UConn releases annual security and safety report

UConn campus on a beautiful spring day from a bird’s eye view. UConn has recently released its annual campus safety report. Photo by Jordan Arnold/The Daily Campus

UConn has released its nationally-mandated Clery Annual Security and Fire Safety Report for the calendar year of 2022, along with a state-mandated report regarding sexual assault and intimate partner violence assembled by the Office of Institutional Equity (OIE). Topics covered in both reports include safety policies at UConn and data about associated crimes and incidents on all campuses. 

The Clery report, the result of a 1990 law requiring federally-funded universities to disclose information about crime on their campuses and the methods being taken to protect student populations, “includes institutional policies on campus security… alcohol and drug use, crime prevention, sexual assault reporting and investigation, educational programming, and other matters.” 

The report is hosted on UConn’s website in accordance with federal law and “the interest of informing all enrolled students, faculty, and staff on this important subject.”  

According to University Spokesperson Stephanie Reitz, speaking in UConn Today, “the numbers will differ between the two reports because of the differences in how the incidents are defined, and the locations for which incidents must be captured.” 

“Importantly, some figures involving sexual assault and related crimes may differ because the University prioritizes the wishes of the victim in whether that person wants an investigation to be pursued.” 

The Clery report provides a rich array of UConn crime statistics as per federal requirements, “regardless of the outcome of any investigation or the cooperation of the victim or witnesses.” 

As per the list of Clery reportable offenses, UConn in 2022 received upticks in aggravated assault (one reported to four reported), motor vehicle theft (three reported to 12 reported), and fondling cases (six reported to 11 reported), a result of more rigorous data classification from university authorities. 

Decreases occurred in reports of domestic violence (eight to seven), burglary (five to three), arson (three to one), and rape (16 to eight). 

In regards to Clery data on sexual assaults, Reitz writes, “it is also vital to understand that the ways in which domestic violence is defined, and application of the applicable laws vary from state to state, making comparisons to other states’ institutions valid.” 

UConn, for example, reports domestic violence figures in regard to the number of victims included, not the number of incidents. One incident, therefore, can generate multiple different statistics as long as more than one victim is involved. 

The Clery report additionally covers offenses related to what are called “weapons, drugs & liquor violations.” The calendar year of 2022 saw 55 disciplinary referrals for drug abuse violations and 377 referrals for liquor law violations, but no arrests for either violation, contrasted with weapons violation cases, of which all six students involved were arrested and no disciplinary referrals occurred. 

Another aspect of the Clery report useful to students is an overview of fire safety at UConn residential facilities, affirming that fire alarm monitoring, full sprinkler suppression systems, working smoke detection and proper evacuation plans are provided by the university to all residence halls and apartment complexes.  

It is important to note that campus crimes are underreported, leading to an incomplete array of Clery statistics. According to a 2015 study from the Association of American Universities, “28% or less of even the most serious incidents are reported to an organization or agency,” and “50% or more of victims of these serious incidents say they do not report the event because they do not consider it ‘serious enough’.”  

The Clery Center views these statistics as demonstrating an imperative need for “continual education on where and how to make a report and concerted efforts toward fostering a climate of reporting.” 

UConn prides itself on “more than 400 awareness and prevention programs and campaigns” conducted all throughout the year, including the “Protect Our Pack” bystander intervention program, a mainstay of new student orientation, consent training provided to employees, and UConn’s Violence Against Women Prevention Program’s Consent 201 courses provided in FYE UNIV classes, among many others.  

“Students should look at these safety reports for a clear and transparent view of safety issues on campus,” says UConn deputy spokesperson Mike Enright, “UConn and its Division of Campus Safety are constantly working with the University community to help foster a safe environment on campus through education, awareness and enforcement.” 

A daily crime log associated with the Clery security report can be found here, last updated on Sept. 27, 2023, as of the date of this article’s publishing. 

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