Crime: No 2021 arrests on FAU’s main campus

The only arrest that occurred at FAU was on the Jupiter campus due to a student committing a weapons violation.


Max Jackson | Photo Editor

Johnny Cantwell, Contributing Writer

There were no arrests on Florida Atlantic University’s main campus last year. But that doesn’t mean there was no crime. 

Federal law requires the university to release all on-campus and off-campus if the crime is committed by a student — it’s called the Clery Act.

FAU has the third-highest alcohol and drug violation referrals and second-highest weapons violations. 

Compared to other Florida schools, Florida Polytechnic University is the only other state school with zero arrests on the university’s main campus. But FAU has 30,808 enrolled students, while FPU has only 1,236 enrolled students. 

What’s the Clery Act?

In spring 1986, Joseph Henry beat, cut, raped, and murdered fellow Lehigh University student Jeanne Clery. Following this, Congress enacted the Clery Act.

This act requires all universities that receive any federal funding to release an “Annual Fire and Safety Report”, which counts all reported university crimes.

Why should students care?

Acting Vice President of Student Affairs Larry Faerman believes the Annual Fire and Safety Report is important for students to read.

“I think it’s important for folks to realize that they know the environment that they’re coming into,” he said. “I think as a student who’s coming to a university, you want to know what you need to be aware of.”

FAU’s report claims there was only one arrest in 2021 — and it wasn’t on the main campus.

One student was arrested on the Jupiter campus in 2021 for a weapons violation. FAU had one of the lowest arrest rates compared to ten other Florida universities.

Faerman said the university keeps its arrest number down by dealing with most incidents within other departments.

“People are coming to college and there is a degree of experimentation,” he said. “There are miscommunications that happen and so I think where they can, where the individual is respectful and compliant, and where we’re able to moderate incidents, especially when there is not a victim, that [FAU Police Department] would rather say ‘let’s help this student learn from it, and not impact their life later on.’”

The University of South Florida had the most arrests with 96 and FSU followed with 66. FAU and Florida Polytechnic were the only universities in the State University System that had zero arrests on their main campus.

Faerman believes other universities may have higher crime reports because of their Greek housing, which FAU does not have.

“I think Greek housing sometimes escalates some numbers at some institutions. Certainly the more first-year students that you have on campus, that can be escalated as well,” Faerman said.

FAU statistically has the third highest number of drug violations out of all the universities in the SUSF. According to Kimberly Strong, the Clery Act compliance coordinator for FAUPD, the university is working to lower these numbers. 

“Campus safety is our priority,” she said.

Faerman suggested that a more lively campus may be tied to some crime.

“The more people around and taking [part] in activities, the more opportunity there is to have those statistics increase,” Faerman said, referring to the recent acceptance of FAU’s largest freshman intake this fall. 

Johnny Cantwell is a contributing writer for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, you can email him at [email protected] or DM him @johnnycantwell_