With fall semester starting next month at many colleges across Tennessee, it is important to prep your freshman student. This entails more than just buying needed supplies and moving your child into a dorm room. It also means having difficult conversations about college life.
One thing to cover is common crimes that happen on campus. Helping your child understand how they occur and what the consequences can be may encourage him or her to act more carefully and not give in to peer pressure.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the top college crime is burglary, coming in at 42%. Burglary means illegally entering a building or vehicle with the intent to commit another illegal act. The entrance does not have to be forceful, like a break-in. It can, instead, be the result of fraud.
Most often, the criminal intent is to steal something, but it also includes other crimes, such as physical assault or arson. The second crime does not even need to happen to face burglary charges. Burglary is a felony, even if the additional criminal act is not, and a conviction comes with serious lifelong penalties.
Your college student may not outright participate in using illicit substances. It is more likely for young adults to make poor decisions involving drugs that seem like no big deal, such as alcohol and prescription medicine. Possible crimes include the following:
- Sharing a prescription drug with someone else (and vice versa)
- Driving home after getting drunk at a party
- Thinking that marijuana is legal in Tennessee (it is not)
- Serving alcohol to an underage drinker
Criminal charges for these activities can lead to more than just legal consequences; they also will result in disciplinary action from the school. Your college student can lose scholarships, sports privileges and even enrollment. A criminal record may also hinder employment opportunities and professional licensing.