Has College Become Dangerous for Students?
Is alcohol abuse, sexual assaults, and cheating the new normal for college?
Posted Jan 21, 2015
Sadly, it appears that in addition to their academic coursework, college life has become a breeding ground for learning very bad behavior as it relates to alcohol and drug abuse, sexual behavior, and cheating. It begs the question, is college a place to learn how to be a better person or perhaps not?
College is certainly an important time of life for not only academic training and career planning but also for socialization and the development of life long coping skills. Typically, it is the first time young adults have been on their own to make important lifestyle decisions for themselves without the daily supervision and influence of their parents. The transition from high school to college and then to adult life is a critically important time to fine tune habits of the mind as well as general habits of life. It is also a time when ethical formation becomes critically important too.
Parents worry about the safety and security of their children when they send them off to college and sadly, experience great stress about the odds that their child might get raped on campus or get severely hurt from excessive alcohol abuse. Drinking games, such as beer pong, have become popular on campuses and only increase both parent stress and student expectations that binge drinking is expected at college.
While there are no simple answers, efforts must be made by university officials, faculty, staff, parents, students, law enforcement, among others to offer a full court press in ethical development as well as develop higher expectations for (and appropriate consequences for) behavior in college.
Here at Santa Clara University, all students, regardless of major, must take a full term class in ethics and are encouraged to take much more. One or more classes in ethics won't solve these problems but at least it is a step in the right direction to ensure that all students reflect on their behavior and develop ethical ways of living.
What do you think?
Copyright 2015, Thomas G. Plante, PhD, ABPP