Violence in college


Betelhem Alemu, Staff Writer

Four Idaho University students were found dead in their off-campus housing on November 13, 2022. Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle, and Ethan Chaping were stabbed multiple times by Bryan Kohberger, a criminology Ph.D student at Washington University. In response, Idaho University canceled classes for November 14 and held a candle light ceremony for the victims. The university also announced that they will demolish the house where the crime took place and implement greater on-campus security measures. Despite these new additions, can the university take more proactive steps to help students feel more secure and safe? This case has gained lots of media attention and has illuminated the violence college students have faced and continue to fear. It also brought attention to how colleges proceed after a matter this significant. 

Back in 2015, a California court ruled that public colleges do not have a legal obligation to protect adult students from violent acts by other students. The lawsuit was about Katherine Rosen, a former University of California of Los Angeles student, who was stabbed by another student in class. The charge was that UCLA didn’t do enough to protect its students even with prior knowledge of mental health issues. The appeals court decision stated, “The conduct at issue here — a violent crime perpetrated by an individual suffering from mental illness — is a societal problem not limited to the college setting.” There has been a fear of colleges reducing their mental health services if they are held responsible for students to protect themselves from liabilities.  

However, the Clery Act requires colleges to report any crime that is committed on campus and to support the victims. Many believe that it should be a school’s top priority to protect its students before, during or after an incident. I agree with that argument, especially when there has been an increase in school incidents that result in many deaths. The last thing a student should worry about during school is their safety.