Crime declines on University of Michigan campus, but sexual harassment reports are up | #College. | #Students


ANN ARBOR, MI – Public safety data shows crime reported on University of Michigan campus has been on a steady decline over the years.

Sexual harassment complaints, on the other hand, have seen a sizable jump in reports.

The university recently released its annual Safety and Security report covering campus crimes and recorded complaints from 2017 to 2019.

Reported crimes in general related to sexual misconduct and property crimes like theft all decreased from a combined total of 905 reports in 2017 to 842 in 2019, data shows.

Additionally, the data shows the most common infraction on campus are alcohol related offences, largely minor in possession citations.

In 2019 alone, the university handled 1,044 alcohol-related offences on campus, 1022 of which occurred within the residence halls. Police refer those cases to the university for disciplinary actions.

Sexual harassment reports went from 45 complaints reported in 2017 to 89 in 2019, almost doubling in a three-year span.

University officials attribute the jump in sexual harassment complaints to the university providing increasing education and awareness campaigns about inappropriate conduct.

“Each awareness effort typically brings more reports — and that’s a good thing,” University of Michigan spokesman Rick Fitzgerald said. “The first step in addressing misconduct is being aware of the misconduct. For example, we added a quick link at the very top of the UM gateway website for reporting misconduct.”

In the university’s annual Title IX report for 2019, the report notes the number of sexual misconduct complaints reported to the Office for Institutional Equity involving students as well as faculty, staff and third parties, increased dramatically from 2017 were likely a result of the #MeToo movement.

“The number of reports had increased so dramatically in the previous year as to be unlikely to again increase significantly this year (2020),” the report states.

The Annual Title IX report for 2020 has not been released yet, though it is believed the volume of complaints will be low as, due to COVID-19 restrictions, campus was without a large student population living on campus throughout much of the year.

For more information about the University of Michigan Title IX reports, click here.

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