Rape and drug arrests went up last year, while burglary and alcohol arrests went down, according to the Jeanne Clery Act figures released last week.
Every October, the university is required to release the data from the past three calendar years.
“It’s crazy to think that burglary and liquor arrests used to have the highest rates but now they don’t. The world is definitely evolving. I’m scared to see what’s next,” commented Rachel Opdyke, a junior psychology major at Montclair State.
All college campuses that receive federal funding are required by the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Act, signed in 1990, to release statistics each year for the past three calendar years.
The law is named after former Lehigh University student Jeanne Clery, who was raped and murdered by another student in her dorm in 1986. Campus crime, which was largely unreported at the time, became a huge focus for many. Clery’s parents argued that, if the rate of crime at the university had been made known to the public, their daughter would never have attended. They sued and won in a $2 million settlement, while the aggressor received the death penalty.
According to the Clery Center website, “Colleges and universities must outline specific policies and procedures within their annual security reports, including those related to disseminating timely warnings and emergency notifications, options for survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking and campus crime reporting processes.”
Stacy Canete, an undeclared freshman said, “The fact that rape and drug-related offenses has escalated doesn’t really surprise me. It is what I would expect from the world we live in now.”
The United States Department of Education monitors the rules and regulations. Any school not in compliance can receive civil penalties with up to $35,000 fines per one violation. Institutions can be suspended from participating in federal student financial aid programs as well.
The spokesperson for the University Police Department, Captain Kieran Barrett, commented on this year’s numbers: “[They] tend to fluctuate from year to year. There is no significant statistical trend we can observe for 2015. We take seriously the fair enforcement of the law when it comes to alcohol and drug related citations. For sexual assault, we encourage any victim to come forward for compassionate care as well as any law enforcement needs they may choose to seek.”
Olivia Wilinski a freshman animation illustration major said, “It is very surprising to me that burglary and liquor arrests have gone down. Most of what I hear on the news has to do with these two. I rarely ever hear about rape on the news.”