EDITORIAL: The Clery Report: Why categorization of crimes matters


As it is almost every year around this time, the release of the information contained in the Clery Act is one of The DePauw’s lead stories.

With any story that is covered year after year, it is easy to forget why this is as important. The recent updates to the Clery Report make a reminder of just how and why it matters more relevant than ever.

Short for the federal Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, this act requires any college or university which participate in federal student aid programs to “disclose campus safety information, and imposes certain basic requirements for handling incidents of sexual violence and emergency situations,” according to cleryact.info.

These statistics are made available to the community in two ways: through the Annual Security Report, released once a year, and information about “specific crimes and emergencies” are available through the year on a rolling basis. On DePauw’s campus, this ongoing information is available on DePauw’s website under the Office of Public Safety and is clearly labeled as the “Activity Report and Clery Act Daily Log”. It is using this information that we at The DePauw compiled our Campus Crime section. This recently released report that this issue’s front page story refers to is in compliance with the Annual Security Report part of the Clery Act.

This year, the information provided in the report matters more than ever. Since the most recently released report only goes through 2014, and changes were made in 2013, this is the first year we are seeing these changes take effect within the report. As the article in this issue explains, categories have been added and further defined.

Ranging from the addition of hate crimes to the breaking down of the sexual assault category into one that now includes statutory rape and fondling, these distinction and additions are so incredibly important to understanding crime on our campus.

Though it is incredibly repugnant to see these criminal categories listed one after another, this is necessary. Broad categorization of the crimes on our campus cannot lead to helpful solutions. Only truly defining the crime experienced on this campus can we begin to combat it.