Benedictine College publicly released its annual Clery Act Security and Fire Safety Report this month.
The report was sent in an email from Dr. Linda Henry, the Vice President of Student Life.
The recording period for the 2017 report extends from Jan. 1, 2017 to December 31, 2017.
Following the passage of the Clery Act, signed in 1990 and overseen by the U.S. Department of Education, college campuses are now required to disclose an annual report about crimes that occur on or near campus.
Under the Act, the college is required to report criminal offenses that occur either on campus, in college residential facilities, in college owned, controlled or leased property, on streets and sidewalks bordering campus or in non-campus buildings used by the college for educational purposes.
In 2017, there were 164 disciplinary referrals for liquor violations, seven disciplinary referrals for drug abuse violations, one burglary and two fondling reports.
According to Henry, reported crimes recorded in the report may not necessarily involve Benedictine students and may involve people visiting the geographic recording area. Additionally, reports may not be proven to be true after an investigation is conducted.
“We just have to record anything reported to us,” Henry said.
If incidents do not fit the Clery definition for a particular crime it is not part of the report.
For instance, the Clery report defines robbery as “the taking or attempting to take anything of value from the care, custody or control of a person or persons by force or violence and/or by putting the victim in fear.”
If fear or force is not apparent, the crime is not defined as a robbery, even if theft is involved.
According to Henry, the college keeps internal logs of all disciplinary actions that occur on campus even if the crime goes unrecorded in the report.
This year’s report includes an increase in certain reported crimes.
In 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 there were zero recorded rapes.
However, in the 2017 Report logs, there were four reported cases of rape on campus.
“Support is so critical, they need it from their therapist but students also need excellent support from their peers and their family,” Jennifer Schmidt, the counseling center assistant director said.
At Benedictine, Ravens Countering Assault Risk with Education, also known as Ravens C.A.R.E., offers a peer support program which pairs students with people who may need extra assistance. They also offer free clinical counseling through the counseling center.
“Oftentimes there’s so much shame that survivors experience, and even though they shouldn’t be feeling distanced from their college community, they end up feeling alienated,” Schmidt said. “Peer support can be a really helpful way to regain connection with their peers.”
In an era of the Time’s Up and the #MeToo movement, across the country many sexual assault victims have felt empowered to publicly share their story.
Nevertheless, there are many reasons a victim may come forward to report.
“Because so many people are coming forward now, people are starting to believe when people approach these things,” said Lainey Connelly, President of Ravens C.A.R.E.
Ravens C.A.R.E. is scheduled to host self-defense training on Oct. 15, on the turf field in the Murphy Recreation Center.
“I think even when I interact with someone who has been assaulted, I know that there’s so much love and true authentic support that students can receive here at the college, from me, from my colleagues at the counseling center, the Ravens C.A.R.E. team and from the administration,” Schmidt said. “I really trust the integrity of the administration and that gives me tremendous peace.”