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Lessons for Students and Parents on Campus Violence

August 20, 1989

I read "Campus Crime Crusade" (by Beverly Beyette, Aug. 10) with mixed feelings. I am grateful for the article but wish it had gone one step further.

In a month we are sending our youngest child and only daughter to a UC campus so we need to know the extent of violent crimes on the campuses. During a two-day orientation for parents and students in June, school officials avoided the issue of campus violence and focused instead on academic challenges, extracurricular activities and homesickness. Rape was only mentioned once; I brought it up in the question-and-answer period.

Our daughter, faced with leaving home for the first time, will be alarmed by the article and begin to doubt her decision to go away to school. Her needs and those of the many students entering college this fall would have been better served by a less graphic description of Jeanne Clery's murder and a more thoughtful comparison of the incidence of violent crime on campus with other threats to student safety--alcohol-related deaths, suicide, AIDS, steroid use. An accompanying column with a checklist of positive steps an individual student can take to minimize the chance of becoming a victim of campus violence would have given our daughter what she needs to develop a plan for action.

The painful experience of the Clery family shocks us into facing a problem on college campuses. Many of us cannot wait for the universities to install new security systems. We must begin by facing the campus violence issue with our college-bound children and offering them the means to protect against it.

JUDITH CARTER

San Marino

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