Based on its 2012 Clery report, alcohol arrests and referrals were down on the University of South Dakota campus during the 2011-2012 school year.
USD released its annual Clery report to students, faculty and affiliates Sept. 6. The report is issued by public universities around the country in compliance with the Jeanne Clery Act, which seeks to increase awareness of crime on campus. The report includes a record of on-campus crime from the previous three years.
According to the Clery Center For Campus Security’s website, every public college and university must keep a record of incidents that occur on campus, in unobstructed public areas immediately adjacent to or running through the campus and at certain non-campus facilities.
Alcohol violations accounted for the most significant decrease in criminal activity, as liquor law referrals dropped from 246 in 2010 to 237 in 2011. Liquor violation arrests also saw a slight decrease, as arrests dropped from 76 in 2010 to 51 in 2011.
USD’s decrease in alcohol crime was also different than some of its regional counterparts. In a comparison between four schools’ 2012 Clery reports — USD, the University of North Dakota, South Dakota State University and North Dakota State University — USD had the lowest amount of alcohol-related arrests and referrals during 2011. UND had the most alcohol violation referrals with 454, while SDSU had the most alcohol violation arrests made on campus with 251 total.
USD’s figures also fell well below the minimum amounts set by the other three institutions; SDSU, NDSU and UND all made at least 99 alcohol-related arrests and distributed at least 311 referrals.
University Police Director Pete Jensen said UPD received less reports of potential alcohol violations during 2011, which decreased the amount of checks in on campus
“We had fewer calls to the residence halls that resulted in alcohol-related referrals and arrests than previous years,” Jensen said.
UPD Lt. Dallas Schnack said the department also lacked some of its current strategies that have resulted in an increase in citations during the 2012-2013 school year. According to UPD, as of Sept. 24, 49 arrests and 48 referrals dealing with underage drinking had been documented since Jan. 1, 2012. This was tripled from 2011, when only 17 arrests and five referrals were made.
“Last spring, we saw the numbers (of alcohol violations) going up but we didn’t have bike patrol at that time,” Schnack said. “We saw those numbers going up and so we adapted our patrol.”
Schnack said while the Clery report is indicative of what law enforcement is aware of, it may not truly reflect the amount of alcohol violations, as well as other Clery crimes, that occur on campus.
“I don’t think the amount of people drinking has increased from last year to this year, but the amount of people getting caught has increased,” Schnack said. “We have to rely on people reporting what happens in order for it to be an accurate reflection.”
Schnack also said comparing USD’s alcohol violation rate, as well as other Clery crime statistics, to other public universities in the region is somewhat difficult due to the difference in population.
“It’s kind of like comparing Sioux Falls to Mitchell to Vermillion — the sizes are different. The question is, is the crime ratio proportionate to what we have,” Schnack said.
Overall, USD’s 2012 Clery report indicates that the number of reports for Clery crimes during 2011 were similar to previous years. Forcible sex offense reports increased from two in 2010 to four in 2011. Reports of burglary only increased from seven in 2010 to eight in 2011.
Drug violation arrests marked the most notable increase, jumping from 16 in 2010 to 22 in 2011. However, the number of drug-related arrests peaked at 25 in 2009.
USD’s non-alcohol Clery-reportable crime statistics were comparable to those of SDSU, UND and NDSU. Both NDSU and SDSU reported only one forcible sex offense for 2011, while UND reported a total of eight such cases. UND, NDSU and USD all reported less than 10 burglaries during 2011. Only SDSU had a high amount of burglary crimes, as its report contained 47 such incidents, more than the other three schools combined.