Coastal Carolina University released their yearly Clery Report on Monday, Oct. 1st, 2018
The Clery Report is a mandatory report, established in 1990, that all universities and colleges report to on some level and the report is mandated by the federal government through the Department of Education. The report consists of crimes and fires that were reported on campus, on campus residential areas, non-campus property, and public property usually up to the sidewalk adjacent to the university.
Thomas Mezzapelle, Captain of Public Safety, said, “[The Clery Act is] a guarantee that there is at least once a year, where people can look at something and say okay, these are the crimes that happened on our campus that are being tracked.”
The annual Clery report posted by Coastal allows students and the community to see the data from the last three years. Within the report you can see information on fires; where the it was, how much it cost in damages, and the cause. The crimes are reported in a list with minimal information.
The Clery Act is to thank for many of the potentially lifesaving alerts that Coastal Carolina University has had to send out.
“Timely warnings and notifications are another part of the Clery Act that we have to follow and make those announcements,” Mezzapelle said.
Many students may recall receiving “CCU ALERT” text messages, especially this semester, that warn of campus closing, weather warnings, and many other warnings. The “CCU ALERT” is a part of the timely notifications system used at Coastal. Timely warnings and notifications are also sent out by email or posted on the university’s social media, when the university feels the community needs to be warned of an issue.
As Coastal Carolina University grows in size, it is not a surprise that there is an increase in the number of incidents reported on campus.
"I personally think the retention problem adds to our issues because we have fewer upper-class students who have risen through the classes here at CCU that can pass their experiences on to a new class, Mezzapelle said. “That will change slowly as our retention numbers grow and may bring about a shift in the actions of the student members of the community.”
In last year’s report, CCU saw a rise of sexual assault on campus. The number of reported cases only dropped by one in the 2018 report.
Alcohol and drugs violations have been the main cause of reports for over three years. In 2018, CCU had the highest amount of drug and alcohol violations referrals, with more than 1300 being reported.
Capatin Mezzapelle said that Public Safety does not like to just send students to the courts to be fined but would rather send students through the Student Conduct process, so they can learn from the experience instead of just paying a fine.
“We hope that the education will lead to better decision making among our community members and they will in turn teach the incoming students how to be better,” Mezzapelle said.
For more information on the Clery Report, visit public safety.