Drug abuse and liquor law violations dropped at AU in 2011 while burglary increased, according to the University’s Annual Security Report in accordance with the Clery Act.
Every U.S. college and university that receives federal financial aid must release a security report in accordance with the Clery Act. This act requires crimes such as assault, robbery and burglary, committed on and near campus to be reported on an annual basis dating back at least three years.
The increases and decreases in crime are normal, said Rosie McSweeney, director of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution.
“It seems extreme, but it’s normal fluctuation,” she said. “[It is a] different year [and] different factors all coming together.”
Reported incidents of liquor law and drug abuse violation decrease
The number of formal complaints submitted to the Office of Campus Life for liquor violations on main campus dropped into the upper-100’s for the first time since before 2009, when AU recorded 340 violations, according to the report. The decrease does not mean people are drinking less, McSweeney said. If students are of legal drinking age, they are not breaking the law, and therefore are not counted under Clery, she said, even if they violate AU’s dry campus rules. Also, drinking violations that occur at off-campus locations do not count toward Clery-reported statistics, she said.
Formal complaints for drug abuse violations on main campus dropped to 39 in 2011 from 77 in 2010 and 58 in 2009. Marijuana is the most common substance found in possession by students after alcohol, McSweeney said.
Laptop comprises half of burglaries on campus
Burglary rates increased during 2011 with a total of 31 incidents reported on main campus. Laptops accounted for almost half of the reported burglaries, Adam Cooper, AU’s Clery Act coordinator, said in an email. Public Safety released four crime alerts regarding burglaries. Three addressed laptop thefts in residence halls.
“There was a surge of laptop thefts in late 2011, which has since subsided due to a combination of factors we believe includes community members locking their doors and increased situational awareness by faculty, staff and students,” Cooper said in an email.
Number of reported sex offenses increase
There were two accounts of forcible sex offenses on main campus mentioned in the 2011 report, one of which occurred in AU housing. This is an increase from 2010, which had only one reported case, according to the report.
This number includes only the sexual assaults reported to the Department of Public Safety, McSweeney said.
Confidential sources on campus, including the Counseling Center, are not required to report sexual assaults to be included in the security report, McSweeney said.
The actual number of sexual assaults is likely higher because many victims choose not to go through AU’s disciplinary qwor advocacy system or the courts, so Clery numbers may be “deceiving,” she said.
Motor scooters account for all motor vehicle thefts
Four motor scooters, owned by members of the AU community, were stolen in 2011, Cooper said in an email. Three of the four thefts took place in the tunnel under Mary Graydon Center and Butler Pavilion around the same time, Cooper said.
Public Safety released a Crime Alert on March 23 addressing the three stolen scooters and stated all the scooters had been unlocked or improperly locked at the time.
Arson incidents increase
Reported incidents of arson on main campus increased from zero to four incidents between 2010 and 2011, according to the report.
All four incidents of arson on main campus took place in residence halls, Cooper said.
Public Safety issued Crime Alerts for three of the four incidents. Only one Crime Alert was issued for two of the incidents because they happened around the same time and location, he said.
No one was harmed in any of the four incidents and all resulted in less than $300 worth of total property damage, Cooper said.