Editorial: Campus violence raises concern for students

Following a  string of violence on college campuses around the country, students have faced the harsh reality of the lack of safety and security in places that typically are thought to be secure.

The true extent of the problem is going right under our noses and there’s a fear that these acts of violence may be more commonplace than we expect. 

According to CBS News, there seems to be an increase in instances across the board, “As violent crime surges in cities big and small across the country, it is encroaching on what many have considered safe havens — college campuses, which are having to step up safety protocols in response.”

The proposed solutions vary from increased policing to more proactive measures. The effectiveness of these proposed measures is hard to gauge, however, as acts of violence can come quickly and randomly.

This has been seen here at Grand Valley State University in the surrounding areas of campus.  The recent acts of violence both in the cases of the stabbing at 48 West apartment complex and shootings that took place at The Alpine and Canvas apartment complexes were not committed by GVSU students. 

However, acting on the warning signs from students within the campus communities instead of ignoring them could potentially curb the violence that ensues.

On Nov. 14, a student at the University of Virginia and former member of the school’s football program shot and killed three football players that were on the team, while injuring two others, as a group of students were returning from a field trip. The shooter’s motive is still undetermined by authorities, but claims by the suspect’s father and a witness on the bus where the shooting took place have said the suspect said the victims allegedly bullied and hazed the shooter. 

Instances of on-campus violence in recent weeks including in states like Indiana, Idaho, Pennsylvania, Illinois and New Mexico have highlighted the deep extent to which this lethal issue permeates our areas of higher education.

While there is a danger to inundating coverage of such tragedies, we believe there to be a clear distinction between fear-mongering and responsible coverage of the world around us. Ignoring these acts of violence only leaves students across the nation with the potential fear of “what if” with each passing instance.

In order to combat these horrors effectively, we must stop treating them as separate, lone-wolf issues and recognize that they are, rather, indicative of larger issues in the nation that must be addressed.

Access to mental health resources and responsible gun control, among other factors, contribute to the individuals’ ability to commit such violent acts easily. Nevertheless, such issues continue to go unaddressed following each incident of mass violence.