Report shows sharp rise in drug violations
Drug violations, mostly related to marijuana, nearly tripled on the Brandeis campus from 2012 to 2013, according to the annual Public Safety Report released last week. In 2013 there were 94 reported violations on campus and in residential facilities, compared to 35 in 2012 and 36 in 2011.
Director of Public Safety Edward Callahan said in an interview with the Justice that while Public Safety is not certain about the reasons behind the increase, it “may be attributed to better education and greater awareness in the community about the importance of reporting such violations.”
Callahan also cited a statistic that one in five young adults use illegal drugs at least once a month. “We are not immune from this,” he said. “While there is no indication that there is a growing drug issue on campus, our vigilance, our efforts to curb such use and our education efforts regarding the importance of reporting drug use most likely have elevated the number of drug use cases we have reported.”
While drugs violations have also increased at nearby institutions, such as Boston College and Bentley College, neither of the rises were as proportionally high as Brandeis,’ according to their respective public safety reports. At Bentley, there were 254 reported drug violations in 2013, up from 237 in 2012. At Boston College, there were 169, up from 130 in 2012.
Liquor law violations have risen too, but to a lesser degree than drug violations. In 2013, there were 135, compared to 124 in 2012 and 108 in 2011. Callahan provided similar reasoning for this increase, saying that improved community reporting of such violations has likely caused it.
The report also included statistics for sex offenses, of which there were six reported in 2013, up from two in each of the two years prior. Callahan said that this likely “had to do with departments working more closely and more collaboratively to respond to this issue.” He said that if a student reports a sex offense to Public Safety, the student is offered the opportunity to file a Community Standards Report, and will have help from Public Safety with paperwork, or possibly as a witness in the following proceedings.
The report states that “[t]here were no reportable hate crimes for the three years of this report.” Callahan said that offenses must “manifest evidence of prejudice based on race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, the victim’s actual or perceived gender identity, national origin or disability” in order to qualify as hate crimes, and that “no incidents immediately come to mind” that would meet those qualifications in his time at Brandeis.
When asked about an April 1 Justice article, which described vandalism of the outside of the Muslim Students Association suite in Usdan Student Center, Callahan said that “the incident described … is a disturbing occurrence which was categorized as vandalism. The investigation could not glean any suspects or information relating to possible suspects or any definite crime motivated by bigotry and bias, which is required for an act to be considered a hate crime.”
The report also published burglary statistics; there were five in 2013 compared to three each in 2012 and 2011.
Campus crime statistics are published at Brandeis and other colleges and universities annually in compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act.
The act, which is named for a Lehigh University student who was raped and murdered in 1986, mandates that schools which participate in federal financial aid programs must annually disclose information on security policies and procedures, in addition to statistics on 14 categories of crime.
Dean of Students Jamele Adams did not respond to a request for comment by press time.