Administration releases annual security report

Allison Work

Oct. 1 marked the annual day by which colleges across the nation must publish facts about the crimes that occur on and around their campuses in an Annual Security Report.

This year’s report, with data through the end of the calendar year 2011, was emailed out to students on Sept. 28. The report is often referred to as the “Clery report” and is named for a student murdered in the 1980s.

The data are fairly consistent with data of years past, although there were fewer cases of both sexual misconduct and alcohol referrals for the 2011 year.

The report, required for all colleges that offer federal financial aid, includes data from the past three years and is a compilation of information from the Whitman Security Department, the Dean of Students’ Office, and the Walla Walla Police Department, according to Craig McKinnon, associate director of security.

“These numbers are cross-referenced to ensure no duplication of the statistics,” said McKinnon in an e-mail. “All colleges that receive federal funding are then required to post the statistics on the Department of Education’s website.”

“The Clery crimes that we’re required to report on are all very serious crimes,” said Barbara Maxwell, associate dean of students for student programs and activities. “[They’re crimes] like murder and negligent homicide. So if you look across [the data], most of the categories are going to show a zero.”

Because of discrepancies in ways crimes are reported on campuses around the country, Clery report data is difficult to compare from college to college. But an intent of the report is to provide good information for people looking into the college.

“At its heart, the Clery is intended to provide students and employees––as well as future students and future employees––with a snapshot about safety on campus,” said Maxwell. “[It shows] security on campus and not only does it have the crime statistics, it also includes things like some of our policies.”

The report data is not significantly different than from years past, and neither Maxwell nor McKinnon noticed any abnormalities in data.

The report is available online and in print, and students have been notified by e-mail. According to Maxwell, part of the stipulations mandated by the Federal Government include being able to prove the information was made available to students.

If an issue were to occur, Whitman would have to be able to go back and prove that they did indeed send out information. The federal government could audit the school’s procedures for several months at a time and fine the school if they were found to be non-compliant.

The full report can be found at: http://www.whitman.edu/content/security/annualreport/2012.