Education

CSU Stanislaus and Modesto Junior College release crime statistics

Colleges and universities released their annual reports on campus crime to meet Wednesday’s deadline. California State University, Stanislaus, had 14 crimes reported in 2013, including one rape committed at campus housing.

Modesto Junior College reported 12 crimes, including one forcible sex offense on the east campus, its first such case in at least four years. Reached by email Tuesday evening, MJC President Jill Stearns said the incident was a report made in 2013 in Southern California by a former student.

“They refused to identify themselves and thereby refused to allow MJC Campus Safety to follow up on the report. We are required by the Clery Act to include the information, even though it was a remote report of an incident alleged to have taken place two years ago,” Stearns wrote.

Though privacy concerns limited discussion of the Stanislaus State incident, University Police Lt. Andy Roy said the rape reported in 2013 was not an attack by a stranger. The university also had one rape reported in 2010 and 2011.

“Most assaults occur when there are drugs or alcohol involved,” Roy said. The annual report also notes 113 instances of drug or liquor law violations, including underage drinking, with three arrests made by campus police.

Sexual violence on campuses has gained attention nationwide, leading to increased reporting requirements signed into law in 2013. The Turlock campus has expanded its safety training, coordinating efforts through the Safe Campus Committee, and this year formed a student-led Warrior Watch.

The focus is on encouraging students to curb alcohol abuse, make sure there is clear consent for any sexual activity and step up to help others when they see trouble brewing, said campus compliance officer Julie Johnson.

“What I’ve learned is that our students are coming to us with a very limited knowledge about healthy relationships and how to have those conversations about consent,” Johnson said Tuesday. Addressing lower-level behaviors such as sexual harassment and stalking can halt what too often becomes a progression of violence, she said.

If those efforts are successful, the result could be an increase in such crimes reported in future years, Johnson said. “If we see an increase in the numbers of reported assaults, we’ll know we are reaching our students,” she said. “Every reported assault represents someone who’s gotten the support and resources they need.”

The Stanislaus State report notes that the campus also had one incident of sexual battery, one of domestic violence, one of dating violence and one of stalking, all categories added under the more stringent reporting law.

In property crimes, the university had two robberies, three burglaries and four car thefts. Roy said burglaries of the library and student union over the holiday break were traced to a single culprit, now in custody.

“One person can drive our statistics through the roof,” Roy said, citing a rash of car thefts two years ago that turned out to be one man stealing a car to go to MJC, then stealing another from there to return.

“Whatever the crime is, the officers take it very seriously, and we follow up on it,” he said. The 228-acre Stanislaus State campus serves 9,000 students.

“We believe CSU Stanislaus provides a safe, healthy environment for our students to learn, grow and thrive,” President Joseph F. Sheley said. “No university will ever be 100 percent crime-free, but our students, faculty and staff look out for one another, which unquestionably contributes to the safety of our campus.”

The annual report is required of all U.S. colleges and universities by the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act.

Other crimes reported on the MJC East Campus were one robbery, three burglaries, an arson, one stalker and five car thefts. The MJC West Campus and Columbia College near Sonora reported having no incidents.

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