SU students pioneer College Crime Watch program
SU students pioneer College Crime Watch programMay 07, 2003Matthew R. Snydermrsnyder@syr.edu
For the 1,200 students and advisors at the second International Youth Leaders Crime Prevention Conference, held in Miami from April 10-13, the event was a chance to compare notes on the creation of crime-free and drug-free educational settings. The meeting was especially meaningful for Syracuse University students Courtney Bell, Cleavon Cox, Rigaud Noel, Carmen Jackson and Lansing Dimon, along with Department of Public Safety (DPS) Chief Marlene Hall, Senior Lt. Grant Williams and Jill Lentz, operations manager for the Residential Security Program; while in Miami, they collected College Crime Watch (CCW) Program of the Year honors on behalf of SU. The award, presented by Youth Crime Watch of America (YCWA), recognizes SU for remarkable innovation and leadership in the pursuit of an aware student body free of crime, violence and drugs.
For more than 20 years, YCWA has enlisted youth in crime reduction efforts in schools and communities, and the program has now expanded to include CCW. SU is one of three official participants in YCWA’s pilot CCW program, which capitalizes on student leadership to create crime-free and drug-free campus environments.
“Campus Crime Watch is an innovative program in which student leaders take responsibility for educating their peers about campus safety issues,” says Dean of Students Anastasia Urtz. “Achieving student involvement in campus security is a challenge faced by colleges nationwide; SU is fortunate to have such a dedicated group of students playing a key role.”
At SU, the core of CCW’s student leadership is drawn from many different groups on campus, including graduate and undergraduate students involved with residence life, Greek life, the Student Association and other organizations. As participants in the pilot CCW program, SU is creating benchmark solutions for meeting the program’s goals: Creating a crime-free and drug-free campus environment that allows for safe learning and living; instilling positive values, fostering good citizenship and building self-confidence among students; and enabling students to become resources for preventing criminal and destructive activity on campus and in the surrounding community.
At SU, this translates into activity as a registered student organization, replete with bylaws and membership; CCW members also participate in conference calls with other colleges’ chapters and hold meetings to develop and work on various projects. Some of these projects include the development of an active anti-crime listserv, a Web site and safety-oriented pamphlets and stickers. Key components of SU CCW’s campus presence include Campus Watch, Hate Crime Prevention and Off Campus Student Safety. The organization also works hand-in-hand with DPS.
“DPS has proven to be an essential partner in the development of YCWA’s pilot programming,” says Kathryn Bugg, CCW coordinator of YCWA. “Their participation in our April conference yielded valuable insight into the future development of our program and its components.”
CCW also works in partnership with several other University organizations, including the Division of Student Affairs, which sponsored the Miami trip. Student Affairs is planning to include CCW information and speakers during Fall 2003 new student orientations.
While in Miami, SU’s CCW delegation shared their experience with their counterparts from other colleges, the law enforcement community and juvenile justice advocates during networking meetings, workshop presentations and “train-the-trainer” sessions.
“We have a very enthusiastic group of student leaders who were excited about attending the conference,” says Lentz. “They worked hard to assist with recruiting efforts, targeting high school seniors who will be attending colleges and universities in the fall. They also brought back information we’ll use at SU to further develop the program in the fall.”