To the Occidental Community:
The 2014 Annual Fire Safety and Security Report (AFSSR) for Occidental College (otherwise known as the Clery Report) is available for download here. If you would like a hard copy of the report, please contact Victor Clay, chief of campus safety, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This report is required by the federal Clery Act and contains policy statements on safety and security as well as crime statistics for the 2013 calendar year (January-December) and two previous years. The statistics cover certain categories of crimes specified by the Clery Act that occurred in the Clery reporting area – on campus, on public property immediately adjacent to campus, in off-campus buildings or on off-campus property owned or controlled by the College, and on property controlled by organizations recognized by the College (such as Greek houses).
As part of Occidental’s compliance with the federal Clery Act, the College has continued its careful reexamination of crime statistics that began in connection with its 2013 report. This 2014 report includes revisions to Oxy’s statistics that reflect both over-reporting and under-reporting of crime on and near campus in 2011 and 2012. (Normally, Clery reports contain the three most recent years of statistics. In the interest of transparency, we also are providing separate public notice of revisions to the 2009 and 2010 statistics.)
The over-reporting primarily resulted from two factors: the use of an overbroad definition of adjacent public property and the misclassification of certain crimes according to Clery definitions. Instead of reporting Clery crimes that occurred on “public property that immediately borders and is accessible from the campus – sidewalk-street-sidewalk," Occidental reported crimes that occurred within the larger boundaries of its Campus Safety escort program. Applying the appropriate geographical definition required by Clery reduces the number of robberies, burglaries and auto thefts in 2009.
Similarly, Occidental has determined that some previously reported burglaries do not meet the Clery definition of that crime, which requires unlawful entry. Others involved larceny from automobiles, which is not reportable under Clery. Applying the correct definition reduces the number of burglaries in 2011-2012. Some 2011 incidents classified as aggravated assaults lacked aggravating factors such as the use of a weapon or evidence of serious bodily injury, and thus were simple assaults not reportable under Clery.
This year’s report also retroactively adds a single case of robbery in 2012 and single incidents of auto theft in 2011 and 2012 that were erroneously omitted from previous reports. The report also adds a single case of weapons referral in 2011 in which weapons were found on campus. The report also adds single instances of hate crimes that were inadvertently omitted in 2011 and 2012 due to overbroad interpretations of Clery reporting areas and crime definitions.
Outside of this year’s report, the College has added a single case of aggravated assault in 2009 that had been erroneously omitted, and has increased the number of arson cases in 2009 and 2010 because the small fires that caused no damage had been misclassified. Occidental also has reduced the number of hate crimes reported in 2010 by three due to overbroad interpretations of Clery reporting areas and crime definitions.
This year’s report also increases the number of sex offenses by five, one in 2011 and four in 2012. Information regarding the 2011 case was discovered in the context of investigating a separate incident; the complainant had requested that no formal or informal complaint be made. Of the four 2012 cases, one involved an informal report that lacked information about the nature and location of the incident. Occidental subsequently confirmed that the offense was reportable. Two incidents -- a report to Campus Safety by a non-student involving a sexual battery, and an anonymous report -- were inadvertently omitted. (Two anonymous reports were correctly included in the 2012 report.) The final incident involves an informal report of student-on-student sexual harassment that, upon closer review, the College has reported as a sex offense because the harassment included allegations of touching.
In addition, the College has increased the number of sex cases in 2009 by one, a case involving an informal report to Project SAFE where no formal complaint had been filed with the Title IX office.
There were 64 sex offenses reported in 2013. We believe this substantial increase over last’s year number (11) is primarily due to increased awareness of Title IX issues and of reporting and support options at the College. Of the 64 reports made in 2013, 34 involved conduct that occurred prior to 2013: 20 cases involved conduct that occurred in 2012, eight in 2011, four in 2010, one in 2009, and one in 2007.
Some 44 of the 64 reports were made anonymously. Occidental received more than 600 reports through its anonymous reporting form in 2013, but many of those reports were the result of an organized campaign led by a men’s rights group to protest the anonymous reporting of sexual assaults. From Dec. 16-31, the College received more than 550 anonymous reports that, for example, named respondents such as Bin Laden and “Fatty Mcfatfat." The College closely reviewed each report and excluded those it concluded were not made in good faith.
Occidental has made a number of recent changes (including the hiring of a new chief of campus safety and a full-time Clery coordinator) to ensure that we are doing the best job of reporting campus crime. In keeping with that commitment, although not required by law we will continue to report Clery crime categories in the Campus Safety escort program area as a separate supplement to the official Clery statistics. This is important because Oxy is a residential campus in an urban environment, and because many students either live or spend time inside the escort area boundaries.