Crime on campus: a summary of the annual fire and safety report
Bethany Montgomery, Section Editor
On Sept. 29, the Office of Public Safety released their Annual Security and Fire Safety report to the entire SMU campus. Each year, the Office of Public Safety is required to inform students of SMU’s up-to-date security policies, emergency alert system information, crime report procedures and disciplinary policies. The Security and Fire Safety report mostly notably contains the Clery crime statistics from the past three calendar years, as enforced by the Clery Act, which is described as the following: “Originally known as The Campus Security Act of 1990 (20 U&SC § 1092(F)) the Clery Act is the landmark federal law requiring colleges and universities “to provide students and their families, as higher education consumers, with accurate, complete and timely information about safety on campus so that they can make informed decisions,” as stated in the report.
According to the campus crime statistics reports, no criminal offenses involving Saint Martin’s on non-campus locations were filed during the calendar years 2014, 2015 and 2016, and only one occurred on public property. However, on campus and particularly within residence halls, the numbers were unsurprisingly larger.
A total of four on-campus sexual assault reports were made in the past three years; these being instances involving inappropriate fondling. Two cases of stalking and one case of domestic violence were also reported, along with six instances of burglary and one case of car theft.
Hate crimes were kept to a minimum, with only one reported case of destruction/damage or vandalism of property.
Disciplinary action against drug, alcohol and illegal weapons possession were collectively the highest category of violations, with 20 drug law violations, 97 liquor law violations and one instance of illegal weapons possession.
Due to increased vehicle prowling in the last couple of weeks, Public Safety also asks students to be vigilant in reporting and preventing car theft. In a recent email to the SMU campus, they encourage students to lock their vehicle doors, keep their valuables on them and to make sure their vehicles are in a well-lit place with active alarms. Anyone who wants an escort to their vehicle is welcome to call Public Safety at 360-438-4555. Any suspicious activity can also be reported by calling 911.
In the past three calendar years, SMU has had no reported cases of homicide, aggravated assault, arson or major theft—a streak that will hopefully continue. The full list of campus crime reports and the official 2017 Annual Security and Fire Safety report can be found on the SMU webpage under the Office of Public Safety’s crime log and Clery Act section. Public Safety is also offering free print copies of the Annual Security and Fire Safety report to students upon request. For more information on crime prevention, safety measures or crime statistics, the Office of Public Safety is located on the second floor of Old Main, room 251.