Crime Rises at Bates: Takeaways from the 2022 Clery Report

Ella Beiser, Assistant Features Editor

The following article includes mention of sexual assault on campus. If you are struggling with any issue related to this, you can confidentially reach out to Sexual Assault Victims Advocate Andrea Bucciarelli, located in Chase 223. She can be reached by calling 207-753-6996, or by emailing [email protected]

From 2020 to 2021, Bates saw an increase in rape, burglary and liquor law violations referred for disciplinary action according to statistics provided in the Annual Campus Safety and Fire Report. Additionally, it is important to note that in the past year, there were significantly fewer campus-wide COVID-19 restrictions.

According to Bates Director of Security, Paul Menice, “The restrictions the college placed on student events and access to buildings, as well as the months of Spring 2020 during which we had very few students on campus, were certainly a factor in those reporting periods. What we’ve found in looking at other schools nationwide is that for all schools this most recent Clery report is more typical of pre-pandemic reporting years.”

Liquor law violations referred for disciplinary action escalated from 106 cases in 2019 and 62 cases in 2020 to 170 cases this past year. Burglary has also been steadily increasing with four incidents in 2019, six in 2020 and nine in 2021. Reported incidents of rape also rose with six in 2019, two in 2020 and nine in 2021. 

Since 2018, drug law violations referred for disciplinary action hovered just under 50 cases per year, but dropped dramatically to just 14 cases in 2021.

Bates saw more than double the incidents of liquor law violations referred for disciplinary action than its peer institution, Bowdoin. Formal arrests for liquor law violations were also higher than Bowdoin; as were the rates of burglary, rape and drug law violations referred for disciplinary action.

Bates Campus Safety is currently, “reviewing all incident reports from the past two months,” according to Menice. “Our department will be working with a safety consultant to assess our areas of greatest risk on campus and to identify gaps in our current capacity to mitigate those risks.” 

In a letter to the community on Oct. 25, Bates President Clayton Spencer acknowledged the recent assaults that occurred on Alumni Walk as well as a number of other safety concerns. She encouraged the Bates community to exercise situational awareness by locking dorm room doors and securing personal belongings.

The report was produced in compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act of 1998 which requires secondary education institutions receiving federal funding to publish an annual security report on Oct. 1 of each year. 

According to the report, the publication contains statistics for the past three years of, “reported crimes that occurred on campus, in certain off-campus buildings, property owned or controlled by Bates College, and on public property within or immediately adjacent to and accessible from the campus.” The report also includes Bates Campus safety policies which can also be viewed on their website

Additionally, the statistics are grouped by calendar – rather than academic – year and individual reports are logged by the year they were reported, not the year of the alleged occurrence. 

 

Definitions of Crimes from the report: 

Burglary: The unlawful entry into a building or other structure with the intent to commit a felony or a theft. For reporting purposes, this definition includes unlawful entry with intent to commit a larceny or felony; breaking and entering with intent to commit a larceny; housebreaking; safecracking; and all attempts to commit any of the aforementioned.

Drug Abuse Violations: The violation of laws prohibiting the production, distribution and/or use of certain controlled substances and the equipment or devices utilized in their preparation and/or use. The unlawful cultivation, manufacturing, distribution, sale, purchase, use, possession, transportation, or importation of any controlled drug or narcotic substance. Arrests for violations of state and local laws, specifically those relating to the unlawful possession, sale, use, growing, manufacturing, and making of narcotic drugs.

Liquor Law Violations: The violation of state or local laws or ordinances prohibiting the manufacture, sale, purchase, transportation, possession, or use of alcoholic beverages, not including driving under the influence and drunkenness. 

Rape: The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus, with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim. This offense includes the rape of both males and females.

The following visualizations were compiled using data from previous Clery Reports. The reports were accessed using the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, a tool that caches previous versions of webpages. The data was previously published on the Bates Safety website.