The police’s presence on campuses has become more than necessary in the view of huge quantity of calls on violence there. Indeed in college campuses old fashioned ragging has not only persisted but degenerated into full-scale violence. The growing number of victims of campus violence faces intense fear and emotional numbing, loss of control, and the shattering of their trust and ability to make sound judgments about the people and the world around them. The cost of this potential loss is inestimable.
The general opinion of campus police is rather a positive. For example, Arapahoe Community College gives its vision of campus policy: (Arahoe Community College 1997: n. p.): “Community policing is the philosophy of involving the Campus Police Department and the campus community, with ownership, on a long-range basis. The campus police officers work to organize the resources of the community, the department and other agencies to reduce crime and to meet the appropriate needs of the campus community.”
Campus violence assumes several virulent forms, the commonest being ragging and the growing harassment of women students. Of these, ragging has received intense attention while the growing harassment of women students remains a hushed affair. To a great extent campus life in the nation’s beleaguered institutions of higher education is a mirror image of an ‘illiberal democracy’ — characterized by the rise of particularisms such as caste and religious identities against the backdrop of crumbling law and order and other institutional mechanisms. But a particularly reprehensible feature of rising campus violence is that it stamps the mind of the barely adult college goer with a lasting, unpleasant impression of the real world beyond college gates.
The University community is not immune from experiencing relationship violence. The results of numerous surveys carried out regarding this topic in a range of Universities showed that not only students at the University, but faculty and staff as well, reported experiencing violence at some time in their lives. For example, according to a survey that took place in the University of Louisville demonstrated that a total of sixty-nine female students indicated they had experienced physical, sexual, and/or emotional abuse at some time in their lives. Eleven percent of female students indicated that they had ever experienced rape. Women students indicated that they had experienced a substantial number of incidents including a wide range of intimate partner violence, such as, threats of violence or actual violence (being beaten up, strangled, had a gun or knife used on them). Of these incidents, forty-four occurred on campus.
Female students feel significantly less safe than males on campus. Female students feel significantly less safe than men on campus whether it is walking alone, waiting for public transportation, walking alone in parking lots or garages, working in the library, or spending time in the student activity center. It is quite evident that the violence in campus is practically always issued by the male sex. So, how would men percept the appearance and permanent being of police at the territory of campus?
The Delaware State University’s research on the campus police states that: (Delaware 2004:5):
“The University Police Officers are authorized to arrest any persons who violate state or local laws on the campus. It is important that the University community understands the listed information:
1. Students or any other persons, who commit crimes on the campus, such as breaking and entering a building, should expect to be arrested and have the case heard in the local court.
2. Persons who resist arrest, use inciting language or fail to respond to University Police should expect to be arrested and have the case heard in the local court.
3. Students or any other persons apprehended by the University Police for various reasons which may include, but are not limited to, abusive language, disrupting activities of the University, fighting, trespassing, and drinking alcoholic beverages “on-campus”, should cooperate with the University Police just as individuals cooperate with state and local police. They may be subjected to arrest.”
Actually, all the above mentioned types of negative activities are appropriate for men mostly. Therefore, for the part of men who commits such types of crimes the presence of police in campus is more than undesirable. But one doesn’t have to forget about the rest of male campus’ population that can become victims as well.
The Michigan State University (MSU) presents the results of its survey carried out by its Department of Police and Public Safety. According to this survey (Michigan State University 2005: n. p.): “the overall perception of the performance of the MSU police is partly based on the behavior, or perceived behavior, of the officer with whom individuals most recently had contact”. In this case one has to remember that it is much more for females to resort to the police’s help that for men. A woman must be protected and she can actively apply to police. Men are often ashamed to communicate with police because of their dignity. It can be defined as “I’m a man and I’m able to protect myself without other people’s help. (Courtenay 1999: n. p.): “While simply being male is linked with poor health behavior and increased health risks, so is gender or men’s beliefs about “being a man.” A growing body of compelling research provides evidence that men who adopt traditional attitudes about manhood have greater health risks than men with less traditional attitudes.” Nevertheless, men need to have a contact with police and its help not less than women. It is also said that (Michigan State University 2005: n. p.):“Males rated MSU police’s performance more highly than females, especially among students.”
The research of University of Massachusetts Amherst presented a very interesting research regarding police perceptions by men and women. It was found out that (University of Massachusetts Amherst 1998: n. p.): “students living in on-campus residence halls feel significantly safer walking on campus during the day than at night, with women feeling less safe overall. One-quarter of the students said they had used the Escort Service during the year. Use of the service varied by sex and also by race/ethnicity. Women were significantly more likely than men to have used the service, and African-Americans were more likely to have used the service than students from other.” As the figures show (see Appendix) men are more self-confident and feel more protected than women. Men were somewhat more likely than women to report feeling very safe on campus during the day, and they were dramatically more likely to report feeling very safe at night.
Generally, the majority of similar surveys demonstrate that male and female students were found to significantly differ in beliefs that promote the victimization of women. Male students endorsed adversarial sexual beliefs and endorsed rape myths more than female students. Male students estimated percentages of reported rapes that are fabricated (either for spiteful reasons by women or in an effort to protect women’s reputations) were higher than estimates given by female students.
A research which is necessary to be discussed within the margins of the topic in case is the overview presented on the “MenWeb”: “College Men’s Health”. The main idea of this work is that men are most vulnerable regarding campus’ dangers. (Courtenay 1999: n. p.): “For men of college age, the risks of disease, injury, and death are far greater than for women of the same age group, yet college men’s health concerns receive little attention from health professionals.” These words confirm that male perception of campus police must be a positive one. Men must perceive police as a guarantee of their safety. Despite being men and representing the “strong sex” (opposite to women) they need to be protected and cared as well. And campus police is a good method to do that.
Factually, it must be said that the actual state of male perception of police is rather a high one. As it was already mentioned, men sometimes evaluate the campus police activities higher than women. But the campuses’ authorities must support the male trust in police all the time in order to build up a strong foundation for future campuses’ life.
Below, the interview guide is given as one of the methods for defining men’s perception of police in campus.
Interview guide (questionnaire)
The interview in case is expected to find out the main features of male perception of police on Campus. Having been gathered the results of this questionnaire proposed to a suitable number of male interviewees, the whole picture of the topic in case must be cleared up. The interviewees must belong to different layers of campus “groups” (e.g.: freshers, sophomores, senior students, University staff) –at least 10 interviewees form each group.
Fields to fill:
Occupation (student, professor):”…….”
Ethnicity: ”………. “
Answer form: “Yes”, “No”, to write or underline the appropriate answer.
1. How do you find the whole situation in campus? Is it calm, safe or dangerous?
2. Do you consider the calls on violence within campus to be real, if any? ………………………
3. Do you consider the police’s presence in campus to be necessary? ……………………………
4. What, to your opinion, are the main reasons of police’s appearance in campus? …………………..
5. Does the police presence bring any inconveniences to you? Do you feel uncomfortable or limited in your activities because of police? ……………………………..
6. Does police make you feel more sure and safe? ……………………..
7. What, to your opinion, is the most appropriate time for police’s activities in campus: morning, evening, night?
8. What group of campus’ population you consider to have needs of police’s presence most: men( freshers, sophomores, senior students), women( freshers, sophomores, senior students), university staff?
9. Have you ever resorted to police’s help while being in campus? Why? ………………………..
10. What prevented you from resorting to campus police if you have had such occasion? …………………
11. Is police able to manage with the violence cases in campus if necessary? ………………………
12. What, to your opinion, can be the main reasons of imperfectability of police’s work in campus? ……………….. .
1.Delaware State University Police Department. 2004. Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics. http://www.desu.edu/police/CleryReport2004.pdf (2 Novemb.2005).
2.Michigan State University. News release. 2005.MSU Department of Police and Public Safety receives high marks for performance Michigan State University. http://newsroom.msu.edu/site/indexer/1830/content.htm (2 Novemb.2005).
3. University of Massachusetts Amherst.1998.SARIS – Student Affairs Research, Information and Systems
Campus Safety Issues Survey. http://www.umass.edu/sareo/pp_s98_public.html (2 Novemb.2005).
4. Arapahoe Community College.1997.Clery Act Information: Campus Police. http://www.arapahoe.edu/studentsvcs/campuspolice/cleryact.html (2 Novemb.2005).
5. Courtenay, W. MENWEB.1999. College Men’s Health. http://www.menweb.org/courtney.htm (2 Novemb.2005).