Book Reviews

Book by Jerlando F.L. Jackson & Melvin Cleveland Terrell
Review by Michael J. Magee 
Coordinator, Academic Support Services
College of Business Advising
Florida International University 


Critical components necessary for institutions of higher education to operate successfully include having adequate facilities to foster student engagement, administrative professionals to manage campus operations and support students, and faculty to teach. Charles Cychosz, author of Chapter 10, states, “campuses generally value reasoned discussion and intellectual debate, deliberative problem solving, equity and a sense of safety and security” (p. 188). Recent high-profile crimes on college campuses and the media coverage surrounding these incidents have contributed to this increased amount of concern and nationwide media attention regarding campus safety.  

Jackson & Terrell’s sourcebook, Creating and Maintaining Safe College Campuses: A Sourcebook for Evaluating & Enhancing Safety Programs, provides readers with an in-depth discussion of issues college campuses encounter. These issues range from alcohol abuse, student violence (hazing in fraternities and sororities, sexual violence, etc.), and natural disasters. The latter sections of the book discuss specific institutional responses to safety issues and provide best practices. 

The strength of the book comes from the diversity of authors Jackson and Terrell attracted to this project. Each author shared his/her expertise regarding their chapter to give the book a variety of campus experiences with confronting safety issues. I found Chapter 6, A Growing Concern: Sexual Violence against Women on College Campuses, to be the most informative. This chapter addressed various forms of discrimination and violence that female students may encounter on a regular basis. For those of us who may not have been aware of the various forms of gender discrimination and violence, the chapter is eye-opening. 
 
Chapter 12, Exemplar Programs and Procedures, is a great chapter to use as a resource to compare programs your campus Public Safety/Police department may offer. In addition, these programs are valuable to be cognizant of as you can explain this to your students who may inquire about safety programs on campus. The chapter further examines safety programs and training related to employees and institutional involvement opportunities to combat issues that not only affect the campus, but he surrounding community as well. 

Recent tragedies at Virginia Tech (April 2007) and Northern Illinois University (February 2008) warrant the usage of this sourcebook by higher education professionals in all areas. The National Association of Student Personnel Administrations (NASPA www.naspa.org) has proactively addressed student mental health and well being during the 21st century. In addition, our organization has an information article in the Clearinghouse (http://www.nacada.ksu.edu/Clearinghouse/Advisingissues/Mental-Health.htm) that address mental health issues with students and what we as Advisors can do to remain proactive of any issues that may impact the overall safety of our campuses.

Our students need a safe environment to excel academically, develop skills and competencies and reach their full potential. Although this book does not address campus shootings (this book was in press before the recent events), it is still a valuable resource to have. The sourcebook provides administrators, faculty, and academic advisors with a useful tool that enables one to have a thorough understanding of campus safety and what steps are required to establish and maintain a safe campus environment. I wholeheartedly recommend this book to academic advisors, particularly those advisors who teach first year experience courses and have additional interaction with students outside of the traditional one-on-one and group advising/orientation sessions. 

Reference: 
Harper, R. & Peterson, M. (2005). Mental health issues and college students . NACADA Clearinghouse of Academic Advising Resources . Retrieved July 24, 2008 , from http://www.nacada.ksu.edu/Clearinghouse/AdvisingIssues/Mental-Health.htm


Creating and Maintaining Safe College Campuses: A Sourcebook for Evaluating & Enhancing Safety Programs. (2007). Book by Jerlando F.L. Jackson & Melvin Cleveland Terrell (Eds.). Review by Michael J. Magee. Herndon, VA: Stylus Publishing, 286 pp., $24.95, (paperback), ISBN # 978-1-57922-196-6
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