By | Charlotte Rutigliano
With the goal of being open, honest, and transparent, HSU has released their annual crime report. The report includes incidents that happen on the general campus, in the campus residence halls, non-campus locations, and public property.
The report has been released as part of the Clery Act that was signed into federal law in 1990. The Clery Act requires all federally-funded institutions to release their campus safety information. This report covered all incidents that were reported to the University Police Departments over the last three years.
“When crimes do happen, we are faithful about reporting them,” President Lisa Rossbacher said. “We owe it to our students and their families.”
University Police Chief Donn Peterson said that this report gives people the opportunity to see whats going on at the University.
The 37-page report summarizes the different offenses that have had a report over the last three years. The crime statistics section of the report indicated that there no reported cases of murder, manslaughter by negligence, incest, or statutory rape.
Over the last three years, there has been a total of five or under cases reported for robbery, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking.
The highest reported offenses over the last three years were either liquor law offenses or drug law offenses.
“Our numbers are a little higher than other campuses,” Rossbacher said, “but we do have policies in place to help lower those numbers.”
According to the crime report, the number of liquor law referrals on the general campus and in campus residence has gone up significantly since 2014. On campus, referrals jumped from 19 in 2014 to 87 in 2016. Campus residence referrals went from eight in 2014 to 83 in 2017.
Rossbacher said that while alcohol is allowed on campus, only students who are 21 and over can drink, and only if they’re in their dorms. They can’t be in the common areas.
While drug law offenses have started to go down since 2014, the numbers are still high. On campus, both general campus and in the residence halls, there have been over a little over a thousand drug law referrals in the past three years.
According to Peterson, there is a full-time staff member within the University Police Department that checks the daily calls and reports every day.
“It’s a system of checks and balances to make sure all of the reporting is accurate,” Peterson said.
Peterson said that the Clery reporting process continues to evolve. By the time the next report is released, there will be a dedicated team which will involve more stakeholders throughout the University and a director hand picked by President Rossbacher.
The stakeholders that will be involved in this new team would be representatives from University Police, Housing, Athletics, Title IX, Risk Management, Student Health, Student Conduct, Dean of Students, Public Information, International Programs and Campus Counsel.
Vice President of Student Affairs Wayne Brumfield said he is working closely with Cheryl Johnson, Executive Director for the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to get students’ opinions on campus safety.
“We’ve started these forums in early October,” Brumfield said, “we want to listen to students and get their perspective.”
From this forum, the main student concern about safety on campus was lighting. There are a few spots on campus that students don’t like to be because of how dimly lit the area is.
Brumfield said that after these forums, which are proposed to continue into the spring semester, he will be working with the city of Arcata and the university to see what can be done to make sure students feel safe both on campus and in the community.
“When students feel safe on campus, they’re in a safe learning environment, which is something that helps with retention rates,” Brumfield said.
If you are interested in sharing your thoughts on campus safety there are three forums left for this semester. Oct. 31 in the JGC Rec Room, Nov. 13 in the College Creek Great Hall and Nov. 27 in the JCG Rec Room and forums are at 6 p.m.