The Clery Act

Jeremy Troetti

The university has released its annual Jeanne Clery Act Report, displaying the crime on campus for the past year. The report, which displays statistics for fire incidents, burglary, theft, assault, violence against women, manslaughter and murder, shows that only burglaries on campus have risen in the past year.
The report showed there were 11 burglaries on campus in 2014. That number has risen to 18 burglaries in 2015.

Burglaries Statistics
[/media-credit] Burglaries Statistics

There is a reason for the number of burglaries rising, according to Karoline Keith, Clery compliance officer and investigator for the Department of Public Safety.
“That uptick is because of the counting in 2013… there needed to be some remedial education in how we count,” Keith said.
Keith said Public Safety now classifies any suspicion of a burglary as a burglary, leading to the increase.
“If a roommate doesn’t want to suspect their roommate did it or can’t believe that their roommate might have done it, we have to classify it as a burglary. I don’t think there’s a real reason for the uptick, as much as it’s just [a matter of] who reports and how that’s interpreted,” Keith said.
Keith said some of the previous situations would not have counted as burglaries.
“A lot of times when a student came in and said, ‘My wallet’s been missing from my desk; I don’t know who took it,’ those weren’t really being counted as burglaries and those needed to be, so we did a better job counting, per Clery, what is a burglary,” Keith said.
Sophomore George Rozea believes Public Safety is doing an effective job at deterring crime from happening on campus.
“I think that the campus perimeter is very secure. I’ve never had any problems, and none of my friends have [had problems either],” Rozea said.
Freshman Zach Cavender expressed similar confidence in the way Public Safety handles crime on campus.
“I think Public Safety does a pretty good job as is,” Cavender said.
Sophomore Kelly Winterbottom said that, despite doing a satisfactory job keeping campus safe, there is definitely room for improvement.
“I think Public Safety overall does an okay job of protecting against crime, but I don’t think they’re very present in the right places or at the right times,” Winterbottom said.
Winterbottom said she feels Public Safety should often prioritize other issues on campus, rather than focus strictly on certain issues.
“I think that they often show up when a lot of people don’t want them there, which can be their job at times, but a lot of times, but it’s not the right situations they should be involved in, when there’s a lot of other really important things they could be focusing their attention on,” Winterbottom said.

Clery Act Statistics
[/media-credit] Clery Act Statistics

In addition to burglaries, liquor law violations on campus have decreased as well.
“The liquor law violations [decreased] – 772 in 2014 to 362 in 2015. Talking to Seann Kalagher of Student Affairs, there was a implementation of a fine that seems to have had an impact and cut that [number] in more than half,” Keith said.
Despite the number of liquor law violations seeing a significant decrease, overall arrests on campus seem to be around the same number as previous years.
“As far as the drug law violations, those actually went up in arrests by one. The [arrests that decreased] went down by one or two, so I can’t say that I know why they’re going down. Our protocol has not changed for Public Safety,” Keith said.
Keith said in the past two years, she has been involved in Student Affairs programs aimed at discouraging alcohol and drug use by students.
Winterbottom said it is possible that there is a connection with the number of alcohol-related arrests decreasing and the number of students on campus increasing.
“I think that there is a possibility that there are a lot more students on this campus, and that our campus is doing a pretty good job of giving [students] an opportunity to choose to be alcohol-free,” Winterbottom said.
Winterbottom also said a more hands-off approach by Public Safety could be lowering the number of alcohol-related offenses.
“But I think it’s possible that maybe Public Safety isn’t involving themselves as much, and that’s causing there to be less violations,” Winterbottom said.
In addition to the Clery Act Report, Public Safety also keeps track of any crime that happens on or around campus property.
“Clery crimes are identified by the Clery Act, so these crimes [in the report] are the ones they want us to report on. We [as Public Safety] do a crime log that reports any crimes to Connecticut law that happen on our campus or in our area. So even if it happens off campus, but it’s at a Quinnipiac-owned property, we would document that in the crime log,” Keith said.
Keith said Public Safety’s goal is to prevent crime from occurring both on campus and in areas near campus, ensuring the safety of all Quinnipiac students.

To see The Clery Act Report’s statistics on domestic violence, see this letter from the editor.