Statistical Representations of Reported Crimes on Reed Campus
CW: Mentions of Sexual Assault and Dating Violence
On Monday, Director of Community Safety Gary Granger released Reed’s Annual Security Report (ASR) outlining crime statistics on and near Reed campus for the 2018 calendar year. Under the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (the “Clery Act”), colleges and universities are required to release crime and safety statistics each year. The report released for 2019 outlines data collected from 2018. Note that this data is organized by calendar year, not academic year—so the data for 2018 spans the end of the 2017-2018 school year and the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year.
All charts are based on the data reported in the 2019 ASR.
One surprising result in the report is that the number of Clery-eligible reported sex offenses fell dramatically from 2017 to 2018, dropping five-fold from 75 to 15 cases. However, as Sexual Health, Advocacy, and Relationship Education (SHARE) Program Director Rowan Frost explained, “the ASR is not a reflection of the number of sexual assaults, etc. that actually happen on campus, and shouldn’t be used to evaluate the actual incidence rates.” The number of reports of sex offenses are not necessarily indicitive of the number of sex offenses, and the criterea under which a reported sex offense counts towards Clery statistics does not include, for example, reported offenses off Reed campus outside of Reed events.
Despite this, decreases in Clery-reported sex offenses were mirrored by decreases in reported sex offenses in Frost’s anonymous Sexual Misconduct Survey. As to this decrease, Granger posits that it might be due to the fact that SHARE advocates (and Rowan Frost herself) have become confidential sources for survivors in recent years, and are no longer required to report instances of sexual assault to Community Safety or law enforcement. This provides survivors with an alternative source for accessing sexual assault resources that does not result in a Community Safety report.
Liquor and Drug Law violations also fell dramatically in 2018. Granger posited several possible explanations for this drop. Cannabis use, which spiked when cannabis was legalized in Oregon, might have dropped in recent years. Cannabis use might have also supplanted alcohol use, explaining the sharp drop in liquor violations.
Granger also pointed to a change in admissions policies as a possible explanation: Reed only recently began considering students’ disciplinary records when making admissions decisions, which Granger believes might have resulted in a reduction in on-campus drug use.
Overall, Granger emphasized that these Clery report statistics “are not representative of a lot of things we care about on campus.” Crimes such as bike theft, vandalism, and car break-ins do not feature in the report, and the numbers are skewed by small sample sizes and strict reporting criteria. “Look at them with interest,” Granger explained, “but I wouldn’t put a lot of stock in these numbers on their own.”