BY Mayte Figueroa-Camilo
Sacred Heart University’s Annual Campus Crime and Fire Safety Report was made available online on the University’s website on Monday, Oct. 1 as mandated by the Clery Act of 1990.
According to clerycenter.org, colleges and universities that receive federal aid are required to publicly provide an annual security report to students and employees by the first of October.
“This report is an informational document for the University Community to review crime statistics for the campus, public areas immediately adjacent to (or running through) the campus, and non-campus facilities,” said the Director of Public Safety, Jack Fernandez.
According to everbridge.com, the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act was enacted in 1990 in response to the rape and murder of Jeanne Clery that occurred on Lehigh University’s campus in 1986.
It was later renamed the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, often read as the Clery Act, in 1998 in honor of her memory.
According to Sacred Heart’s Annual Campus Crime and Fire Safety Report, the purpose of this report is to provide a valuable resource to the University’s faculty and students regarding campus crimes and security policies.
“I was unaware of the act. I didn’t know that crime reports were made public. I thought they were kept only in the school, not for public knowledge,” said sophomore Kristen Miolene.
Per clerycenter.org, the annual security report must include the following: policy statements concerning campus facility security and access, law enforcement authority, incidences of alcohol and drug use, and response to incidences of sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking.
“I think that’s a great act. It ensures that everyone is informed, and that everyone has the correct information,” said sophomore Kolby Driscoll.
Sacred Heart’s Department of Public Safety is responsible for the accuracy and truthfulness of the report.
“We are responsible for compiling the information contained within this report and distributing this report to the University Community,” said Fernandez.
According to judicial referrals of 2017, Sacred Heart’s Annual Campus Crime and Fire Safety Report included 578 liquor law violations, 108 drug law violations, and 1 illegal weapon violation all of which occurred in on-campus residential facilities.
In regard to arrests from liquor, drug, and illegal weapon violations, there are no reported cases from 2015 to 2017 on Sacred Heart’s Fairfield campus.
On the Fairfield campus, Sacred Heart’s annual security report also had no records of criminal homicide, and no hate crime incidents recorded over the last three years.
As for sex offenses, the report shows an increase in rape incidents from four in 2016 to seven in 2017. There were also two forcible fondling incidents reported in 2015, but zero incidences have been reported in the past two years.
Sacred Heart’s dating violence reports also show an increase from 2015 to 2017 with a total of four incidents on the Fairfield campus. Stalking incidents have decreased from one in 2015 to no incidents reported in 2017.
In comparison with another Connecticut university, the University of Hartford’s Annual Security and Fire Safety Report included 149 liquor policy violation referrals, 156 referrals for drug policy violation, and 1 referral for weapons policy violation for 2017 on the Bloomfield main campus.
According to Hartford’s Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) crimes, domestic violence incidents have decreased from a total of 16 cases in 2016 to five in 2017 on their main campus site.
According to Sacred Heart’s website, any Sacred Heart student, employee, or visitor who have been victims of criminal activities should report incidents to Public Safety by calling 203-371-7911 or in person at the Public Safety Office in the lower level of the WSHU Broadcast Center.