Campus News

Staying safe at student housing

Archway to Kirkwood Courts
Archway to Campus View and Kirkwood Courts on Kirkwood Blvd. One of several student housing complexes facing increased safety issues in 2019. PHOTO BY JUANA JONES

Kirkwood Community College has a longstanding record of safety at all of its locations across Eastern Iowa, including the Main Campus, which only had 10 incidents – mostly alcohol related, in 2017 (the last year reported in the 2018 Campus Security Act Report, which is available on Kirkwood’s website). 

The same record of safety does not extend to the apartments that surround Kirkwood’s Main Campus, which are listed as student housing on the college’s website. 

Although the apartments are independently operated and outside the reach of Kirkwood’s administration or security, the seven student housing locations surrounding the campus are home to many new and existing students, and some former students. 

From September 2018 to September 2019, according to, Kirkwood student housing experienced 13 drug related incidents, 20 assaults of all kinds, 73 thefts (which include vehicle break-ins, burglaries and robberies), 24 miscellaneous incidents and 1 crime involving murder; all incidents which occurred in the area of the apartments.

Crime incidents data
Data table showing incidents by general type at each apartment complex listed as student housing on Kirkwood’s website. More information available at, with apartment address and physical location selected. GRAPHIC BY JAMES DYKEMAN

Landon Einck, college resource officer to Kirkwood and officer at the Cedar Rapids Police Department, explained that most of the incidents are avoidable. “Almost all car thefts and break-ins occur because vehicles are left unlocked, often with the keys inside. Many new students are from smaller towns and may not be used to worrying about security,” he said. 

Einck also encouraged students to be smart about what they leave out in vehicles. He said, “Most of these incidents occur because valuables are left out in the open. Don’t leave computers, PlayStations and valuables out…take them with you.” 

According to Einck, most victims of robbery and assault are “not innocent” and many issues that lead to them start due to drug/alcohol activity and parties that get out of hand. He advised that students should protect themselves by being aware of who is entering their apartments.

Einck also stated that, “Students are responsible for who they allow into their apartment.” He went on to talk about how small gatherings often lead to a large party where not everyone is known. Items can be stolen from living spaces or, in the cases of drug activity, people may return later to rob the occupants, often causing property damage and inciting violence.     

Einck explained that new students just leaving home often forget that they are now accountable for their actions and the laws that surround them. He went on to say that students who avoid large parties, are mindful of common-sense safety measures and don’t partake in illegal drugs or alcohol, are less likely to become a victim of crime or involved in situations which could have negative consequences. 

Einck acknowledged that this is not always possible and encouraged students to keep gatherings small and not to get involved in illegal drugs.

Images courtesy of Juana Jones and James Dykeman

Categories: Campus News, Local News, News