For some students, college is the first time they’ve lived away from home. Some parents worry about their child’s safety.
However, statistics show that Weber State University is a safe campus. According to WSU’s annual statistical report in 2012, the numbers show low crime on WSU Campus.
For 2012, out of the crimes required to be reported by the law, there were five burglaries, three sexual assaults and one arson.
The University of Utah, in the same time period, reported 91 burglaries and five sexual assaults. Utah Valley University shows three burglaries and no sexual assaults in 2012. Brigham Young University reported 16 sexual assaults in 2012 with three burglaries.
These numbers come from mandatory disclosure as required by the Cleary Act. In 1990 congress passed the Cleary Act, requiring universities that participate in financial aid programs disclose certain crimes in an annual report.
While 2013 numbers will not be revealed until Oct. 1, 2014, Sgt. Seth Cawley with WSU police said the numbers are similar to last year with no major deviations from the 2012 numbers.
A government report titled “The Sexual Victimization of College Women” published earlier this year reported about three percent of college students have reported either being raped or attempted to be raped.
Weber State currently has about 25,000 students enrolled either part or full-time. According to WSU’s department of institutional research 53 percent of those students are female.
If three percent of these students were sexually assaulted that would put the number of rapes or attempted rapes at almost 400.
Cawley said if the victims of these types of crimes don’t come forward, there is no good way to see how many are going unreported.
“We try to do our best to get the word out of there,” he said. “If this type of offense happens to you there are steps we can take to make to sure your information remains confidential and you are protected from any kind of retaliation after the fact.”
Cawley also said the police do a lot to educate the campus community, especially in the residence halls.
“I feel fairly confident that our numbers are accurate,” he said.
Even though WSU is a safe campus, Cawley recommends some steps for ensuring safety on campus.
He said to use the buddy system and always walk with a friend. Don’t leave your laptop or other valuables lying around. Lock your car and your apartment or dorm room when you leave.
Cawley added that the police department provides an escort service free of a charge. If someone is scared or afraid something is going to happen, they can contact campus police and an officer will escort them to their vehicle.
“We have a good working relationship with the community,” Cawley said. “We have eyes and ears out there.”
That relationship, said Cawley, makes it easier for people to come to the police if there is an issue.