by Kailee Kivvett
When parents send their kids off to college, they generally seem to worry about their children staying safe. Colleges dedicate much of their energy and money to making sure that their students are protected. However, this does not stop crime from happening altogether.
Sergeant Wil Leschber from VSUPD said that the crime most often seen on VSU’s campus is theft.
Heather Sattler, a freshman political science major, has experienced this crime firsthand. She had her wallet stolen in Palms Dining Hall last semester.
“I left it on the table and I thought my friend was watching it,” Sattler said. “Since it was an open place, I didn’t believe it would be an issue.”
According to the U.S. Department of Education, VSU has a relatively low campus crime rate compared to other colleges in the state.
As shown in VSU’s Clery Act stats, there were no motor vehicle thefts, arson reports, domestic violence
reports, or manslaughter charges issued on campus in 2013. There were also zero weapons violations and zero non-forcible sex offenses. Drug violations accounted for the most arrests that same year.
VSU’s second most-seen crime is hit and run, Leschber said.
“A hit and run includes instances where the student does not even notice they hit another car,” Leschber said.
In other words, if the student hits something without realizing and keeps driving, it can still be considered a hit and run.
The third most-seen crime varies depending on year, but is usually underage possession of alcohol, possession of marijuana, or damage of property over $500, according to Leschble. Marijuana possession seems to have been the most prominent in 2013.
The University of Georgia has the highest crime statistics in the state. However, VSU had a higher number of robberies in 2013, according to the U.S. Department of Education. UGA’s website lists its number of underage possession crimes as significantly higher than VSU’s. Also, UGA has more hate-related crimes (simple and aggravated assaults) than VSU.
Leschber said not all crimes on campus are committed by students.
“Since Valdosta State University is an open campus, the crimes do not always involve students,” Leschber said.