Yale increases efforts to report campus crime after charges of underreporting

CONNECTICUT–Yale University has stepped up efforts to collect campus crime statistics after an alumni magazine story suggested the school failed to properly collect the statistics.

In response to a July/August Yale Alumni Magazine article, S. Daniel Carter, senior vice president of Security on Campus, Inc, asked the Department of Education to investigate whether the school violated the Clery Act. A representative for the DOE confirmed they are looking into the allegations that the school only collected statistics from university police.

The federal Clery Act requires schools receiving federal funding to collect crime statistics from officials who oversee student activities. Failure to comply could result in steep fines or a loss of federal funding.

University Deputy Secretary Martha Highsmith told the Yale Daily News in September that she believes the school has accurate statistics.

Following inquiries last spring by the Yale alumni magazine, Highsmith’s office sent out a form making it easier for campus officials to tally crimes. Although the memo asked for names of involved students, Highsmith said names would only be used to avoid counting the same incident twice.

“We are really redoubling our efforts to determine if we’ve missed anything,” Highsmith told the Yale Daily News. “I have not recovered any crimes yet through that process that had not already been counted.”

Tom Conroy, a spokesman for the university, said Yale’s grievance board, which acts as a mediator and has no power to discipline students, has begun keeping records of incidents that it hears.

“A lot of the matters that are brought to [the board] by students are not crimes,” he said, which is why statistics were not previously available. The board now collects them “on the belief that it can be helpful to empower students and to encourage them to come forward.”

Conroy said the Executive Committee, Yale’s disciplinary board, also releases statistics on cases they hear.

The alumni magazine also published a list of sex offenses reported at similar schools. Yale, with a student population of 11,126, reported five, the lowest number of offenses for the years 2000 through 2002. Williams College in Massachusetts, with a student population of 1,988, reported eight. North Carolina’s Duke University, the school closest in size to Yale, reported 28.