University Releases Crime and Fire Statistics

The number of sexual offenses increased significantly between 2015 and 2016, while burglaries decreased.

By Oren Oppenheim, News Editor

Every year, the University releases a Security & Fire Safety report, which is a joint project between UChicago’s Department of Safety and Security, Campus and Student Life, and Office of Legal Counsel.

Most of the report discusses safety, security, and legal procedures and concerns, but it also contains crime and fire statistics from the past three years—as a requirement by the federal Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act.

This law requires all colleges that are a part of governmental financial aid programs, including UChicago, to “compile statistics for incidents of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking and to include certain policies, procedures, and programs pertaining to these incidents in their annual security reports,” according to the act’s entry in a government journal.

Some of the crime and fire statistics from this year's report indicate large shifts between 2015 and 2016. Many more sexual offenses occurred in 2016, for instance, while other statistics remained relatively unchanged.

For example, the amount of burglaries on campus decreased from 16 in 2015 to nine this year, and 20 total burglaries­—involving UChicago students both on and off campus—in 2015, dropped to nine.
Sexual offenses, not including rape incidents, jumped from 11 reported incidents to 17 between 2015 and 2016 on campus, and from 11 to 19 overall. Rape incidents on campus increased from six to 15 between 2015 and 2016; none were reported off campus.

University disciplinary referrals for alcohol occurred 20 times on campus both in 2015 and 2016. One referral happened off campus property in 2015, and one took place on private property in 2016.

Disciplinary referrals for drugs occurred on campus 21 times in 2015, and 20 times in 2016. None occurred off campus or on public property during both years.

In 2016, there were two reported fires in on-campus student housing. One occurred in Burton-Judson, caused by an improper cigarette disposal outside of the building. The other incident was a grease fire in Granville-Grossman Residential Commons.

The dates of the fires were not reported. However, the report stated there were no injuries, deaths, or property damage.

In 2015, the only fire reported was in Granville-Grossman on January 9, caused by an unattended cooking device. There were no injuries or deaths, but the fire incurred $8,694 in property damage.