Office of Safety and Security Publishes Annual Crime Report


By Erin Dickinson ’24, Editor in Chief
October 14, 2022

Content warning: This article includes a discussion of sexual assault and domestic violence. 

On Wednesday, September 28, members of the St. John Fisher University community received an email announcing the release of the 2021 Annual Campus Security and Fire Safety report. 

As stated in the email, sent by Director of Safety and Security Russell Reynolds, the university is required by law to maintain and publicize the statistics of crime on campus. This requirement comes from the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Safety Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, often referred to as the Clery Act. 

This federal statute was signed into law in 1990 after 19-year-old Jeanne Clery was raped and murdered in her Lehigh University dorm room in 1986. After her death, her family discovered that Clery’s death was one of 38 violent crimes at Lehigh in the past three years. The Clery family turned their outrage into action, and just four years later, all colleges and universities were required to report their crime statistics. 

St. John Fisher’s 2021 Campus Crime Statistics report is divided into 11 categories of criminal offenses, three categories of arrests, three categories of referrals, and three categories of Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) offenses. The Clery Act does not require reports of domestic violence, stalking, or dating violence, but since the enactment of VAWA in 1994, colleges and universities have been required to report these crimes as well. 

Of the 20 combined categories of offenses, arrests, and referrals, St. John Fisher University only reported incidents in seven categories in 2021. No student names or identifying features are made available in this report.

 The highest total by far in any category was under referrals in liquor law offenses. The campus saw 118 total liquor law violations on campus in 2021, down from 134 in 2020 and 159 in 2019. 

Far behind, the next most common incident was the criminal offense of rape, with five on-campus incidents occurring in 2021. Since 2019, St. John Fisher has reported exactly five incidents of rape annually. 

One statistic that has seen a dramatic change in recent years is the occurrence of referrals for drug law violations. St. John Fisher reported 22 such incidences in 2019, before reporting just five in 2020 and three in 2021. This change may be accounted for by the shortened school year in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, followed by the legalization of adult-use cannabis in March 2021. While marijuana is still not allowed on St. John Fisher’s campus, being caught with the drug is no longer grounds for a police referral. 

Below are all reported referrals, offenses, and arrests listed in the 2021 Annual Campus Security and Fire Safety report. 

Rape: 5 (All in on-campus housing)

Fondling: 2 (All in on-campus housing)

Burglary: 1 (On-campus housing)

Illegal Weapons Offenses: 1 (Other on-campus)

Liquor Law Offenses: 118 (All in on-campus housing)

Drug Law Offenses: 3 (All in on-campus housing)

Dating Violence: 1 (Other on-campus)

The online copy of this report is available here. Hard copies are also available upon request from the Office of Safety and Security, located in Haffey Hall.