Sajina Jacob – Staff Writer
Benedictine University recently sent out a campus wide email detailing information regarding Campus Security Authorities. This email was released under the Clery Act, a consumer protection law that aims to provide transparency around campus crime policy and statistics.
CSAs are those who have been specified by Benedictine to report crimes as described in the Clery Act such as robbery, assault, violations of drug or liquor laws, and hate crimes. The University states in its training brochure that keeping accurate crime statistics will allow them to “know where to provide prevention and safety awareness programs to help keep the campus safe.”
These authorities are chosen based on the amount of responsibility they have for students and campus activities. In addition, police/security personnel, individuals responsible for security (access monitors, contract security) and any individual specified by the institution are also considered CSAs.
Michi Dubes, BenU’s emergency preparedness manager noted how CSAs are active throughout Campus, “We have a Clery Group which meets monthly. Annually, we take a look at the list and make additions or deletions as staff and faculty come and go.”
When a CSA has received a report, they are required to fill out an online form which will then be sent to University Police. They report all available information even if the victim does not want to press charges. The CSA would then mention the resources available if the individual wants to talk to someone. Once the police department has the form they will move on with the investigation of the incident; CSAs do not investigate the matter any further. While many CSAs are required to report crimes, Pastoral and Professional Counselors are not required to report crimes but are encouraged to do so if they deem it appropriate.
The report encourages witnesses of a crime to report to the BUPD but states, “When a report is made to BUPD, they must investigate the incident and cannot hold reports of crime in confidence.”
This past October, Benedictine released their annual security and fire safety reports for the 2019 calendar year. BenU reported two cases of sexual assault/rape on campus property or student housing facilities and three cases of burglary on campus property. These rates are lower than what was seen in 2018.
There have been eight arrests made for liquor law violations and over 70 disciplinary referrals. Drug Law violations have accounted for 26 disciplinary referrals, and there have been six Violence Against Women offenses on campus. This number has increased since 2018.
The annual Fire and Safety Reports are available for everyone to view on the University Police website.