Campus Safety Releases Annual Clery Report

Brendan W. Clark ’21

Managing Editor

The Trinity College Campus Safety Office has released, pursuant to federal law, its annual report summarizing crime and fire safety statistics for calendar years 2016, 2017, and 2018. In addition to including statistics, the report also lists Trinity College’s safety policies and emergency management operations. The report—released on Friday, Sept. 27—is produced under the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (the “Clery Act”), a law that mandates that any college that receives federal financial aid must disclose certain criminal incidents on or near their campus.

This year’s report had increases in burglary between 2017 and 2018, with eight cases on campus, three in student housing, and three off-campus. There was also an increase in the number of aggravated assaults, with one on campus, one in student housing, and five on public property.

Minor reductions were noted in forcible rape, which had 12 offenses in 2018 compared to 14 in 2017. There was also a reduction in fondling, with four total incidents reported in 2018 compared to 19 in 2017. Further, no crime reports in 2018 were “determined to be unfounded,” according to the report. Disciplinary actions for alcohol possession also saw reduction, with only 46 issued in 2018 compared to 102 in 2017. Drug violations remained constant, with 71 reported in 2017 and 71 similarly reported in 2018.

Further, the Office of Study Away reported no incidents in any crime category in 2018. Previously, the Office of Study Away had reported one incident over the three-year report period, a case of dating violence in 2016. The report also disclosed one hate crime incident, described as “destruction damage vandalism to property based on race” that occurred in April 2018. One hate incident had been reported in both 2016 and 2017 as well. 2018 also saw “no fires…in on-campus student housing,” down from three incidents in 2017 and one in 2016.

In his email to the community, Director of Campus Safety Brian Heavren indicated that the report’s principal aim is to “educate students, faculty, and staff about the crime risks in our community and to create an awareness of each individual’s responsibility to ensure that our behaviors facilitate a safe living and learning environment.” Heavren also spoke with the Tripod, adding that “partnerships with Bantams in Balance, WGRAC, Title IX, and other important committees positively affect student safety.”  

The Clery Act, passed following the murder of Jeanne Clery at Leigh University in 1987, is a federal law which requires colleges to disclose, via an annual report and crime logs, incidents on or adjacent to campus. The Act is overseen by the Department of Education. The Clery Act also mandates timely community warnings when particular incidents occur.