In less than a month, two college students were found dead after nights out — only a fraction of the number of college students whose lives are put on the line on nights that should be stress-free and fun-filled.
Maxmillian Carbone, 19 at the time of his death, was found by Boston police early Sunday morning. Police said they do not believe the circumstances of his death are suspicious or foul play-related, according to Fox News.
Samantha Josephson, a senior at the University of South Carolina, was last seen getting into a car that she thought was an Uber she had called. CNN reported that she was later found dead in a field about 90 miles away.
These instances — while completely unrelated in timeline and matter of death — show a concerning pattern on the risks in which college students can find themselves late at night and when they may be under the influence.
The death of Carbone and Josephson, and the robberies, overdoses and accidents of others cannot be traced to one exact issue; however, it does call into question how universities are educating students to handle themselves responsibly while off campus.
We have all had substance abuse and safety training at one point or another, whether that be through the D.A.R.E. program in elementary school or in the online training that Shippensburg University requires us to complete as an incoming freshman.
Unfortunately, online training can be vague to cater to a number of universities, and make it easy for students to zone out or click through the information quickly to get it over with.
SU students are fortunate to live in an area with a very low violent crime rate. According to Neighbor Scout, the town of Shippensburg only has about two violent crimes a year.
And while that may lessen the odds of an SU student being assaulted by a faceless stranger in the community, there is an ever-present temptation amongst college students to party on the weekends, whether that be with drugs or alcohol.
The Addiction Center estimates that 80 percent of U.S. college students have abused alcohol.
SU offers a variety of resources on its website to students who are struggling, but unless you know where to go, it may be hard to find assistance for substance abuse. If I had a friend at SU who was struggling with addiction, I may direct them to the Counseling Center, but not with much confidence that I was pointing them in the most effective direction for their issue.
It may seem impossible that something so terrible could happen here, but that is what those two students may have thought as well.
Increased and hands-on training could go far in teaching students how to recognize the signs of abuse that plague far too many students, during a time when they should be headed toward brighter futures.