On Campus

Why we fight

Study finds one in five students reported recent violence

421166117_d454099562Maclean’s reported July 16 on a study that revealed one in five university students reported recent violence.

The study, conducted at the University of Washington, the University of Wisconsin and the University of British Columbia, also concluded one in four of the reported incidents was the result of romantic partner abuse.

Several sexual assault incidents took place at Carleton University and York University in 2007. This study provides contrast, focussing on the statistically significant amount of violence happening amongst university students “behind closed doors.”

The report also covers the rarely included violence experienced and reported by male students. The gender inclusiveness of this study recognizes the diversity of relationships university students experience and diverts from the stereotypical assumption that only females are victims of partner violence.

The study also concluded that the majority of violence reported resulted after consumption of alcohol.

While this may seem obvious to most students who have witnessed their fair share of bar brawls, the article does raise the question of whether schools have yet to make clear to students the connection between alcohol and violence, with the same warnings that come with alcohol and sexual assault and drinking and driving advertisements and campaigns.

The article reveals students need a better understanding of healthy relationships.

Though some schools have posted helpful tips on healthy relationships like Wilfrid Laurier University, the consumption of alcohol as it relates to maintaining a healthy relationship is an issue the study raises.

What the study didn’t cover is the rate of increase or decrease in violence amongst students at the selected campus. As well, the study only assesses reported violence and that the actual rate of violence experience by university students is likely significantly higher.

So the questions still unanswered are: Why is there an alarming amount of violence among students? Are we becoming an increasingly violent generation or is it just a passing fad?

With still too recent memories of the shootings at Polytechnique in Montreal and Columbine High School in Colorado, these questions may reveal insight on and prevention of excessive violence on campuses and among students.

– photo by CTRL-F5

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