Yale’s annual report on campus and fire security reveals significant increases in the number of reported burglaries and sex offenses on campus in 2015.
Sixty-nine burglaries and 26 incidents of sexual offenses — defined in the report as either rape or forcible fondling — were reported on campus in 2015, a significant increase from 33 burglaries and 17 sexual offenses in 2014. The report also showed that a greater proportion of these burglaries and sexual offenses occurred in campus residencies than did in 2014. The statistics detailed in the report were collected from separate reports released by the Yale Police and New Haven Police Departments, as well as from incidents recorded by University officials with knowledge of sexual assault complaints and disciplinary referrals.
“This annual report is a good way to get a sense of what types of crime are occurring and how one year compares to the two previous years to give readers of the report some context,” Deputy Vice President for Human Resources and Administration Janet Lindner told the News. “The report is not meant to create fear -— it’s meant to share information and improve awareness.”
Lindner released the report in a campus-wide email on Friday in advance of the federally mandated Oct. 1 deadline for the report’s release. She noted that a majority of all the crimes committed on campus were nonviolent and that violent crime, both on and off campus, is on a 20-year downward trend.
Lindner also stated that the most common crime at Yale is theft -— mostly of cell phones and bicycles — but added that the community also has “crimes in which victims are punched or hit while they were robbed.” In one of last year’s most notable incidences, a prominent Yale professor was beaten and robbed while walking home from work.
Moderate increases in reports of on-campus robbery and motor-vehicle theft were also detailed in the report. On the University’s West Campus, only one crime, a count of stalking, has been recorded since 2013.
The report is in compliance with the requirements of the federal Jeanne Clery Act. Under the Clery Act, higher education institutions receiving federal funding must publicly release their campus crime statistics and provide their campus communities with timely warnings when a crime occurs. At Yale, this latter obligation is fulfilled by messages sent to the community from Yale police Chief and Director of Public Safety Ronnell Higgins.
The 2015 report is the second since Congress’ 2013 reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act significantly expanded college sexual assault reporting requirements. Prior to VAWA’s reauthorization, incidences of sexual violence were classified in Clery Act reports as either “forcible” or “nonforcible.” Now, sexual offenses are reported in the more specific categories of rape, fondling, statutory rape and incest.
VAWA also mandates the separate reporting of offenses including domestic violence and dating violence. Yale reported no counts of domestic violence in 2015, a decrease from six on campus counts in 2014. Eight incidences of dating violence were reported on Yale’s campus in both 2014 and 2015.
This report comes after survey results released last September by the Association of American Universities showed that over half of respondents at Yale said they had experienced some form of sexual harassment since arriving on campus. Around 74 percent of female undergraduate respondents reported some form of sexual harassment, a figure that stood at 84.2 percent among respondents who do not identify as male or female.
In a University-wide email following the release of the AAU survey results, University President Peter Salovey wrote that “the prevalence of such behavior runs counter to our most fundamental values. It threatens individual students, our learning environment, and our sense of community.”
In the email, Salovey also said he was concerned that a majority of Yale respondents chose not to report incidents of sexual assault and harassment to campus officials.
Data from the 2015 Clery Reports across the Ivy League do not reflect a consistent trend among Yale’s peers. Harvard, Princeton and Cornell also all saw increases in reported incidences of rape and fondling on their campuses last year, whereas reported sexual offenses decreased at Brown, Columbia and Dartmouth. At the University of Pennsylvania, reported incidences of rape and fondling remained largely the same.
There were 10 fire-related incidents that occurred in University facilities during the 2015 year. This is a slight decrease from the 12 fire incidents reported in 2014.