Loyola saw a significant decline in campus crime as well as drug and alcohol violations in 2020 due to limited operations during COVID-19, an annual report showed.
The updated report released on Oct. 21, known as the Annual Security Report and Fire Safety Report, requires all colleges and universities to list yearly crime data, support victims of violence and publicly outline the policies and procedures they have put into place to improve campus safety, according to the Clery Center website.
The report is required due to the Clery Act – a law requiring all universities who receive federal funding to report certain crimes that occur within certain geographical areas, The Phoenix reported.
The areas covered in the report include on-campus property, on-campus student housing facilities and non-campus property within a certain distance.
The report showed drug violations on campus declined from 268 in 2019 to 47 in 2020, and alcohol violations dropped from 719 in 2019 to 36 in 2020 between both on-campus properties at Lake Shore Campus (LSC) and Water Tower Campus (WTC).
In 2020, less than 100 students were approved to stay on campus until the end of spring and less than 50 students that summer due to COVID-19 regulations, according to Director of Office of Student Conduct & Conflict Resolution (OSCCR) Stacy Jaksa. In 2019, Loyola had 12,240 undergraduate students enrolled, according to Loyola’s website.
The document also reported five incidences of rape on campus property, four incidences of robbery and seven incidences of stalking between both LSC and WTC in 2020, the year before, the report showed 14 stalkings, seven rapes and one robbery, according to the report.
Jaksa said she believes the biggest reason the number of drug and alcohol violations decreased in 2020 was due to Loyola’s minimal operations.
During the pandemic, no students studied at Loyola’s John Felice Rome Center (JFRC) or Vietnam Center, and in early March of 2020, LSC and WTC were shut down, which resulted in very few students being on campus and living in on-campus housing, according to Jaksa.
Loyola’s decision to only allow single occupancy dorms during the spring semester could also be a factor in low numbers, Jaksa said.
“It’s important to know that the numbers highlighted what was happening during that moment,” Jaksa said. “All of the numbers are from the pandemic and the density of campus will impact what the numbers are. I think a lot of colleges will see the same thing.”
Loyola originally released the report Sept. 30 but Loyola was selected by the Department of Education for a “spot check,” according to Admin Commander Tim Cunningham. The Department of Education routinely selects universities for “a review of Clery compliance” which includes a review of the report, Loyola spokesperson Anna Shymanski Zach said.
“The review is not specific to the report alone, nor was it the cause of the review,” Shymanski Zach said.
Suggestions were made to improve the report by the Department of Education. The university followed their advice and revised the document, according to Cunningham.
“Because the review was initiated after September 30, they reviewed Loyola’s 2020 report, Shymanski Zach said. “For additional context, if they had done the review prior to our 2020 distribution date, the Department of Education would have reviewed the 2019 report.”
Campus Safety received official technical assistance from the Department of Education and made a few minor updates and clarifications to the report, Shymanski Zach said. The updated report contains clarified website links and expanded information on Loyola’s drug and alcohol prevention and resources.
The updated report showed St. Louis hall – a residence hall at LSC – does not have a full fire sprinkler system in the building, but according to Senior Associate of Facilities Kana Henning, that information in the report is outdated.
Campus Safety confirmed St. Louis Hall has a sprinkler system and it was an accidental omission in the report, Shymanski Zach said.