An annual report released by Loyola’s Campus Safety department — the university’s private police force — revealed a nearly 50 percent increase in alcohol and drug abuse disciplinary referrals throughout 2019, among other crime trends.
The report is formally called the Annual Security and Fire Safety Report and is mandated by the Clery Act — a law requiring universities that receive federal funding to publicly report crimes that occur within certain geographic areas.
These areas cover on-campus buildings, non-campus, university-owned buildings, and the streets and sidewalks surrounding or running through campus — referred to as public property — The Phoenix reported.
The report discloses any criminal offenses, Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) offenses, hate offenses, arrests and disciplinary referrals for all Loyola campuses. The most recent report was released Dec. 23, 2020 and documents incidents reported between Jan. 1, 2019 and Dec. 31, 2019.
The 2019 report showed 705 disciplinary referrals for liquor law violations by Loyola students on Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus (LSC), compared to the 478 in 2018 — an increase of 47 percent. Similarly, disciplinary referrals for drug abuse on LSC increased by 60 percent — up from 162 referrals in 2018 to 259 referrals in 2019.
Stacy Jaska, director of Loyola’s Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution, said this increase could be attributed to a rise in the number of students living on campus. During the spring 2019 semester, there were 200 more students living in residence halls than in the 2018 spring semester, Jaska said. In the past, Loyola has seen a period of rapid growth in student population, The Phoenix reported.
Jaska also said 70 percent of students living in residence halls are first-year students and every first-year class is different in how they behave.
Numbers from Loyola’s other campuses — Water Tower Campus and the Health Sciences Campus — didn’t show a similar spike in drug or alcohol offenses.
The report also documented a decrease in the number of reported rapes on LSC — down from 10 in 2018 to six in 2019.
Tim Love, the director of Loyola’s Office for Equity and Compliance (OEC), which deals with sexual misconduct complaints, said he doesn’t necessarily view reported rapes going down as a good thing. When reported rapes are high due to people coming forward, Love said it demonstrates that people trust the system.
“We are never intending to hide our reports or our numbers, rather we feel that when our reports are high, it demonstrates a trust in our system because people are willing to come forward,” Love said.
Love also said because of Clery Act limitations, the actual number of rapes Loyola students reported to the university might be different than what’s shown in the report.
Love said due to strict geographical guidelines for incidents that can be put in the Clery report, if an incident occurs outside of the guidelines, it won’t be listed in the report. However, Love said he still wants students to report incidents whether they fall under the guidelines or not.
Aside from alcohol and drug referrals and sexual assault, the Clery Report documented the following crimes on and around Loyola’s campuses:
Lake Shore Campus
- VAWA offenses: 11 stalking, one domestic violence
- Hate offenses: one intimidation based on race
- Criminal offenses: four foundling incidents, one robbery, six burglaries, two motor vehicle thefts
Water Tower Campus
- VAWA offenses: four stalking
- Criminal offenses: one rape, one fondling
- Disciplinary referrals: 14 liquor law violations and nine drug abuse violation
Health Science Campus
- VAWA offenses: three domestic violence, two stalking
- Criminal offenses: four aggravated assault, one burglary
Loyola Retreat and Ecology Campus
- One fondling reported
- One rape, six motor vehicle thefts, three robberies, and two domestic violence incidents were reported on the public property near LSC.
- One rape, four robberies, one aggravated assault, one motor vehicle theft, one domestic violence incident, one stalking incident and one arrest for weapon possession were reported on public property near Water Tower Campus.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Department of Education pushed the deadline for the report from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31. Tim Cunningham, administrative commander for Campus Safety, said this was done because the personnel who usually compile the numbers for the report instead handled the university response to the pandemic.
Looking ahead to next year’s report, Cunningham said he thinks the numbers from 2020 will certainly go down because of the lack of students on campus.
Students left campus largely vacant in 2020 after on-campus housing was canceled in March as a result of the pandemic, The Phoenix reported. Beginning January 2021, students are back living on campus.