College Student Perceptions of Campus Safety Initiatives

Joseph A. Schafer, Charern Lee, George W. Burruss, Matthew J. Giblin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


In the aftermath of tragic campus-based incidents causing injury and death, it has become common to see discussions concerning the safety measures institutions should be taking to prevent or mitigate the harm of such events. The recommended approaches reflect a degree of face validity but largely lack empirical grounding or clear evidence of support from the largest population they seek to protect—college students. Using survey data from six Illinois colleges, this study examines the level of student support for campus safety practices. Applying a framework derived from literature on fear of crime and other salient concepts, multivariate modeling is used to explain variation in the observed level of student support. The explanatory models offer limited insight into the factors shaping why students do or do not support campus safety practices. The findings demonstrate the importance of considering the views of students when institutions make decisions about campus safety policies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)319-340
Number of pages22
JournalCriminal Justice Policy Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research,authorship, and/or publication of this article: This project was supported by Grant #06-JB-FX-0018 to the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Points of view or opinions contained within this document are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the Authority or the U.S. Department of Justice.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, © The Author(s) 2016.


  • criminal justice policy
  • public opinion
  • research
  • research and policy


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