Story by Erin McHenry
Drake University Security is now called for every alcohol-related incident on campus. In the past, security reported every incident, but until this fall, reports were given to security after the occurrence.
“It’s for statistical reasons,” Drake Security Captain Mitzie Lootens said.
According to the Clery Act, colleges and universities are required to report all on-campus crimes, which includes underage drinking incidents. Changing the way incidents are reported will help increase accuracy and create a more efficient database of information.
“We’ve always collected Clery statistics,” Lootens said. “This is just a better way for the university to collect statistics in one main security hub.”
In 1991, the U.S. legislature passed the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act — commonly known as the Clery Act.
The Act was named after Jeanne Clery, a woman who was raped and murdered in her Lehigh University dorm room by another student in 1986. Her family created the Clery Center for Security on Campus, which wrote the bill, and champions to make the public more aware of crimes that occur on college campuses.
“Underage drinking is illegal, so when students violate the law, security wants to make sure they have 100 percent Clery reporting,” Dean of Students Sentwali Bakari said. “Drake Security is not going to conduct any investigation, they just report. All they do is document it, try to get the student help and once they’re done, they’re out of it.”
Drake Security partners with the Office of Residence Life and other departments on campus to streamline this flow of information. The policy is strictly information-based — Security does not establish punishments or take further action unless a student’s well-being is threatened, or students fail to cooperate.
Bakari and Residence Life take over at that point. On the first offense, students incur a $100 fine, which increases to $150 on the second offense and $250 on the third. In addition, students’ parents are notified of the incidents, and additional sanctions may be imposed.
“It’s done in a sense that we hope it’s a deterrent, that students don’t want to pay a fine and if they don’t want to pay the fine, they don’t drink alcohol,” Bakari said.
At this point, Drake Security receives the same amount of information as before, but the process has become much more efficient.