This archived article was written by: Seth Richards
Violent crimes, the taking of another’s property, and the abuse of substance; are all requisite parts of each campus’ annual and three-year crime report, as mandated by the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act of 1990 (the Clery Act).
The Clery Act, so named for Jeanne Clery, a student who was raped and murdered in her residence at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Penn., requires colleges to report incidences of sex offenses of the forced and not forced varieties, assault, homicide whether criminal, murder, or negligent; robbery, burglary, theft, arson, hate crimes, substance and firearm abuse and illegal possession, including whether it was handled in court or on campus.
The campus security is also required to state whether these events took place in the campus housing, on public property or in a noncampus facility.
While these numbers might make one campus look better than another, i.e. College of Southern Idaho and Snow College have fewer recorded alcohol violations than USU Eastern, Salt Lake Community College, Dixie State College or Westminster College; Officer James Prettyman, of the campus police and residential life, points out that padding reports for an edge in recruitment has been done by colleges in the past and may still be done at some institutions.
In a comparison of the most recently available crime reports, of the aforementioned colleges, Snow College would seem to be the safest as far as reported numbers of incidences in the required areas with 40 in three years, USU Eastern ranks second with 87 in three years, and Westminster would seem to be the most unsavory of these colleges with 474 required events sited, of which 391 were alcohol related.
Dixie State was the only college listed to report an unattended death, but campuses are not required to state the reasons. Other offenses were more common in the larger cities where there are ore people to act out against others, and where there can be easier access to controlled substances. People are inclined, when they achieve more extreme emotions, to lose their sense of reason and do stupid things.
Dixie State, Westminster, and USU Eastern had the highest reported numbers of forced sex offenses. However, the Rape Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) estimates that nearly fifteen percent of women are victims of rape and are most vulnerable around the traditional years of college attendance.
Due to the uncomfortable and unsavory nature of the offense, a number of people are unwilling to come forward about crimes committed against them, particularly in the area of crimes of a more sexual nature. Whether out of an embarrassment to be singled out in a smaller community, to protect someone they care about, which person may have simply crossed a line, or out of a fear of having to relive an event; people often do not report such events, and thus put others at risk by letting guilty parties get away with the most heinous of errors when such individuals could be better served by incarceration or counseling according to RAINN.
Incidences of death, sex offenses, assault (which, in the state of Utah requires only the threat and immediate ability to do harm to a person), robbery, burglary, theft, arson, substance abuse, or the illegal possession of weapons on campus or in the housing facilities ought to be reported either by calling campus security at 911, the USU Eastern security office can be reached at (435)613-5612, or anonymous calls can be made to the campus police silent witness number (435) 613-5635.