By Jessica Wang
Alcohol and drug offenses top the list of violations recorded during the last three years, according to the Annual Security and Fire Report released this month by the University Police Department.
Motor vehicle theft served as the third most frequent offense. The report also includes statistics on sexual violence, stalking, weapons, arson, murder and hate crime.
While alcohol and drug offenses lead the list of violations, the report shows a relative decline in the offenses. On-campus alcohol offenses totaled 280 violations in 2013, 140 in 2014 and 64 in 2015. On-campus drug offenses tallied 96 violations in 2013, 125 in 2014 and 52 in 2015.
“I asked [University] Housing why that may be the case, and I think it’s a combination of things,” said Kristin Surber, budget, operations and training specialist with University Police. “They’ve really focused on a campaign called ‘Making Good Choices,’ and part of that effort was to have more focus on enforcement and follow-through on violations.”
Clery Act compliance
“Making Good Choices” promotes education and programs against substance abuse.
Released on Oct. 1 each year, the security report is in compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policies and Campus Crime Statistics Act.
Passed in 1990, the Clery Act requires colleges and universities that receive federal funding to disclose campus safety information and sets requirements for handling sexual violence.
The Clery Act is named for Jeanne Clery, a Lehigh University student who was raped and murdered in her residence hall room in 1986 by a student she did not know. Her parents pressed for laws requiring disclosure of information about campus crimes.
In addition to information about policies, procedures and victim’s rights, the report contains statistics of reported crimes that have occurred during the last three years on campus, off campus within properties owned by CPP and on public property accessible from or adjacent to campus.
New changes from the report include revisions of executive orders issued by California State University Chancellor Timothy P. White’s office. These stem from guideline changes on sexual assault introduced in last year’s report to accommodate the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act and the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013.
According to the report, there were two reported cases of rape in 2013, four in 2014 and four in 2015. There were no reported cases of dating violence in 2013 and 2014, and five in 2015; and no reported cases of domestic violence in 2013, two in 2014 and five in 2015.
She attributed increased reports of crimes to greater willingness of crime victims to report their experiences.
“To me, it would mean that the efforts of the institution are [effective in] creating an environment where people are comfortable coming forward,” Surber said, explaining that the university’s goals include creating an environment where individuals feel empowered to report and officials respond quickly to crimes and show appropriate sensitivity.
New crime prevention procedures will use social media and community outreach.
University Police will partner with Associated Students, Inc. in the Bronco Recreation and Intramural Complex for programs. Plans call for “Coffee with a Cop” events to encourage open conversation.
Working with University Police on the report were the Office of Student Conduct and Integrity, Student Health and Counseling Services, Title IX Office, Survivor Advocacy Services, Foundation Housing Services, University Housing Services and University Athletics.
“Educating students about the policies and campus resources available is a big part of how we work to maintain safety, and holding students accountable for violations helps reduce the likelihood of future incidents occurring,” said Susan Ashe, director of OSCI, in an email. “Whether the number of incidents increase or decrease . . . we strive to consistently engage with students in a fair and equitable manner . . . and to help students learn through the process.”
Eviana Vergara / The Poly Post
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