There are a few points to take note of in Northern Illinois University’s most recent safety and security report.
NIU police chief Tom Phillips said last year the goal was to crack down on illegal drug use and violent crime. According to this year’s Clery Act report, there were noticeably fewer judicial referrals for drugs, weapons and alcohol in 2015 than there were the year before.
Phillips called that a “pleasant surprise” and says it can’t be attributed to just one factor. However, he says the department “improved community education [in] our residence halls and our Greek liaison program along Greek Row, just sharing the information that we have with students about the dangers of drug abuse and alcohol abuse.”
The Clery Act requires all colleges and universities nationally to record campus crime statistics for murder, hate crimes and robbery. The Violence Against Women Act also says schools must report data for crimes including rape, dating violence, and stalking.
Phillips says the number of sexual assaults in 2015 is the same as the year before.
“And while we don’t want the number of incidents to increase, we – through our policy and programming and education – we’re trying to encourage survivors of sexual assault that it’s okay to come forward,” Phillips said.
There was also one hate crime reported – it was classified under “intimidation” related to sexual orientation.