Hate Crimes on Campus: Racial/Ethnic Diversity and Campus Safety

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An upcoming report in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence evaluates the relationship between racial diversity and the number of hate crimes on college campuses.  The researchers, both at the University of Hawaii, were unable to determine the initial causes of campus hate crimes, but found that the number of black and Hispanic students at  particular schools had a significant impact on the number of hate crimes there. As the number of black and Hispanic students at different schools increased, so did the number of hate crimes, whereas an increase in Asians did not correlate to an increase in the crimes. 

But the authors also found that colleges and universities that reach the highest levels of diversity see fewer hate crimes, probably because they are creating a more inclusive atmosphere all students and one that values diversity more than those that have lower enrollments of blacks and Latinos.

According to the study, most universities and colleges have prioritized the inclusion of a diverse student body for several decades.  The authors suggest that an increase in minority students on campuses could spur a negative or violent reaction from the majority students, causing a tenser campus environment.  The study was conducted to monitor the relationship, if any, between the racial and/or ethnic diversity of a college or university and the rate of racial and ethnic hate crimes on campus.

The number of minority students is projected to increase, according to the National Center for Educational Statistics.  NCES predicts that college enrollment will increase by 4 percent for white students, 26 percent for black students, 38 percent for Hispanic students, 29 percent for Asian or Pacific Islander students, 32 percent for American Indian or Alaskan Native students and 14 percent for nonresident aliens, between 2007 and 2018.

The study took data from annual Uniform Crime Reports, collected by the FBI. The reports include information about race-, ethnicity-, religion-, sexual orientation- and disability-based hate crimes that occur on campus.  The study also used information about the schools in the reports to get a better idea of the number of minority students and other relevant information. 


To read this report’s free abstract click here.