Crime On CT College Campuses Drops By 29% in 2020; Pandemic Credited

New college safety data revealed a 29% decrease in all crimes reported across Connecticut’s 10 largest four-year undergraduate institutions from 2019 to 2020, including a 42% decrease in sexual offenses. This 29% decline marks the steepest drop in recent years. Between 2018 and 2019, reported crimes among the 10 largest universities decreased by 11% and sexual offenses decreased by 17%. University of Connecticut spokesperson Stephanie Reitz said that the COVID-19 pandemic, which halted the spring semester and moved classes online in March of 2020, can explain that year’s dip in crime. “The coronavirus pandemic significantly decreased the on-campus population at Storrs and the regional campuses for much of the 2020 calendar year, and the number of incidents reported during that period decreased as a result. Previous figures from 2019 and next year’s 2021 figures are expected to be more representative of a typical year,” Reitz wrote in a UConn press release.

C-HIT Student News: Weeks After The Tornado, Clean Up Work Continues

Four Conn. Health I-Team journalism campers spent the week planning, scripting, shooting and producing a video story on the clean-up work going on after the May 15 tornado that devasted Sleeping Giant State Park in Hamden and damaged parts of the surrounding neighborhood and Quinnipiac University. The student journalists, Raven Joseph of the Cooperative High School, New Haven; Kiersten Harris, Amadi Mitchell and Casmir Ebubedike, all of the Achievement First Amistad High School in New Haven, spent the week interviewing officials, knocking on neighbors’ doors and shooting video.  With help from Jodie Mozdzer Gil, an assistant professor of journalism at Southern Connecticut State University, and Charlene Torres, a senior at Quinnipiac University, the students produced the first C-HIT News segment. This video was shot in July and the work on the park continues. https://youtu.be/iU15UfIG7vI

Our video team!

Game Teaches Sexual Safety Is Nothing to Play With

Researchers at Yale University are testing whether a humorous card game can help young, black women reduce their chances of contracting HIV and AIDS—part of a new but growing trend examining whether games can spur health behavior changes. Played among three to five people, “One Night Stan” has players draw cards to establish sexual scenarios and then prompts players to discuss how they would react in those settings. The game, developed by play2PREVENT, a gaming lab within the Yale School of Medicine, is still a prototype, but designers are hoping to launch a video game version eventually and bring it to a broader audience. “It’s really about evaluating sexual situations and encounters,” said Kimberly Hieftje, a developer of the game who is an associate research scientist at Yale School of Medicine and deputy director of the play2PREVENT Lab. A growing number of developers, in Connecticut and nationally, are testing whether card, video, online and mobile games are effective tools for getting people to make healthier choices.