1st Edition

College in the Crosshairs An Administrative Perspective on Prevention of Gun Violence

Edited By Brian O. Hemphill, Brandi Hephner LaBanc Copyright 2015
    288 Pages
    by Routledge

    288 Pages
    by Routledge

    Gun violence – whether rampage shootings, homicides or suicides – is a potential reality all campuses have to face. This book provides leaders in higher education – and particularly those in student affairs – with data about past incidents, an analysis of trends, and background on the national debate about gun policies and how they impact colleges, state by state. It importantly raises issues about student psychological development, mental health, and the prevalence of alcohol and substance abuse on campus, to better inform discussion about allowing guns on campus and concealed carry. It concludes by sharing strategies for averting gun-related tragedies, and offering models for responding when they occur, based on lessons learned and best practices. The book addresses concealed carry legislation and its impact on campus policies by state, examining the concerns of administrators as they discharge their duty of care to students and comply with legal and regulatory frameworks. Asking “Are our students developmentally ready to make a morally sophisticated, life-changing decision to use firearms in response to a real or perceived threat?”, it offers important perspectives and scientific data, so far absent from the debate, to shape the ongoing conversation with lawmakers and the public about what it takes to keep college communities safe.In addressing risk and prevention, contributors cover the relationship between violence and mental health, and the need to establish comprehensive strategic plans and a preventative framework that promotes help-seeking for those in need before they reach the point of crisis, as well as a campus-wide risk assessment team, stressing the importance of cultivating a community-wide approach to campus safety by empowering members to report suspicious behavior. They also offer guidance on improving effective behavior intervention and case management processes.The book concludes by outlining best practices, and providing guidance on developing an emergency plan, practicing and testing systems, and creating a robust communications strategy. Individual chapters focus on how small colleges with limited resources can develop effective plans into by partnering with local agencies; as well as on the steps that community colleges – who generally lack resident advisors and residential staff, and whose students are far more dispersed – can take to diminish risk and respond promptly and professionally to a crisis.This is an essential guide for all higher education leaders concerned about preventing violence on our campuses, and a call to action.

    Foreword—Kevin Kruger and Cindi Love Acknowledgements 1. Murder in Academe. An Overview of Rampage Shootings and More Conventional Homicides that Touch Universities and Colleges (2009—2014)—Rick Ferraro 2. Concealed Carry Legislation and Changing Campus Policies—Kerry Brian Melear and Mark St. Louis 3. Creating an Emotionally Healthy Community to Promote Campus Safety—Maggie Balistreri-Clarke and Peter Meagher 4. Student Development Theory in the Campus Gun Debate—Ainsley Carry and Amy Hecht 5. Risk and Threat Assessment—John H. Dunkle and Brian J. Mistler 6. Behavior Intervention and Case Management—Jen Day Shaw and Sarah B. Westfall 7. Timely Warning and Crisis Communication—Jeanna Mastrodicasa and Greg Nayor 8. A Small-College Perspective—Steve Jacobson and Sheila Lambert 9. A Community College Perspective. Preparing for Active Shooter Events—Lance Jones and Scott Peska 10. In His Words. The Tragic Reality—T. Ramon Stuart 11. Violence Prevention in Modern Academia. Best Practices for Campus Administrators—Katrina A. Slone and Melanie V. Tucker About the Contributors Index


    Brian O. Hemphill joined West Virginia State University in July 2012 as the University’s 10th president. His emphasis since arriving on campus is threefold: to establish a commitment to excellence, to create a culture of accountability and to be student-centered in every process at State. President Hemphill has a strong background in student advocacy, advancing diversity and equity and establishing a solid commitment to shared governance on campus. He has contributed to numerous journal articles and professional presentations in the areas of leadership, crisis management, ethics, and diversity. Most recently, Dr. Hemphill was the editor of the monograph, Enough is Enough: A Student Affairs Perspective on Preparedness and Response to a Campus Shooting. He has fulfilled various leadership roles within the Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA), which named him a Pillar of the Profession in 2009. President Hemphill came to WVSU following an eight-year tenure as Vice President for Student Affairs & Enrollment Management and Associate Professor, at Northern Illinois University. Prior to joining NIU, he served as an associate vice chancellor and dean of students at the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville, associate dean of students at University of North Carolina-Wilmington, assistant dean of students at Cornell College, and coordinator of minority recruitment and retention at Iowa State University. President Hemphill earned a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from the University of Iowa, a Master of Science degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Iowa State University of Science and Technology, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Organizational Communication from St. Augustine’s College. Brandi Hephner LaBanc was appointed Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs in July 2012 at Ole Miss, providing leadership and direction for all of the departments encompassed by the Division of Student Affairs. She also serves as a faculty member in

    "College in the Crosshairs provides a truly interdisciplinary analysis of phenomena that were once thought of as primarily police responsibilities. As you read this book, prepare to enter the world of the frontlines gun violence, campus safety and wellness through the candid voices of the individuals who manage critical operational issues 24/7, 365. The book is not only edifying for those wish to learn more about weapons issues but is also an indispensable resource for experts in the field. Most of all the book is deeply inspirational, reminding us that the most powerful weapons against violence are the weapons of peace—education, science, compassion, forgiveness, and courage."

    Peter F. Lake, Professor of Law, Charles A. Dana Chair, and Director of the Center for Excellence in Higher Education Law and Policy

    Stetson University College of Law

    “Campus violence is a complex and multi-faceted phenomenon. Campus safety then, requires a proactive and collaborative approach, supported by effective leadership and on-going commitment. Herein, Hemphill and LaBanc provide an exceptional framework for addressing campus violence through a range of complementary and collaborative strategies involving public policy, institutional services, and personal commitment. Contributors to this work offer powerful insights regarding strategies to enhance prevention and mitigation of risk, emergency planning and preparation, response to critical incidents, and community recovery. This is a ‘must read’ for campus administrators and everyone who is invested in the safety and well-being of our campuses.”

    Gene Deisinger, Managing Partner

    SIGMA Threat Management Associates, formerly Deputy Chief of Police & Director, Threat Management Services Virginia Tech

    “NASPA and ACPA remain steadfast in our shared focus to provide practitioners with the knowledge and skills necessary to establish and maintain safe campus environments that are proactive against the threat of devastating violence. Throughout this book, the authors present ideas and practical examples to help campus administrators achieve this end. Because preventing campus homicide and gun violence is an enormous, complex, and critical responsibility placed upon our collective shoulders, sharing knowledge with the higher education community that will build upon our knowledge and understanding is essential. We hope this resource is helpful as you envision the next steps of your campus’ ongoing and evolving effort to prevent and end this violence.”

    Kevin Kruger, President, NASPA and Cynthia Love, Executive Director, ACPA