One of Rowan's on-campus emergency assistance buttons, located near Bunce Hall. - Multimedia Editor / Alexander Rossen

Rowan University released the 2020 Annual Security and Fire Safety Report on Oct. 1, which documents the campus’ crime statistic for the 2019-2020 school year.

The previous crime report (2018-2019) showed a staunch increase in rape and fondling of the prior year, with 21 cases of rape and 11 fondling cases in total for Rowan’s Glassboro campus. 

The 2019-2020 crime shows that sexual offenses have flattened; both rape and fondling fell by two cases. 

Sexual offenses at Rowan, compared to schools of similar size, are higher. For example, Montclair State University has a larger enrollment but only five reported rape cases in the 2019-2020 school year, compared to 19 at Rowan. Montclair State University’s reported sexual offenses are on page 50 of their annual report. 

Crime statistics are easy to be misled by; it’s critical to note that high cases don’t necessarily indicate a dangerous school. According to Senior Director of Public Safety at Rowan University Reed Layton, the school invests considerable resources into comprehensive crime reporting.

“Rowan is very transparent with numbers. We had audits done to our [Clery Report] years ago, which helped us with our reporting and collaboration with the other divisions to collect more information on crimes that occur,” Layton said.

According to the report, The Rowan University Police Department was the first of any university in New Jersey to be accredited by the National Commission on the Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA), which is considered the gold standard in public safety by law enforcement.

“Title IX is also responsible. Suppose they get something about any sexual violations or stalking. In that case, they collaborate and send those statistics too. Even though we didn’t investigate it, under the federal Clery Act, they have to report to us,” Layton said. “Some of that was adjusted through our clery audit. We do collect more efficiently than a lot of other agencies.”

Rowan’s 2019-2020 crime report’s most substantial increase was stalking, which jumped from 56 to 77 cases since the last school year. 

“Stalking has jumped up through better accountability and data collection from other departments on campus,” Layton said. “Most [stalking] is through cell phones. People think it’s someone watching you where you go, but a lot is stalking through text and social platforms. “

One of the most significant drops in reported crimes since the 2018-2019 school year was in liquor law arrests, which fell from 132 to 89. Burglary also dropped substantially from 23 reported cases to just 7. The complete list of crime reports for the Glassboro campus is on page 116 of the 2020 Annual Security and Fire Safety Report.  

As part of CALEA’s on-site assessment, Glassboro community members can attend an information session on Nov. 3 at 3:30 p.m. via Zoom (Meeting ID: 463 478 6989, Passcode: 753852).

In addition, CALEA is also encouraging community members to address the agency’s ability to comply with CALEA’s standards by calling in on Nov. 3 between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. The number to call is (856) 256-5504. 

A copy of the CALEA’s standards is available at the Department of Public Safety Office. Local contact is Accreditation Manager Steve Rolando at Rolando@rowan.edu.

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