College Student Perceptions of Notification About Sex Offenders on Campus


Sexual victimization is a growing concern on college campuses. Although academic literature has examined the extent and perceived risk and fear of sexual assault at universities, studies focusing on college student attitudes about appropriate sex crime–related policies are severely limited. The Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act of 2000 requires post-secondary institutions to provide a statement giving the campus community guidance on how to access information about registered sex offenders. Colleges and universities are afforded wide discretion regarding whether to use more direct and involved methods for notifying faculty, staff, and students. The current study examines how college students attending a Midwestern university feel about various approaches to notification about sex offenders on campus. Results indicate that impressions of vulnerability are driving some of student opinion about notification, but that other considerations, such as character assessment, privacy concerns, and feelings of uneasiness, are possibly having an impact as well. The findings also strongly support that female student input should be factored heavily into campus sex offender notification strategies.


Criminology and Criminal Justice
Political Science

Document Type





campus notification, higher education policy, sex offending

Publication Date


Journal Title

Criminal Justice Policy Review