Campus Crime Roundup: May 6, 2012

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In addition to regular posts about notable incidents at U.S. universities, I’ll bring you a weekly list of crime briefs from campuses around the country. Some of this week’s bullets may be lengthy — I wanted to include some stories from the previous week that might have been full posts if the blog had been live when they were reported. 

  • Students at George Washington University were forced to evacuate a residence hall Saturday after it was discovered that a bulletin board on the first floor was engulfed in flames, the GW Hatchet reports. A fire investigator declined to release further details, and officials have not yet told the Hatchet whether they suspect arson to be the cause of the fire. UPDATE (5/8): This is being investigated as an arson case. The Hatchet story has been updated.
  • A University of Iowa student is now in jail after it was alleged he stabbed two men following a “verbal exchange” in downtown Iowa City last weekend, the Daily Iowan reports. The attack was apparently sudden, and resulted in serious injuries to both victims. The student’s car was later found by police at Western Illinois University, which is about two hours away from UI. Officers arrested the suspect in his girlfriend’s dorm room.
  • Police at Michigan State University are investigating the armed robbery of a 21-year-old student Wednesday, the State News reports. On his way to a library, the student noticed that a man who was walking towards him had begun following him. The man brandished a knife, demanding the student’s backpack. The student was able to disarm the suspect and flee.
  • The University of Pittsburgh Panthers football team has kicked off two players and suspended two others after they became the subject of criminal complaints, the Pitt News reports. Players Drew Carswell, Eric Williams and Khaynin Mosley-Smith were issued summonses after officers found heroin and drug paraphernalia during a search at a Pittsburgh residence where the three were present. In another incident in Kent, Ohio, the News reports that quarterback Tra’Von Chapman was arrested and charged with one count of assault and one count of unlawful intent.

Welcome to Crimes on Campus

Adam Rubenfire/The Michigan Daily

Adam Rubenfire/The Michigan Daily

Crime is a hot topic for college newspapers. Unfortunately, it’s common on U.S. campuses, and it usually makes for good reporting—it tugs at readers’ emotions and there’s always some sort of conflict involved. Reporting on the crime beat has been a passion of mine at The Michigan Daily and I loved reading about crime on other campuses; but besides the occasional post on a college news site, I never could find a central place for newsgathering and analysis of campus crime–or simply campus law enforcement.

So, that’s what I’ll try to do here. Using the sources, knowledge and media diet I’ve accumulated while working at the Daily, I hope to both curate news from colleges around the country and also provide original content. I also hope to look beyond local college policy and focus on directives from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Department of Education.  There’s a lot to write about, so stay tuned.

Have any story ideas or tips for how I should direct this project? Use the form below. I’d love to hear from you.