Last year, Emporia State had the safest campus in Kansas, according to Stateuniversity.com, a website that collects information on universities ranging from the degrees they offer to their safety statistics.
“We know that parents sending their kids to college are looking at campus safety,” said Gwen Larson, assistant director of Media Relations. “I know at every Hornet Connection during the parents session at least one parent asks how safe our campus is.”
Larson said it is important to have the statistics on hand for those parents to illustrate how safe the campus is.
The most recent numbers, released earlier this month, showed increases in forcible sex offenses, up from one instance in 2010 to three in 2011, as well as an increase in burglary, up from two in 2010 to seven in 2011. There was one motor vehicle theft and one illegal weapons possession arrest.
The annual security report, which tracks the reported crimes for the past three years on campus, in the residential facilities and the surrounding area, is a result of the Clery Act. The act is a federal statute that requires universities to disclose information pertaining to the safety of their campus in the form of the security report.
The legislation stems from the rape and murder of Jeanne Clery in her residence hall at Lehigh University in 1986. It was signed into law in 1990.
ESU’s current report shows a decrease in liquor law arrests, down to 19 from 23 in 2010, and the disciplinary action referrals from liquor law violations is down to 25 from 43 in 2010. There was also one instance of a drug law arrest and drug violations referred for disciplinary action. Overall liquor law arrests have consistently decreased for the past three years.
“I’d love to be able to say that it’s because of our police officers, the good job they do and the fact that they’re out there and obvious,” Chris Hoover, director of campus police. “I think that being seen regularly on routine patrols does have an impact on criminal behavior.”
Campus Police and Safety have 24-hour-a-day patrols, seven days a week patrols throughout campus and currently have eight officers on staff, including Hoover and one officer in training.
Hoover said that while he thought the quality work done by the officers on campus aid in the safety of the campus, the statistics are “kind of like the market,” and sometimes they are up, and sometimes they are down.
The entirety of the report can be found on ESU’s website at Emporia.edu/right2know.