Inconsistencies found in Clery Act reporting at CSU

By Kourtney Husnick

Reported rapes on campus doubled on Cleveland State University’s annual security report that released Oct. 1 for incidents occurring on or near campus in 2018. On-campus incidents rose from two reported cases in 2017 to four reported cases in 2018. 

However, reported sexual assault and rape statistics for the 2018-19 school year are higher from the Office of Institutional Equity (OIE). A total of 121 sexual violence reports were made to OIE last school year, with only 16 listed as occurring off-campus. 

Domestic violence, dating violence and stalking are also all comparably underreported in the annual safety report. Combined, those categories total up to seven incidents, according to the university’s report for 2018. OIE statistics list 58 reports of relationship abuse, domestic violence or dating violence and 34 instances of stalking. 

Data for the university’s report spans from Jan. 1, 2018 to Dec. 31, 2018, as required by federal law. The Clery Act outlines reporting requirements for campus security and crime data. While OIE’s statistics include part of 2019’s statistics, their 2018-19 academic year data also excludes the first half of 2018.

“This report is really a collaboration of not just police department stuff, it’s university-wide stuff,” Anthony Traska, the chief of police at Cleveland State, explained. “If it’s OIE reported like stalking or domestic violence, something we didn’t deal with, we get those numbers from OIE.”

As incidents handled by the campus police department occur, they appear in the 60-day crime log that is also required by the Clery Act. All reported crimes must be included in the log within two business days of their initial report. 

For months, Cleveland State’s 60-day crime log was only updated on Mondays, regardless of crimes occurring during the days in between updates each week. 

“I will address that issue,” Traska said. “I will take a look at that. It should be updated every 48 hours.”

Crime logs have now been updated within the 48-hour time period following reports since Traska spoke with The Cauldron’s staff.