By Rocky DeSantis, The Circuit.
Every year on Oct. 1, every school in the country is required by law to release a Clery Act Annual Security and Fire Safety Report. This report, referred to as the Clery report, is a summation of all the crime on and off campus for the last three years.
Dr. Linda Henry, Vice President of Student Life for Benedictine, compiles all of the cases that are logged by Chief of Security Danny Fairley, Assistant Director of Residence Life and Director of Student Conduct Mike Rolling, Benedictine Human Resources, Daniel Musso from the Florence campus, The Atchison Police Department and the Atchison Fire Department.
The reported cases that make up the statement must meet the criteria of the Clery report’s definitions of that specific offense in order to be featured within it.
“We have to look at the particulars of each case and try to see if it matches the definition,” Henry said.
Henry explained that when it comes to the major crimes that involve the college, they have to be very specific to meet the Clery report’s definition.
At Benedictine between 2013 and 2015, there were 468 reported crimes, 467 of which were on campus. Of those 467, 451 were alcohol and drug related. Of the remaining 16, burglary makes up six, sex offenses three, aggravated assault two, motor vehicle theft two, drug law violation one, stalking one and one dating violence offense.
According to the recent report, there was only one new fondling case for the 2016 calendar year.
“As far as reported [cases] we have been a very safe campus and I think students respect each other,” Henry said.
Henry believes there has not been a noticeable increase or decrease of crime because Benedictine has never had a high crime rate.
A study done by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center found that one in every five women, and one in sixteen men on major campuses, are sexually assaulted during college. Of the sexual assault cases, ninety percent of victims do not report the assault.
According to the Benedictine website, the school has a full-time student population of approximately 1,910. The website also states that 52% of the student population, or 993 students, are female.
Cristina Gonzalez, Resident Director for McDonald Hall, believes the counseling department handles these sensitive cases very well, as well as being readily available for these occurrences.
Gonzales believes that the school has the right resources, but students do not fully take advantage of them.
When asked about ways campus security could improve Gonzales said, “I would support anything that moves us towards safety on campus.”
For more information on the Clery report, visit www.benedictine.edu.