distress. 

4. Instituting a “network forum” 

to enable networking and contin- 
uing education for student ser- 
vices professionals. 

5. Outreach by U-CAN staff to 
identified students in distress who 
might be reluctant to accept refer- 
rals to formal counseling services. 

During the development of these 
programs, a postdoctoral fellow and 
graduate student were hired as part- 
time evaluators to help clarify the 
program’s goals and objectives and 
to design appropriate process and 
outcome evaluation measures. 32 


1 Personal communication with Cheryl Presley, Ph.D., executive director 
of the Core Institute, e-mail January 29, 2004. (National Probability 
Sample Study, Core Institute, Student Health Programs, Southern 
Illinois University, Carbondale, 111.) 

2 Fisher, B. S.; Cullen, F. T.; and Turner, M. G. The Sexual Victimization 
of College Women. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, 
National Institute of Justice, 2000. 

3 Makepeace, J. M. “Courtship Violence among College Students.” 

Family Relations 30: 97—101, 1981. 

4 Arias, I.; Samios, M.; and O’Leary, K. D. “Prevalence and Correlates of 
Physical Aggression during Courtship.” Jotirnal of Interpersonal Violence 
2: 82-90, 1987. 

5 Barrios, L. C.; Everett, S. A.; Simon, T. R.; Brener, N. D. “Suicide 
Ideation among U.S. College Students: Associations with Other Injury 
Risk Behaviors.” Journal of American College Health 48 (5): 195-1 98, 
2000 . 

6 Miller, M.; Hemenway, D.; and Wechsler, H. “Guns and Gun Threats at 
College.” Journal of American College Health 51 (2): 57-65, 2002. 

7 Alfred University. Initiation Rites and Athletics: A National Study of 
NCAA Sports Teams. Alfred, N.Y.: Alfred University, 1999. 

8 Wessler, S., and Moss, M. Hate Crimes on Campus: The Problem and 
Efforts to Confront It. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, 
Office of Justice Programs, 2001. 

9 Herek, G. M. “Documenting Prejudice against Lesbians and Gay Men 
on Campus: The Yale Sexual Orientation Survey ."Journal of 
Homosexuality 25 (4 ): 15-30, 1993. 

10 Cohen, M. A.; Miller, T. R.; and Rossman, S. B. “The Costs and 
Consequences of Violent Behavior in the United States.” In Reiss, A. J. 
Jr., and Roth, J. A. eds. Understanding and Preventing Violence, Volume 
4: Consequences and Control Panel on the Understanding and Control of 
Violent Behavior. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, National 
Research Council, 1994. 

1 1 Reiss, A. J., Jr., and Roth, J. A. Understanding and Preventing Violence, 
Volume 1. Panel on the Understanding and Control of Violent Behavior: 
Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, National Research Council, 

12 Stokols, D. “Translating Social Ecological Theory into Guidelines for 
Community Health Promotion.” American Journal of Health Promotion 
10: 282-98, 1996. 

13 Chalk, R., and King, P. A. Violence in Families: Assessing Prevention and 
Treatment Programs. Washington D.C.: National Academy Press, 1998. 

14 Bickel, R. D., and Lake, P. F. The Rights and Responsibilities of the 
Modern University: Who Assumes the Risks of College Life ? Durham, N.C.: 
Carolina Academic Press, 1999. 

15 Roark, M. L. “Conceptualizing Campus Violence: Definitions, 
Underlying Factors, and Effects.” Journal of College Student Psychotherapy 
8 (1/2) : 1 — 27, 1993. 


16 Security On Campus, Inc. Complying with the Jeanne Clery Act. 

Retrieved February 2, 2004, from 

17 Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act (DFSCA), and Drug-Free Schools 
and Campuses Regidations. Higher Education Center for Alcohol and 
Other Drug Prevention. Retrieved July 29, 2003, from 

18 Ryan, B. E.; Colthurst, T.; and Segars, L. College Alcohol Risk Assessment 
Guide: Environmental Approaches to Prevention. Washington, D.C.: U.S. 
Department of Education, Higher Education Center for Alcohol and 
Other Drug Prevention, revised 1997. 

19 Security On Campus, Inc. “Campus Safety Audit.” Retrieved February 
2, 2004, 

20 Winnipeg Committee for Safety. “Winnipeg Safety Audit Manual.” In 
Safety Tool Box. Winnipeg, Canada: Winnipeg Committee for Safety, 
January 2001. Retrieved February 2, 2004, from www. Winnipeg 

21 The Communication Initiative. Change Theories. Retrieved February 2, 
2004, from 

"“U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Physical Activity 
Evaluation Handbook: Appendix 3 Theories and Models Used in Physical 
Activity Promotion. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2002. Retrieved February 
11, 2004, from 

Weiss, C. H. “Understanding the Program.” In Weiss, C. H. Evaluation: 
Methods for Studying Programs and Policies, 46-7 1 . Upper Saddle River, 
N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1998. 

" 4 Mattessich, P. W., and Monsey, B. R. Collaboration: What Makes It Work. 
St. Paul, Minn.: Wilder Research Center and Wilder’s Community 
Collaboration Venture, 1992. 

25 National Evaluation Findings Sheets: Community Partnerships. U.S. 
Department of Health and Human Services and SAMHSA’s National 
Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Other Drug Information. govstudy/ ms666/ nefsheets.aspx. 

26 Langford, L., and Dejong, W. “Prevention Update: How to Select a 
Program Evaluator.” Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Education, 
Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention, 2001. 

27 National Association of Student Personnel Administrators. In Roark, M. 
L. “Conceptualizing Campus Violence: Definitions, Underlying Factors, 
and Effects.” Journal of College Student Psychotherapy 8 (1/2): 1-27, 1993. 

28 University of Northern Colorado. Student Handbook, June 2002. 
Retrieved February 2, 2004, from dos/handbook/ stuhndbk.htm. 

2> University of Northern Colorado. University of Northern Colorado Safety 
and Security Information 2002. Retrieved December 5, 2002, from finadmin/ uncpd/ securityreport.htm. 

30 Interview with Carla Lapelle, coordinator, Student Health Education 
Programs, Marshall University, summer 2002. 

31 West Virginia Grants to Combat Violent Crimes Against Women on 
Campuses. Office on Violence Against Women, Office of Justice 
Programs. U.S. Department of Justice, 2000. 

32 Marchell, T. “In the Spotlight: Reaching Out to Students in Distress.” 
Student Health Spectrum. The Chickering Group, fall 2001. 


The Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse and 
Violence Prevention 

The U.S. Department of Education’s Higher Education Center for Alcohol 
and Other Drug Abuse and Violence Prevention provides nationwide sup- 
port for campus alcohol, other drug, and violence prevention efforts. 

The Higher Education Center offers training and professional develop- 
ment activities; technical assistance; publications; support for the Network 
Addressing Collegiate Alcohol and Other Drug Issues; and assessment, 
evaluation, and analysis activities. 

The Higher Education Center lists resources addressing campus violence at Its Campuses and Other Drugs 
Web page, found at, includes 
resources on date rape and club drugs. For contact information, please see 
back cover. 

Federal Resources 

Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools (OSDFS) 

U.S. Department of Education 
400 Maryland Ave, SW 
Washington, DC 20202-6123 
(202) 260-3954 
http : // www. osdfs 

OSDFS supports efforts to create safe schools, respond to crises, prevent 
alcohol and other drug abuse, ensure the health and well-being of students, 
and teach students good citizenship and character. The agency provides 
financial assistance for drug abuse and violence prevention activities and 
activities that promote the health and well-being of students in elementary 
and secondary schools and institutions of higher education. OSDFS partici- 
pates in the development of Department program policy and legislative pro- 
posals and in overall administration policies related to drug abuse and 
violence prevention. It also participates with other federal agencies in the 
development of a national research agenda for such prevention. 

Office for Civil Rights 

U.S. Department of Education 
Customer Service Team 
Mary E. Switzer Building 
330 C Street, SW 
Washington, DC 20202 
(800) 421-3481 
Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination prohibited in schools by 
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. In 2001, the U.S. 
Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights published guidelines to 
assist institutions with Title IX compliance related to sexual harassment, 
titled “Sexual Harassment Guidance: Harassment of Students by School 
Employees, Other Students, or Third Parties.” 

Office of Postsecondary Education Campus Security Statistics 

U.S. Department of Education 
Office of Postsecondary Education 
1 990 K Street, NW 
Washington, DC 20006 
(202) 401-1576 

The Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE) maintains a Web site for 
campus security statistics, authorized by Congress with the 1 998 amend- 
ment to the Higher Education Act of 1965 to help potential college stu- 
dents and parents research criminal offenses on college campuses. 


Preventing Violence 

National Organizations 

The National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) 

123 North Enola Drive 
Enola, PA 17025 

(877) 739-3895 (717) 909-0710 

The National Sexual Violence Resource Center serves as an information 
clearinghouse, provides information and technical assistance to people 
working to prevent sexual violence, and identifies emerging policy issues 
and research needs to support the development of policies and practices 
specific to the intervention and prevention of sexual violence. The Web 
site includes campus-specific resources. 

Security On Campus, Inc. 

133 Ivy Lane, Suite 200 
King of Prussia, PA 19406-2101 
(888) 251-7959 

Security On Campus, Inc. (SOC), founded in 1987, is a nonprofit grass- 
roots organization dedicated to fostering safe campus environments. SOC 
educates prospective students, parents, and the campus community about 
the prevalence of crime on campus and assists victims with information 
about laws, advocacy organizations, legal counsel, and other resources. 

SOC also provides guidance to campuses regarding compliance with the 
Clery Act and other federal laws. 

Established in 1992, is a Web-based resource committed 
to providing students, parents, and educators with resources and up-to- 
date statistics on the problem of hazing in America. The site lists books, 
articles, and hazing prevention programs. 

Stop the Hate 

Association of College Unions International (ACUI) 

One City Centre, Suite 200 
120 West Seventh Street 
Bloomington, IN 47404-3925 

The Association of College Unions International (ACUI) created the Stop 
the Hate initiative to provide training and other resources to aid colleges in 
addressing hate and bias-related crimes and incidents. 

Campus Organization 

Indiana Campus Sexual Assault Prevention Project (INCSAPP) 

Student Wellness Office 
601 Stadium Mall Drive 
West Lafayette, IN 47907 
(765) 496-3363 

The Indiana Campus Sexual Assault Prevention Project is the campus 
component of the Communities Against Rape (CARe) Initiative of the 
Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service. While INCSAPP’s Web 
site is designed to promote collaboration between campus and community 
organizations in the state of Indiana, it also offers generally helpful 
resources related to sexual assault , including bibliographies, campus 
policies, and victim advocacy information. 

Non-Campus Best Practice Reviews 

Although not specific to college and university campuses, the following reviews 
of “best practices" for community and youth violence prevention compiled by 
federal agencies may provide programs, policies, and services that can be 
adapted to campus settings. 

Best Practices of Youth Violence Prevention: 

A Sourcebook for Community Action 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 
National Center for Injury Prevention and Control 

This sourcebook presents effective violence prevention practices in four 
areas: parents and families; home visiting; social and conflict resolution 
skills; and mentoring. The resource also discusses the science behind each 
program and provides a directory of additional resources. 

Blueprints for Violence Prevention 

Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence 
Blueprints for Violence Prevention is an initiative that describes effective 
and promising youth violence prevention and intervention programs. 
Eleven model programs and 2 1 promising programs were identified for 
their effectiveness in reducing adolescent violent crime, aggression, delin- 
quency, and substance abuse. 

Early Warning, Timely Response: A Guide to Safe Schools 
U.S. Department of Education 
Special Education and Rehabilitation Services 

This guide offers research-based practices designed to help school commu- 
nities identify early warning signs of violence and develop prevention and 
intervention programs and crisis response plans. Although the recommen- 
dations are aimed at primary and secondary schools, many of the resources 
are adaptable for higher education. 

“Youth Violence Prevention: Descriptions and Baseline Data from 13 
Evaluation Projects,” by Powell, E., and Hawkins, F. ( American journal of 
Preventive Medicine 12 (5S): 1996) 

This issue of American Journal of Preventive Medicine includes articles 
describing 13 school, hospital, and community violence prevention pro- 
jects and their initial evaluation results. 

Preventing School Violence: Plenary Papers of the 1999 Conference on 
Criminal Justice Research and Evaluation — Enhancing Policy and 
Practice Through Research, Volume 2. 

National Institute of Justice 

This publication includes three papers describing current efforts and 

promising practices for school violence prevention. 

Youth Violence: A Report of the Surgeon General 

Department of Health and Human Services 
Office of the Surgeon General 
This report summarizes the research on youth violence in the United States, 
including the scope of the problem, causes of violence, risk and protective fac- 
tors, and effective strategies and programs to reduce and prevent youth violence. 

World Report on Violence and Health 
World Health Organization 
This publication examines various types of violence as an international 
public health problem, including youth violence, intimate partner vio- 
lence, and sexual violence. It describes the magnitude and impact of 
violence, key risk factors, the effectiveness of intervention and policy 
responses to violence, and recommendations for action. 


for Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse 
and Violence Prevention 

Our Mission 

The mission of the U.S. Department of Education's 
Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Other 
Drug Abuse and Violence Prevention is to assist 
institutions of higher education in developing, 
implementing, and evaluating alcohol and 
other drug abuse and violence prevention 
policies and programs that will foster students' 
academic and social development and promote 
campus and community safety. 

How We Can Help 

The Higher Education Center offers an integrated array of services to help people at 
colleges and universities adopt effective prevention strategies: 

• Training and professional development activities 

• Resources, referrals, and consultations 

• Publication and dissemination of prevention materials 

• Support for the Network Addressing Collegiate Alcohol and Other Drug Issues 

• Assessment, evaluation, and analysis activities 

Get in Touch 

Additional information can be obtained by contacting: 

The Higher Education Center 
for Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse 
and Violence Prevention 

Education Development Center, Inc. 

55 Chapel Street 
Newton, MA 02458-1060 

Web site: 

Phone: 1 -800-676-1 730; TDD Relay-friendly, Dial 71 1 


Funded by the U.S. Department of Education