The University released its annual report on campus and fire safety last Friday, revealing fluctuations in campus crime over the past three years.
Deputy Vice President for Human Resources and Administration Janet Lindner sent a campus-wide email, outlining the report and ways students could access the document. The report, a document mandated by federal law, spans three years’ worth of campus crime and fire statistics, in addition to including security policy statements, fire safety information and instructions on how students, faculty and staff should report crimes. The writers used two primary sources in collecting the crime statistics for the annual disclosure — police agencies and school officials with knowledge of formal and informal complaints and disciplinary referrals. The report revealed an increase in the number of burglary incidents, but revealed mixed results in other areas of campus safety. Many students interviewed said they did not read the report and expressed confidence in Yale’s security.
Yale administrators included several new metrics as a part of the 2013 report, most notably statistics on domestic violence cases and West Campus violence. While the Jeanne Clery Act mandates that colleges disclose information about crime, Congress’s reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act amended the Clery Act and now requires post-secondary institutions to disclose domestic violence, dating violence and stalking statistics. Yale recorded seven incidents of on-campus domestic violence incidents in 2013, while 17 on-campus stalking incidents were reported to campus security over the course of 2013. In contrast to these numbers, the report stated that West Campus noted zero incidences of crime in the first recorded year.
Both police agencies and campus security authorities, who have knowledge of formal and informal complaints and disciplinary referrals, contributed to the report. In prior years, the Department of Education has cited Yale for violating the Clery Act. Most recently, in 2013, the Department fined Yale $165,000 for inadequate reporting of campus crime statistics.
Over the past three years, the report revealed an increase in the number of burglary incidents — on-campus, the statistic increased from 28 to 38 to 52, while incidents taking place in campus residences rose from 18 to 27 to 41.
Disciplinary actions in liquor law violations, however, varied from year to year. Although Yale reported seven incidents in 2011, that number jumped to 52 in 2012 and then decreased to 33 in the following year.
The report’s fire safety report included incidents of all fires in the 2013 calendar year, of which there were 19.
However, most students interviewed said that they did not take great interest in the findings. Of 14 students interviewed, only seven acknowledged that they attempted to read the email. Of those seven, only three went on to read the report.
Isadora Milanez ’18 said she believes the safety guidelines in the report seem to be common sense for most Yalies.
“I didn’t spend too long reading it, but it was helpful nonetheless,” Milanez said. “Yale has a lot of resources, so I’ve never felt concerned.”
Laurel Lehman ’17 said that while she did not read the report closely, she does not believe that it emphasizes specific steps that students can take to ensure their own safety around campus.
Many students added that they thought that the sheer amount of information included dissuaded them from reading the entire document.
“I’m more concerned about if I can walk home at 3:00 a.m. across campus than whether I’ve left my hairdryer plugged in,” Lehman said.
Some students said that they believe Yale Security is effective and did not need to see statistics to confirm those opinions.
Angus Mossman ’17 said that he has always felt safe walking around Yale, considering the amount of security officials in many different parts of campus. He added that, if a dangerous situation were to arise, he would be confident it would be handled well.
Lindner said that Yale is constantly seeking improvements to campus safety by developing programs tailored to student needs, and that the University also seeks student feedback.
“Some may not understand that at Yale, our police are here to be members of the community, to help students, so we explain the philosophy of community policing, and that Yale police see students as helpful partners in problem solving,” Lindner told the News in September. “In addition to police patrols, we have a great team of security officers who take great pride in helping to keep the campus safe.”
The University’s safety data is published electronically on the Department of Education’s website.