Crime statistics increase in alcohol, drug, sexual assault incidents at Florida Tech

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The Department of Security released the 2014 crime statistics, which show a significant increase in alcohol, drug and sexual assault incidents from 2013.

The statistics that Security collects are based off the requirements of the Jeanne Clery Act of 1990. Security is required to publish their findings in accordance with the Student Right to Know and Campus Right to Know Acts of 1990.

The report-writing program that Security uses recognizes Clery requirements and automatically adds the information to the file.

crime-statsClery requires all colleges and universities that receive federal funding to share information about criminal activities on campus, their efforts to improve campus safety and inform the surrounding public about the crime around campus, according to the Clery Center.

Security must document sexual assault cases, drug and alcohol incidents, burglaries and robberies, murder, theft of motor vehicle, arson, weapons incidents, hate crimes, stalking and domestic and dating violence.  

Many factors go into making the crime statistic report.

There are four location categories for incidents: residence halls, on campus, non-campus and public property.

On-campus locations include places such as Clemente, classrooms and Panther Dining Hall.

Panther Bay, Southgate and apartment complexes inhabited by students are considered non-campus locations.

Residence halls are included in the on-campus statistics, director of Security Kevin Graham said. Therefore, the statistics do not accurately reflect all the details of what happens on campus.

For example, if five students are caught with alcohol in Roberts Hall, the incident happened in a residence hall and on campus. Those students are reflected in both columns and may inflate the on-campus statistic.

Since 2012, there has been a 1.5 percent increase in alcohol incidents and a 5 percent increase in drug incidents on campus.

sexual-assaultsSexual assault and dating violence have also seen an increase. The number of forced sexual assault has increased by 2.6 percent since 2012 and there were no documented cases of forced sexual assault in 2013.

In 2014, there were eight reported forced sexual assault cases on-campus, but only one incident occurred in the residence halls. Where could these be taking place?

Although dating violence only had one incident, it is the only one reported since 2012.

However, statistics show that burglary has completely vanished on and off campus: burglaries went from 15 to zero in one year in the “on-campus” category.

Graham said the department gets their tips from a multitude of sources.

“RAs report things to us, students go to psychology, CAPS, whenever they report to them and we get involved sometimes. They go to the police and the police contact us,” Graham said. “Some come directly to us and talk to us. They could come to a professor or an instructor or a coach. Any of these people can be mandated reporters.”

In cases of Title IX, all professors, instructors, and coaches on campus serve as mandated reporters, meaning that once a victim confides in them, they are obligated to report the crime to security.

However, all information reported to CAPS is kept confidential.

Security is in contact with the surrounding police departments, including Melbourne and Palm Bay police departments, Melbourne Village, the Brevard County Sheriff’s department, and Highway Patrol.

The Act also states that survivors of sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence and stalking must be provided options by the institution. These options include changes in living or academic environment, assistance in notifying the police, and the steps for disciplinary action.

Joni Ogelsby, vice president for Support Services and Title IX coordinator, said the Services lets the victim make the decisions about what they want to do. They hand out documents that recommend options, such as CAPS, the health center for medical care, the police and the clergy.

“And they’re also told they have the right to go to the police. We also talk about the clergy if you want to,” Ogelsby said.

According to Clery, colleges and universities must include policies and procedures within their annual security reports. This includes warnings and emergency notifications, the campus crime reporting process, and options for survivors of sexual assault and violence.

Oglesby said that doing the investigations is not her job as a Title IX coordinator.

Security performs the investigations and there are two officers who are trained in Title IX investigations. Oglesby makes sure they’re doing everything according to the book.

“Once a year we get together, all the parties, including the dean of the students. The student code of conduct has to be reviewed as well, as the HR department,” Oglesby said. “We wanted them all to match.”

Oglesby said that a lot of awareness education about sexual harassment prevention and Title IX comes out of her office. She works with the Rodney Bowers, dean of students, and Reslife to promote awareness.

The goal is to share the information with every student in the way that reaches them best, Oglesby said.

“We have posters in the residence halls. We’ve got posters in the bathroom stalls. We even had posters downtown for homecoming in the bars where our students kind of frequent.”

Students have also been promoting sexual harassment awareness around campus. Reslife created a video promoting awareness and senior design projects have been created around creating awareness.

Students can find the 2015 emergency plan, policies and procedures on Security’s website.