Reported rape allegations, alcohol violations increased at UD in 2016

Rape allegations and alcohol violations were up at the University of Dayton in 2016, according to the school's annual crime and safety report released this week.

UD’s federally mandated Campus Security and Fire Safety report states there were 16 alleged rapes reported on campus last year compared to eight in 2015 and 4 in 2014.

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“We believe our intervention education is making a difference in creating an environment where anyone feels comfortable reporting sexual violence. This enables us to support victims and hold accountable those who are responsible. Our ramped-up alcohol enforcement efforts also are making a difference in holding students accountable for liquor law violations through our student disciplinary process,” university officials said in a prepared statement.

Experts have noted an increase in reported sexual assaults could mean more sexual violence, but it also could mean that more assaults are being reported to law enforcement. Sexual assaults generally are under-reported, advocates say, so an increase in reporting could mean more victims are comfortable coming forward.

Campus sexual assault has drawn increased public scrutiny over the last few years, thanks in part to high-profile cases such as Brock Turner of Bellbrook and because the Trump administration recently rolled back Obama-era guidelines on how schools should handle allegations.

The annual report — mandated under the federal Clery Act — lists student education and prevention programs that have grown at many schools in recent years. The report is not comprehensive, though, as it includes only crimes that allegedly occurred on campus, not in landlord-owned student housing.

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The report also lists arrests and disciplinary referrals made by the school for drug and alcohol violations.

There were 25 liquor law arrests on UD’s campus in 2016, down from 33 in 2015 and 37 in 2014. But, the number of liquor law cases referred for disciplinary action increased from 678 in 2015 to 886 in 2016, around a 30 percent jump from year to year.

Drug issues on UD’s campus continued to decline in 2016. While there were eight drug arrests in 2016, up two from 2015, the number of drug violations referred for disciplinary actions declined from 70 in 2015 to 52 in 2016, according to the report.

“The health and safety of our University community always is very important to us and we continue to be highly proactive in crime prevention education and enforcement. These efforts include regular crime prevention presentations for our University community and our nationally acclaimed Green Dot program, which equips students with skills to safely intervene as bystanders in situations of concern or potential violence and encourages them to look out for each other,” UD officials said in a prepared statement.

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