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Violence on campus

Fights, assaults and disturbances on Tyler Junior College’s campus are becoming more common, raising some concerns about the attitude of students attending the college. “We have a legitimate concern about some of the students’ behavior,” said Fred M. Peters, director marketing and public information. Tyler Junior College received 18 reports of fights and 35 reports of disturbances between August and December 2009.”Particularly this year and over the last couple of years we have seen constant student code of conduct violations,” said Mr. Peters. On Nov. 3, 2009, Campus Safety received a call from Peters reporting a fight between two males in front of Ornelas courtyard. Upon the arrival of law enforcement, both parties were separated. Additional officers arrived later to assist According to teenhelp.com, male teens are more likely to be involved in a physical fight than females. However, female violence is increasing dramatically and fights among females are becoming more common. “There is no difference between males and females now. Girls get involved in fights, probably because they are constantly arguing,” said Ismael Ambriz, a Tyler Junior College student.During the 2009 spring semester, while on his way to one of his classes, Ambriz saw two girls arguing in the parking lot in front of Pirtle Technology building. The arguing continued until one of the girls attacked the other one. Somebody came out of a white car and separated the girls, stopping the fight. Ambriz did not report the incident because he did not know any of the girls involved. “Some of the students who break the student code of conduct, have problems at home,” said Peters. He also added, “Some of these students have a history of improper behavior.” On Nov. 19, 2009, at 12:40 a.m. two subjects got into a fight on campus. Officers arrived and found that one of the suspects, Curtis L. Easton, was not a student. Easton, a resident of Dallas, received a criminal traspass warning and if he does not obey the law he can get arrested.The student code of conduct at Tyler Junior College punishes any student involved in violent crimes. One of the measures that applies is probation. Another of the legal procedures of TJC’s code of conduct is the removal from the residence hall or suspension and even expulsion. Also, depending on the crime committed the subject could face charges with the Tyler Police Department.

“Usually, when officers arrive to the area of confrontation the crowd disperses and does not cooperate withofficers and no one wants to file a complaint,” said Peters. On Jan. 21, 2010, at 6:15 p.m. Officer Pierce and Football Coach David Palmer arrived to Rogers Student Center after a fight was reported. A crowd of more than 50 people started to disperse after the officer and coach arrived. Both asked the students for information, but nobody wanted to cooperate.Campus Safety is working to reduce violence on campus. However, they have found many obstacles. One of them is the lack of students’ cooperation after the incidents. Another obstacle officers and guards face, is the jurisdiction they have is only on Tyler Junior College grounds. “Some of the fights occur out of Tyler Junior College limits, the good thing is Tyler Police is always working with us to control crime,” said Peters.On Nov. 13, 2009, Officer P. Scott was notified about an incident involving aggravated assault. Tyler Police arrested Blake Benjamin Mcqowan, a Tyler Junior College student, for aggravated assault. Mcqowan was taken to the Tyler Police Department for investigation. According to teensviolence.com, violence is not only a social problem; but, it is also a financial dilemma. The total direct and indirect cost resulting from teen violence is around $158 billion dollars per year. Communities with teen violence have higher health care and medical care cost as a result of injuries or death.For more information contact the Tyler Junior College Campus Safety Department at (903)510-2258 or to become a witness call Tyler-Smith County Crimestoppers at (903)597-2833.

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