By Alexis Schulz
The annual security and fire safety report, the Clery report, in 2015 showed a heightened number of rapes on campus, consistent with the regional trend.
Five rapes were reported on the Lawrenceville campus in 2015, with an additional rape report being unfounded. This is an increase from 2014 when zero rapes were reported and 2013 when two rapes were tallied. Debbie Stasolla, associate vice president for planning, said these statistics could be because of new students entering the community and that people are increasingly willing to stand up and say something.
“The population will fluctuate from year to year,” she said. “Also, people have more knowledge now and feel more comfortable with reporting.”
Vickie Weaver, director of public safety, said public safety is always looking to educate the community on university standards and when they notice a crime is happening, officers do their best to educate the surrounding area.
“We have this shared responsibility,” she said. “See something, say something. We look at the different crimes that are happening in a particular area and we educate that building and enforce the shared responsibility through team collaboration.”
As for the report, Lawrenceville liquor law violations totaled to 184 in 2015, up from 178 in 2014 but down from 219 in 2013. Drug arrests were slightly higher from last year, up 24 from 19 in 2014 and 23 in 2013. Domestic violence reports were three total, lower than 2014, which had five, but one more than 2013, which reported two instances.
On the Princeton campus, reported incidents continue to be far fewer than Lawrenceville’s. There were zero sex
offenses in 2015, eight liquor law violations and one drug arrest. Stasolla said the reason for the decrease in statistics for the Princeton campus is purely because of population size.
“The population is much smaller, there is less interaction,” she said. “The difference in size is that the greater the size of the residential population, the more interactions you will have.”
When looking regionally, Rider’s rape statistics were similar to those of Princeton, six, and TCNJ, six, while Seton Hall was an outlier with zero reported. Princeton had less liquor violations, totaling to 54, while TCNJ had 298. Princeton and TCNJ had lower rape statistics in 2014 while Seton Hall continued to have zero reported. Stasolla said the statistics between campuses regionally are not significantly different.
“The difference is the individuals who are responsible for enforcement,” she said.
The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Police and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery report) requires colleges and university campuses to disclose information regarding crime statistics on or near campuses annually. The law was named for Jeanne Clery, a Lehigh University freshman, who was raped and murdered in her dorm room in 1986. The act is monitored and a college or university who fails to comply can be faced with $35,000 in fines.
According to Weaver, not all instances that occur on campus are Clery reportable. Once an incident occurs, there is an incident report, an investigation follows and it usually gets sent to the Office of Community Standards for review. The university keeps statistics on all crimes that occur on campus that are Clery reportable so they can produce this report annually. The university, in compliance with Clery, also seeks out police reports to see if there are any incidents that they do not know about.
Stasolla said that to maintain the campus’s shared responsibility, everyone must work together.
“It takes a village. Student affairs, residence life, local law enforcement, we all work together,” she said.