University publishes new criminal statistics

Failure to make certain information available was a violation.

Ball State has now published online its most comprehensive list of criminal statistics.

In doing so, Ball State itself is no longer violating national law.

Until late November, when the Web site was published, Ball State was breaking several provisions of the federal Clery Act, which requires universities to publish certain criminal statistics and other crime-related information.

S. Daniel Carter, the senior vice president of the victims' rights group Security on Campus, Inc. said that, according to the university, the violations were an oversight.

He said the university failed to publish a "Campus Sexual Assault Victim's Bill of Rights" and properly distribute an annual security report to students and prospective students.

Also, the university did not include arrests for liquor, drug and illegal weapons violations in its report, which caused about 1,500 cases to go unpublished between 1997 and 2000.

"There were over 1,500 incidents that were being sucked into a black hole," Carter said.

These violations, according to Carter, are common nationwide.

Ball State's new site, however, located at the Dean of Students Web site, includes all the liquor, drug and illegal weapons violations, along with violations for burglary, sexual assault, arson and more. It also provides links to the Victim's Bill of Rights and sexual assault assistance.

"It's quite a bit more comprehensive than it used to be," said Dean of Students Randy Hyman.

The statistics span the years 1997 to 2000. Hyman said 2001 statistics will be available on Oct. 1.

Currently, there is no formal organization to monitor universities' compliance with the law or audit their statistics, Carter said. He also said, however, that there was no current need to do so for Ball State.

"Ball State has done more to come in to compliance more quickly than most schools we've heard of," he said. "There's really nothing there to pursue."

According to Hyman, he was aware Ball State was violating the act in early October of last year, before Carter brought it to his attention. After consulting with legal counsel, Hyman said, the current Web site was created.

"We hadn't provided as much information as we were capable of providing and needed to provide," Hyman said. "It became clear that there were a number of areas in which we needed to provide greater clarification."

The Clery Act was named after Jeanne Ann Clery, a student at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Penn., who was tortured, raped, sodomized and murdered in her residence hall in 1990. Her murderer was a student she had never met.

Her parents, who were not satisified with the university's handling of the case, began the nationwide movement to force universities to publish their crime statistics.


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