News

Metro Residence Hall Rapes Revealed

By Theresa King

Managing Editor

(TEANECK) – The annual campus security report, released in an email from Dean of Students Michelle McCroy-Heins on Oct. 10, contains some disturbing statistics.

Three FDU students were raped in Metro residence halls in 2015.

A federal law called the Clery Act mandates that colleges and universities make information about campus crime available to the public.

The link in Dean McCroy-Heins’ email was to statistics from the university’s annual security report.

In addition to the three rapes in 2015, there were three in 2014 – two in campus residences and one on non-campus university property – and in 2013 there was one rape, occurring in a campus residence, the report states.

Also in the 2015 report was one on-campus burglary, one on campus robbery, one domestic violence incident, seven drug abuse violations, 31 non-arrest alcohol referrals and 10 non-arrest drug referrals.

The Equinox repeatedly reached out to McCroy-Heins for comments on the report, including emailed questions. She declined to respond.

According to federal law, rape is defined as “Penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.”

The report, however, only displays the total number of reports of rape.

“The Jeanne Clery Act, a consumer protection law passed in 1990, requires all colleges and universities who receive federal funding to share information about crime on campus and their efforts to improve campus safety as well as inform the public of crime in or around campus,” reads the Clery Center for Security on Campus’ website. “This information is made publicly accessible through the university’s annual security report.”

According to The Washington Post, “experts say that rape and other forms of sexual assault are generally under-reported.”

The Post said that more information is available than ever before.

“This year, students and parents for the first time can obtain precise data on the volume of rape reports on each campus because of recent changes to federal disclosure rules,” the Post reported. “Previously, colleges were required to disclose under the federal Clery Act the number of reports of ‘forcible sex offenses,’ which cover a variety of crimes including rape. Now rape reports are broken out as a separate statistic.”

The Clery Report also outlines the procedures the school must follow if a sexual assault is reported. The school will first “provide complainant with access to medical care” and “assess immediate safety needs of complainant.”

The school also must provide assistance to the victim with contacting the local police if they so wish, referrals to mental health providers and possible changes in housing or class schedules.

Moreover, according to The Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act of 2000, state law enforcement agencies must inform colleges and universities about any students or employees of the campus community who are registered sex offenders. Any school that receives federal funding then must make that information available to any member of the campus community who asks for it. On the Metro campus, his information can be requested at Public Safety.

According to Montclair State University’s Clery Report, four rapes were reported in 2014 and seven were reported in 2015, while Rutgers University’s reported one on the Newark campus in 2015 and one on the Camden campus in 2014. The Washington Post, however, reported 32 rapes at Rutgers New Brunswick, the seventh highest in the country, and seven at Rowan University in 2014.

The main crime report table is divided into different categories: on campus, on non-campus university controlled property, in contiguous public areas, campus residences and hate crimes. However, the columns may be hard to understand.

“The Clery Annual Report is sometimes confusing to all who read and review,” Miles said. “The on campus column is the total number of incidents that occurred on campus and takes in the numbers of all other columns.”

The report, however, does not specify if any arrests were made in the rape cases. Miles was asked whether or not charges were brought up against the alleged offenders, but did not respond.

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