The university has seen a decrease in reported rape and liquor and drug law violations, according to numbers from the 2018 Annual Security and Fire Safety report, which documents incidents that take place on campus or in university-owned buildings.
The report is required by the Clery Act, which was instituted in 1990 to create requirements for universities to report campus violence, four years after 19-year-old Jeanne Clery was raped and murdered in her college dormitory at Lehigh University.
Reported rapes on Chapman’s campus decreased by half from 2017 to 2016, from 6 to 3. Liquor law violations decreased from 296 to 263 and drug violations decreased from 65 to 30.
Despite a small decrease in overall Title IX violations from the 2016-17 to 2017-18 academic years, there were still “several” sexual assaults reported this year, said Chapman’s Lead Title IX Coordinator, DeAnn Yocum Gaffney.
“Most of the sexual assaults that get reported to my office happen off campus (and the university is) not allowed to include that in the report,” Yocum-Gaffney said. “That is written into the law, so things that may happen off campus are still happening and we’re investigating them.”
The University of Southern California had 41 sex offenses, which include crimes like rape and fondling, in 2017, according to its Annual Safety Report, while Chapman had nine.
“I wish there was nothing to report,” Yocum-Gaffney said. “That would be my wish. I think that our campus is similar to just about any other campus in that, sadly, these things occur.”
While 2016 to 2017 saw a decrease in reported sex violations, , Public Safety has logged two separate incidents of sexual misconduct in its daily Crime and Fire Log in the past three weeks.
A person reported an incident of sexual battery Sept. 18 in the Residence Life area at around 11:30 p.m. Less than two weeks later, someone reported a sexual assault Sept. 30, also in the Residence Life area, between 7:30 and 10:30 p.m.
Rick Gonzalez, Public Safety’s deputy chief, declined to provide The Panther with more details on these incidents, saying that answering specific questions could breach confidentiality.
In September, protestors gathered at the unveiling of Emigdio “Higgy” Vasquez’s mural at Chapman, after at least two students accused the artist of sexual harassment.
Izzy Panasci, one of the students who accused Vasquez of harassment, said that she was upset with the way Chapman handled her attempt to report, saying that the university responded to her and Micol Hebron, the professor who helped her bring the incident to the university, with “systematic jargon.”
While there were slight decreases in liquor and drug law violations from2016 to 2017, Randy Burba, chief of Public Safety, said that these changes are common from year to year.
“We see minor fluctuations almost every year,” said Burba. “It just depends on how many (instances) we come across, so I wouldn’t put too much stock in (the decrease). ”
Burba said that while crime reports are decreasing, faculty and students shouldn’t be “complacent.”.
“I don’t want the fact that we feel safe to change things,” Burba said. “The key to having low crime numbers is a community approach.”