Corey Hausman was just 15 days into his freshman year when he fell off his skateboard on a broken path at the University of Colorado Boulder and died. When Hausman’s family sought more information about the crashes on campus, they quickly discovered that three other students had died, but their deaths were not considered by the university as they had all been deaths. accidents.
Colleges are required to collect data on serious crime cases that occur on campus and come before the federal government through the CLERY Act, a law named after Jeanne Clery, a student who was raped and murdered in a Lehigh University dorm in 1986. This includes hate crimes, arson, sexual assault, domestic violence and substance abuse. Accident information, although the leading cause of death among college students according to the American College Health Association, is not collected by colleges;
“I asked questions and looked up statistics on serious student crashes and deaths and found there was no hard data for tough situations like Corey’s, but I did. discovered that Corey was the third death at his university in those first 13 days,” said Nanette Hausman, Corey’s mother and founder of College911, an organization focused on raising awareness of college campus safety.
A bipartisan bill introduced in the House in July could change that. The so-called COREY Act (College Operational Reporting of Emergencies Involving Teens and Young Adults Safety Act), introduced by Reps. Joe Courtney and Jim Himes, both Connecticut Democrats, would amend the CLERY Act of 1990 to require colleges to disclose the cases resulting in “serious injury or death” in their annual safety report. This includes all accidents related to slips, bicycle or motor vehicle accidents, drownings or alcohol or drug overdoses.
This data would help campuses make informed decisions about the policies and procedures needed to improve campus security.
“If an accident happens in the same place over and over again, and you have the metrics to show it, then in a way it’s not an accident, it’s a preventable injury,” Hausman said. . “Through these measures, public health agencies and researchers will have evidence on the prevention of injuries and deaths in university communities. This will help our universities acquire the resources needed to better prepare for medical emergencies and to manage and minimize preventable injuries. “
A 2013 American College Health Association study of more than 150 colleges found that accidents accounted for 10.8% of student deaths, from suicide (6%), which is not reported by law. CLERY, and homicide (0.5%), which is reported by the CLERY law.
“Students go to college and university with the goal of gaining experience, skills, and accreditation for opportunities later in life. That’s one of the greatest things a parent can see — to see our children working hard and seizing those opportunities — and while not all tragedies can be prevented, we need to know that schools are taking meaningful steps to keep students safe on campus,” said Courtney.
The bill is modeled after a law passed unanimously in Connecticut last year that instituted similar reporting requirements for all college campuses in Connecticut. It would also require colleges to provide students with information about the trauma center closest to campus. Hausman said this information will help students make more informed decisions in an emergency.
Accident-related deaths happen to freshmen. “If it’s your first time as a student and you realize your science class is a world apart, students can rush, ride bikes, hoverboards or skateboards at the same time as the people are walking or strolling around campus. We believe this act will help in some way to review campus infrastructure, forms and buildings to ensure they are kept as safe as possible,” Hausman said.
Hausman has created a Medical Emergency Checklist that provides families with information on how to prevent serious accidents and how to create an emergency plan for students. She hopes that if the law is passed, colleges will begin having conversations with students about campus safety in their first year of orientation.