FAU sees a jump in reported stalking incidents in 2019

The university joins other universities where cases of stalking and aggravated assault were also noted.

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FAU PD sits in the shadows on FAU Blvd. at FAU’s Boca campus. Photo by Eston Parker III.

Natalia Ribeiro, News Editor

Throughout the year, universities around the country take notice of reported incidents that occurred including rape, domestic violence, and stalking. These include on-campus, residential, and off-campus reports and are put together into what is called the Annual Fire and Safety Report or “Clery Act.” Each report features the past three years of the number of reported cases for each different incident.
It is a requirement that every university releases the statistics of all the reported incidents to the public.

The biggest jump in reported cases from the reports for the last coming years is in stalking and aggravated assault. Here are some of the total numbers that were found from FAU and other Florida universities:

Stalking

Aggravated Assault

  • Florida Atlantic University: 2019-10(5 Boca, 5 Jupiter); 2018-16(13 Boca, 1 Harbor Branch, 2 Jupiter)
  • Florida International University: 2019-8(6 Modesto Maidique, 2 Biscayne Bay); 2018-6(4 Modesto Maidique, 2 Biscayne Bay)
  • University of West Florida: 2019-0; 2018-1
  • Florida State University: 2019-2; 2018-3
  • University of Central Florida: 2019-5; 2018-5
  • University of Florida: 2019-24; 2018-14
  • University of South Florida: 2019-6; 2018-3
  • University of North Florida: 2019-0; 2018-0
  • Florida Polytechnic University: 2019-0; 2018-0
  • Florida Gulf Coast University: 2019-0; 2018-0

FAU Response

While the statistics of stalking have gone up, there is a reason behind them. In an email from FAU Police Department, they said that the #MeToo movement is encouraging individuals to recognize and speak up about their experiences. It provides a sense of comfort and willingness to speak out.

A request for an interview with Student Government President, Celine Persaud, was requested only to be met back with an email with this response:

“The purpose of CLERY is to enhance campus safety and cultivate a healthy campus atmosphere that encourages individuals to report any crimes to be sent to the FAU Police Department for further action. CLERY defines different crimes and what all encompasses each type of crime. This further simplifies the process of reporting crimes and allows the victim of a crime to report anonymously without including personal information.”

Just because the statistics on different incidents have gone up or down, does not mean the university is not taking action. According to the FAU Police Department, they are forming a Clery Committee at the university that will include individuals from a variety of campus departments. In the email, they said that one of the responsibilities will review the statistics submitted and then collaborate with areas on campus to offer education, training, and prevention of crimes.

The goal they said, is to further enhance programs for the students, faculty, and staff at the university.

Requests for comments from Student Government Vice President, Kevin Buchanan and Attorney General, Nicholas Brickman were sent. As of the day of this publication, no response was given back after two emails being sent, with a direct message also being sent to Student Government.

Background History

Jeanne Clery was just 19 years old when she was raped and murdered in her dorm room in 1986. Her parents, Connie and Howard Clery, did not know the danger their daughter was in because campus crime reporting did not exist back then. In Jeanne’s memory, her parents created the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics Act in her memory.

For hard copies of FAU’s Clery Act, go to FAU PD’s location on each campus, email [email protected], or call the FAU PD number at (561) 297-3500

Natalia Ribeiro is a news editor for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet her @nataliar_99.