Campus sex crimes on the rise

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Campus sex crimes on the rise

by Emely Navarro, News Editor

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San Diego State’s 2015 Annual Security Report was released on Oct. 1 revealing an increase in sexual offenses, motor vehicle theft and liquor law arrests.

Sexual Offenses

This year’s crime report  showed in 2015 sexual offenses reached a peak compared to the past three years.

In 2015, there were 23 campus sexual offenses, eight more than in 2014 and 17 more than in 2013. Eleven of these sexual offenses occurred in residence halls.

Although sexual offenses overall went up in the past year, on-campus reports of rape decreased.

In 2014 there were a total of 12 campus rapes in comparison to nine for 2015 and five for 2013. Seven of the rapes in 2015 occured in the residence halls.

The increase in sexual offenses this year was mostly due to fondling.

2015 had the most incidents of fondling within the past three years with a total of 13. In 2014 there were three and in 2013 there was one.

Last year also had the first reported on-campus statutory rape within the past three years.

Robbery and Burglary

Robbery and burglary decreased in 2015. SDSU had five reported robberies and 28 burglaries within the past year. The highest number of robberies and burglaries on campus in the past three years was in 2014 with seven robberies and 59 burglaries.

Motor vehicle theft on campus escalated in 2015 with 22 thefts, four more than in 2014 and two more than in 2013.

Aggravated Assault

Aggravated assault has increasingly gone up for the past three years. In 2015 there were seven aggravated assaults, 2014 had five and 2013 had three.

“Aggravated assault at SDSU is not a common occurrence,” Cpl. Mark Peterson said. “When these crimes do happen, they are commonly motivated by theft or alcohol is involved.”

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence at SDSU was also higher this past year. There were a total of seven domestic violence cases on campus. 2014 had two and 2013 only had one.

“The SDSU Police Department takes all crime seriously, and domestic violence is no exception,” Cpl. Peterson said. “The SDSU Police Department works closely with a number of other campus entities to help people experiencing domestic violence get the resources they may want or need.”

Hate Crime

There was one simple assault and one vandalism in relation to hate crime in 2015. These were the first hate crimes on campus within the past three years. The simple assault was based off of religion bias and the vandalism was based on ethnicity bias.

Liquor law and drug violation arrests

There were a total of 37 arrests in relation to liquor laws in 2015, 11 of them occurred in the residence halls. In 2014 there were 11 liquor law arrests, two in the dorms. In 2013 there were 21 liquor law arrests, five occurred in residence halls.

Drug violation arrests also increased in 2015 with a total of 53 on campus, 15 of them in the dorms. 2014 had 32 drug violation arrests, six of which were in the residence halls. 2013 had 61 arrests and 31 of these arrests occurred in the dorms.

Cpl. Peterson said liquor law violations do not include public intoxication or driving under the influence.

“Some common violations include an open container in public, a person under the age of 21 possessing alcohol in public, or a person under the age of 21 consuming alcohol,” he said.

About the Clery Act

The annual report is mandated by the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act. The law, passed in 1990, requires all federally funded colleges and universities in the nation to disclose all crime that has occurred throughout the past three years.

Through this act, each campus is required to give timely warnings of crimes that represent a threat to the safety of students and employees.

Community Safety Alert

On Oct. 4 SDSUPD sent out a community safety alert to all students and faculty on campus regarding an incident of indecent exposure in the Storm Hall West Lower Patio at 4:50 p.m. on Oct. 3

According to the alert, a 5-foot-8-inch Indian man 20 to 25-years-old, was looking at the reporting party aggressively. When the male subject stood up to leave he had his genitals outside of his pants.

International security and conflict resolution junior Josh Arvizu said he didn’t know there was an increase in sexual offenses until he saw the report.

He said he remembers getting several emails in regards to sexual assault almost every weekend freshman year.

“To think that more have been reported, I think it first of all shows that hopefully whatever SDSU is doing as far as reporting and working with victims is working and they feel safer to come out, which is what should happen,” he said.

Victor Gbenjo, communication junior said he is concerned the rates went up following the incident with Delta Sigma Phi in 2014, in which they harassed students during an anti-rape rally in November 2014.

Delaney Cummings, physical therapy senior said the information for the annual report was surprising to her.

“Now that this increase has come out the information should be used to focus on areas that see the high incident reports to monitor and even attempt to prevent them from happening in the first place,” Arvizu said.

Cummings and Arvizu said they think the decrease in burglaries and robberies is a positive thing.

“I think the decrease in theft is a good thing, but the problems in the past have made people more aware of their belongings to make sure they keep it safe,” Cummings said.

In regards to the number of liquor law and drug violation arrests Gbenjo said he knew people were drinking when he lived in the dorms, but he never physically saw someone get arrested because of drinking.

Cummings said it is important to educate students about drinking.

“Education about alcohol and safety should be the main focus so that people can be smart about how they choose to drink or party,” she said.

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