Campus Crime in Oklahoma

Last week, campus police with the University of Central Oklahoma Police Department investigated the report of an armed robbery on campus. The alleged victim says that he was sitting in his vehicle when a man armed with a small-caliber revolver approached him and demanded money before jumping into another vehicle and driving away.

Usually, media reports about campus crime involve sexual assaults, because recent events have brought allegations of sex crimes on campus--in particular, rapes and sexual assaults involving athletes--into the spotlight. In fact, tales of cover-ups and a "boys will be boys" mentality among university officials have prompted the proposal of federal legislation which would enforce university accountability in reporting campus crime, including sexual assaults and violent crime.

While "campus crime" is often linked with sexual assault and rape, there are many other types of crime to which a college student may be susceptible, including burglary, armed robbery, and more.

In Oklahoma, one can access campus crime statistics through the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education. The Board of Regents publishes links to national campus crime reports from the United States Department of Education and to campus crime reports issued by the colleges and universities in Oklahoma.

Additionally, in 2007, then Governor Brad Henry issued an executive order creating the Campus Life and Safety and Security (CLASS) task force to review current safety and security plans and to make recommendations for improving campus safety. In 2013, the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education created the Campus Safety and Security task force to "review and promote security on college and university campuses in Oklahoma." The priorities of this task force include maintaining gun-free campuses, creating a threat-assessment task force on each campus, and advocating for increased substance abuse counseling and mental health counseling on campuses.

So how are we doing with safety and security on Oklahoma's college and university campuses?

Over the last three years at Oklahoma's public 4-year universities, not much has changed as far as sexual assault goes, but crimes such as burglary and auto theft have seen a decline. According to aggregated data from the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Post-Secondary Education, there was not a single on-campus homicide--whether murder or manslaughter--in Oklahoma's public 4-year universities during the reporting years of 2011, 2012, and 2013. That's good news. The highest incidence of campus crime over the 3-year reporting period was, not surprisingly, burglary. The second most common campus crime--also not surprisingly--is forcible sex crimes.

The colleges and universities included in the above statistics are Cameron University, East Central University, Langston University, Northeastern State University, Northwestern Oklahoma State University, Oklahoma Panhandle State University, Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences, Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology, Oklahoma State University, OSU-OKC, Rogers State University, Southeastern State University, Southwestern Oklahoma State University, University of Central Oklahoma, University of Oklahoma, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, and University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.

To find statistics for an individual institution or for private universities not listed here, visit the Campus Crime Information links from the state Regents for Higher Education or the national Office of Post-Secondary Education's Campus Safety and Security Data Analysis Cutting Tool.

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