Calif. school official resigns admist allegations of underreporting crime

CALIFORNIA — The vice president for student affairs of St.Mary’s College has resigned in the wake of accusations that the college hasunderreported campus crime statistics. Brother Jack Curran was theobject of an investigative report by a local television station that led toprotest s in support and against him and the administration. In a preparedstatement last month Curran said that after prayerful discernment he felt it wasbest to step aside.Two years ago, Curran reversed a decision by adisciplinary hearing committee, effectively stopping the expulsion of twostudents who allegedly committed a sexual assault on campus. CliffordWilliams, director of media relations for the school, said a group of studentssubmitted a set of 10 demands and asked for a response within 24 hours or theywould “strike.” One of the demands was for the dismissal of Curran.Williams said the school did not ask Curran to resign but did accept hisresignation. In addition former employees accused the college of notreporting accurate campus crime statistics in accordance with the Clery Act. Theformer director of security and other past employees reported allegations to thecampus security watchdog group, Security on Campus. This led to aninvestigation by the group and, subsequently, a letter to the Department ofEducation. Security on Campus concluded that the college under reported sexualassaults and failed to report the accurate amount of alcohol-related incidentsin 1999. The organization has asked the Department of Education to investigatethe college.Williams said, if they receive a complaint from theDepartment of Education, “the college intends to cooperate fully.”