Gang Activity on Campus

  • A Crisis Response Case Study
  • Mahauganee Shaw, Sarah Meaney
  • Journal of Cases in Educational Leadership, November 2015, SAGE Publications
  • DOI: 10.1177/1555458915609096

Gang activity on campus: A crisis response case study

What is it about?

This case study challenges readers to consider a contemporary issue for campus threat assessment and emergency preparedness: gang presence on college campuses. A body of research examining the presence of gangs and gang activity on college campuses has developed, revealing that gangs pose a viable threat for institutions of higher education. The question of whether and how to confront this issue raises questions regarding student safety, success and retention, as well as violence on campus. This case study presents a developing scenario, in which readers are asked to make decisions prior to more information unfolding. It is designed to address the question of campus safety, and focus current and future campus administrators on the complexities of the emergency response process.

Why is it important?

Regardless of readers' professional experience, this case study is successful in introducing the topic of gang presence and in helping readers consider the potential challenges and implications of working with gang-affiliated students. This is a topic that most educators report never considering in their previous work with students. Given the various elements of this case, readers are challenged to develop particular crisis management skills; namely, (1) working through ethical dilemmas, (2) making decisions with limited information, (3) reasoning through the complexities of crisis response.


Dr Mahauganee D. Shaw
Miami University

Current and aspiring educators often have few, if any, formal opportunities for crisis management training. My work, including this case study, offers training tools that can be used in times of normalcy to prepare for the intense nature of emergency management and to develop response protocols.

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The following have contributed to this page: Dr Mahauganee D. Shaw