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September 21, 2023

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University reports burglary, arson low

An annual report shows burglary and arson reports have gone down this past year.

The 2014 Campus Security and Fire Safety Report was due for all universities on Oct. 1. This is a part of the Clery Act, which requires all colleges and universities that use federal assistance to release information about crimes committed on their campus. The report only shows numbers from years 2011-2013.

Burglary for on campus housing, which is going into another person’s residence and stealing something, went from 32 in 2011 and 46 in 2012 down to 16 in 2013.

“It has gone way down this year,” Director of Public Safety Monica Moll said. “My hope is we are getting out to students to lock their doors. Most burglaries on campus are in residence halls.”

She also said there are some that happen on University property, like in classrooms and computer labs.

“It’s hard to tell exactly what is causing the decrease,” she said. “I hope we are more vigilant about seeing doors being propped open and watching video cameras in residence halls.”

To accurately compare the University to others around the country, Moll suggested the University can be compared to universities like Ohio University, Kent State and Miami University.

“All are primarily residence campuses and not in an urban environment,” she said. “That way, they can be compared fairly.”

To compare, OU had 13 burglaries in residence halls in 2013. In Kent State, there were four and Miami University had three.

Something new added to the Clery Act reports starting this year is about the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act. This requires schools to start adding domestic violence, dating violence and stalking to their reports every year.

The University reported in 2013 there were a total of four reports of dating violence, one domestic violence report and two reports of stalking.

While there was a decrease in arson reports, Moll said most of the time the fires are small ones started by one student lighting a side of a poster on fire then blowing it out quickly before anyone sees.

“A lot of the times it’s just one or two students that cause most of the reports to come in,” she said.

Arson reports for 2011 and 2012 were 13 for all of the University, while in 2013 it was three. For other schools in 2013, OU had four, Kent State had 16 and Miami University had three.

Director of Residence Life Sarah Waters said it is hard to tell exactly what caused the decrease last year.

“For us, it’s always speculation,” she said. “But residence life spends a lot of time educating and showing the impact of locking doors and letting strangers in. We also train our staff very well.”

She said the credit needs to be given back to the students for taking personal safety seriously and watching out for each other.

“We can make a culture of people watching out for each other,” she said. “There is a personal responsibility of all people in the community. All of us understand bad things happen and understand we all can make an impact.”

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