While UCSB reported a marked decrease in on-campus drug and alcohol-related offenses in 2007, what happened in Isla Vista last year is anyone’s guess.
Every year the UCSB Division of Student Affairs publishes the Campus Safety Report, which provides detailed crime information and statistics concerning the campus and community. This year’s report, however, is missing a crucial element – statistics from Isla Vista.
Despite requests from the university, the Isla Vista Foot Patrol did not deliver the information in time for the report’s compilation, Associate Dean of Students Debbie Fleming said.
“Maybe they didn’t get them in by the deadline,” Fleming said. “We have a very strict deadline for the report.”
However, Sgt. Darren Miller of the IVFP said he did not know why the statistics were not part of the report. He said he thought UCPD should be contacted for the information.
As of press time, UCPD could not be reached for comment.
Without information from the local community, Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Michael Young said the report is incomplete.
“What does it tell you to know the crime statistics if it doesn’t include Isla Vista or parts of Goleta?” Young said. “It gives you a notion of it, but not the full picture. [These results] shouldn’t keep us at all from not looking at the problems we face directly and continuing to find ways to keep the campus as healthy and safe as possible.”
The statistics are released annually by the university as mandated by the Clery Act, which was created in response to the rape and murder of Jeanne Clery, a freshman at Lehigh University in 1986. The act requires all colleges and universities participating in federal student aid programs to disclose detailed crime statistics.
Fleming said the campus decline in drug and alcohol-related referrals for 2007 is a direct result of university programs focused on combating drug and alcohol abuse amongst incoming students.
“Usually when there is any kind of significant change, we point to the programs that we are doing as reasons for success,” Fleming said. “All we can do is infer that this is what these changes are about. It’s got to do with the Residence Hall staff being on top of their rules. This is also the fourth year of C.A.S.E., and so we have been referring students to [the program] for the last three years.”
Although the university saw a decline across the board in just about every crime statistic from 2006, a total of 444 instances of Larceny-Theft were reported on campus this past year – 141 more than in 2006.
In addition to the decrease in drug and alcohol-related offenses in 2007, a total of eight forced-sex offenses were reported on campus compared to 10 in 2006.
The Clery Act also contains a special section for the reporting of hate crimes, which are defined as any act with hostility to the victim’s race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity or disability. UCSB and Isla Vista have not recorded hate crimes throughout the past four years of reporting.
Young said the campus administration would continue to lead the fight against alcohol abuse among students.
“We have a responsibility to do our best to help these campuses,” Young said. “This is a national problem and isn’t a moral issue from my point of view … It’s not ‘devil alcohol’ or something like that. The behavioral outcomes of abusive alcohol, [such as] sexual assaults, physical assaults and battery are the kinds of outcomes that you see from alcohol abuse. It is one of the problems that we are going to have to continue to address.”