Pacific experiences rise in sex crimes on campus

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The Clery Crime Statistics Act holds that all institutions receiving federal funding must record and publish crimes that are committed on their campus throughout the calendar year. Pacific University issued its Clery Crime Report for the 2016 year on Sept. 29, in an email sent to students, faculty and staff.

The law, which is named on behalf of Jeanne Clery, a nineteen-year-old freshman at Lehigh University who was raped and murdered in 1986, was signed in 1990 with the hope it would make students more aware of incidents taking place on campus. According to Pacific’s 2016 Clery Crime Report, drug and alcohol related citations have seen a decline on campus over the past few years.

In 2014, 226 alcohol citations were issued, while only 93 citations were issued in 2016. As for illegal drug use, which includes the underage use of marijuana, Pacific issued 111 drug citations in 2015, with only 73 drug citations issued in 2016.

“My guess for the decrease in referrals, is that students are finding places off campus to do these things,’” Jerry Rice, campus public safety (CPS) manager said. “Rather than the actual number decreasing on campus.”

There were also three drug law arrests on campus in 2016. A drug law arrest differentiates from a common drug referral based on the involvement of the Forest Grove Police Department. This indicates felony drug charges, like distribution or intent to sell. Some of the more alarming statistics on the Clery Crime Report for 2016 fall under the sex crimes committed on campus category. Since the start of 2015, 15 rapes have been committed on Pacific’s campus, compared to the three rapes committed in 2014.

“I believe it is a combination of the Title IX changes that come down from the federal government and the university trying to create an appropriate atmosphere for more victims to come forward,” Rice said. “Even though the number has increased, I do not think the report is showing near enough of what is probably going on.”

CPS has been working with the Campus Wellness Center throughout the year to combat sexual assault on campus. On Thursday, Oct. 26, an “It’s On Us” forum panel will be held in the University Center with a representative from Oregon’s Title IX task force to discuss sexual violence prevention and awareness.

“I definitely feel as though the number of rapes hasn’t increased on campus, but rather more students are coming forward,” Kaela Collins, campus wellness educator said. “It is important to be understanding toward these survivors as ignorance can only hinder the healing process and even make them feel more victimized.”

The Campus Wellness Center advises students to contact their office or CPS about any sexually inappropriate conduct as well as to intervene in any situation that appears to be escalating into an unwanted sexual act.


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