Campus security is an ever-growing need. Where once, there was little chance of bomb threats and mass shootings, now it seems that students are growing more and more aware the possibility that it could happen on their campus. These threats are still relatively rare. Given the amount of schools there are compared to the amount of possibly harmful instances that occur, students are only at a very low risk of any tragedy occurring.
That, however, does not change the facts. These things still occur. Tragedies are called that because they should never have come to pass. So the question of how to respond this arises. To answer that question though, we need to know that answers to other questions first. 1. We need to know who the victims usually are. 2. We need to know who the perpetrators usually are. 3. We need to at what times people are most likely to be targeted. If we can answer these three questions, learning how to increase campus security before tragedies occur is a relatively simple matter.
As far as sampling is concerned, people should be sample proportionate to what percentage of a given demographic attends secondary education schools. Targeting for this research is surprisingly simple matter. One needs look no further than school-age people currently enrolled or recently enrolled. A large sample size for this study would be prefered, mainly due to the differences there are from one school to the next. If possible, conducting this quantitative research by asking thousands of students to fill out a questionnaire would be ideal. This would work best because only through a large quantity of properly sampled students can a proper understanding of the norms on a college campus occur. This survey would take place mostly via the internet. This way the maximum amount of people can be included in the study, and students are more likely to be comfortable giving honest answers. Recruitment will also take place over the internet. Students spend countless hours on their computers and smartphones. Since students also spend most of their time on campus, it stands to reason that they would have a vested interested in helping to complete the survey.
Since the survey will be done online, the main ethical consideration is privacy. Students will naturally feel more private filling out a survey online, but it will be important to set up boundaries and disclaimers so they do not misunderstand or feel manipulated. The most difficult variable to measure will be how much a student’s answers are affected by the school they go to. It may be that some schools feel very safe, and others do not. These types of things will affect the overall answers significantly. We can solve this by giving more weight to the results when discussing schools that are less safe. The survey will have to be designed to address all of the questions that needed to be answered, and from as many viewpoints as possible. That being said, the survey itself should not make them feel uncomfortable. It should be well understood and easily visible throughout the survey that the intent is to increase campus security in order to protect their safety.
My study undoubtedly has limitations that I simply cannot make up for. Most glaring is that fact that I can only measure one side of things: the students. I can measure the potential victims, who they are and when they are vulnerable. But I cannot measure the potential perpetrators of crimes. The closest I can come is by profiling subjects from the past and creating an idea of who is most likely to have malicious intent in the future.
The implications of this study on campus security have the potential to be far-reaching. If this study succeeds in its mission–pinpointing who commits violent crimes on campus, when they commit them, who they target, as well as how and why they target people–, then its affects could be drastic. If this study succeeded, then steps could be taken at schools everywhere to increase campus security in the necessary areas and to the necessary degrees to ensure that no violent and malicious crimes ever occur on any campuses ever again.
Of course I have no idea as to what unexpected limitations might rise up during the course of this study. The key though is to solve as many as possible. Wherever this is not possible though, my alternative plan will be to work it into the study, finding a way work around the problem so as not to let it disrupt to the study.
This research will help in all other forms of research regarding both to smoothly flowing campus life, and public safety in general. This study will act as a reference point for studies that address similar issues as well as more specific issues within this particular issue of campus security. For instance, if this study were to find a peculiarity in regards to victims, this study could be a springboard into a whole new study specifically targeting that peculiarity.
After this study is complete, the next essential step will be to re-examine the evidence and determine if there are any holes in the information, anything that was not accounted for, and anything that needs to be gone over again. After that, perhaps the most productive course of action would be to do a follow up study on how best to respond to these problems, and what steps can be taken to increase campus safety.