Troubling findings on sexual assault

first_imgIn tandem with the release of findings from a new national survey of college and university students about sexual assault, the University’s Task Force on the Prevention of Sexual Assault made Harvard’s data public Monday, including results that paint a disturbing picture of sexual misconduct here on campus.In a 13-page letter to President Drew Faust, Task Force Chairman Steven E. Hyman said that the survey, which was administered to nearly 20,000 degree-seeking students enrolled at Harvard College, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS), and the 10 professional Schools last spring, makes clear that sexual assault is “a serious and widespread problem that profoundly violates the values and undermines the educational goals of this University.”Women at Harvard College appear especially vulnerable to sexual assault, the survey said. More than 60 percent of women in the College’s Class of ’15 responded to the survey. Of those, 31 percent said they had experienced some sort of unwanted sexual contact at Harvard. Ninety women characterized that contact as what the survey termed “nonconsensual completed or attempted penetration involving physical force, incapacitation or both,” the most serious category of misconduct. This group comprises 16 percent of female College seniors.A total of 17.9 percent of undergraduate women who identified as Lesbian or Gay, Bisexual, Asexual, Questioning and Not Listed (LGBAQN) at Harvard reported experiencing some form of nonconsensual sexual contact by force or incapacitation during the 2014-2015 academic year, the highest rate of all Harvard student cohorts. This contact ranged from completed or attempted penetration to sexual touching. Undergraduate heterosexual women were the next-highest group with 12 percent reporting such contact, and LGBAQN undergraduate men reported 10.9 percent.The students least likely to experience unwanted sexual contact were heterosexual men at GSAS and the professional Schools, at 0.8 percent. Just 2.7 percent of undergraduate heterosexual men and 2.9 percent of LGBAQN men at GSAS or at the professional Schools said they had any nonconsensual contact.Faust finds results “deeply disturbing”In an email to students, faculty, and staff, Faust called the survey results “deeply disturbing” and said the findings reinforce the “alarming frequency” with which Harvard students experience sexual assault, and she called for a Monday evening meeting to discuss the results with them.“All of us share the obligation to create and sustain a community of which we can all be proud, a community whose bedrock is mutual respect and concern for one another. Sexual assault is intolerable, and we owe it to one another to confront it openly, purposefully and effectively,” Faust wrote.The survey was part of an effort led by the Association of American Universities (AAU), a consortium of 62 research universities, to better understand the nature and pervasiveness of sexual assault, harassment, and other misconduct on college campuses. More than 150,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students at 27 private and public research universities across the country took part, making it one of the largest surveys of its kind.Overall, 19.3 percent of eligible students responded to the AAU survey, though rates at each institution varied depending on the type of school and size. At Harvard, 53 percent of the eligible students participated, the highest rate among the universities surveyed. Faust said she took that as a “positive sign” that students recognize sexual assault as a serious issue.Harvard fared slightly better than the averages reported by students in the national survey aggregate. Four percent of Harvard students surveyed said they had at least one incident of nonconsensual sexual contact last year. Additionally, 1.4 percent said the contact was completed, or involved attempted penetration by use of force, incapacitation, or both. Nationally, 6.5 percent of students reported some form of unwanted of sexual contact, while 2.4 percent reported penetration or attempted penetration by force or incapacitation.Last April, the Harvard task force asked students to complete an online survey about sexual assault. Students were asked a series of questions about various kinds of sexual misconduct that they may have encountered while they were enrolled at the University, regardless of where or when the incident took place, or whether the perpetrator was part of the Harvard community. The survey focused on nonconsensual sexual activity conducted through the use of physical force, incapacitation, or both.The survey found that sexual harassment is a problem for women students all across the University, with 72.7 percent of undergraduate women reporting an incident of harassment during their time at Harvard, while fewer than 62 percent of undergraduate women in the broader 27-school survey reported such incidents.Almost half of Harvard’s female graduate and professional School students reported being harassed, and 21.8 percent of these women said a faculty member had sexually harassed them.“We must commit ourselves to being a better community than the one the survey portrays,” Faust wrote in her email. “It is up to all of us to ensure that Harvard is a realization of our ideals, not our fears.”Also in response, Rakesh Khurana, Danoff Dean of Harvard College, announced that the College would host three town-hall style discussions with staff from the Office of Sexual Assault and Prevention this week.“We have it in our power to make Harvard better,” he said in a message to students. “This is a moment for all of us to take stock of what we stand for as a community” and to make the necessary changes to better Harvard and the world.At a 90-minute meeting Monday evening before an overflow crowd at the Science Center, Faust and Khurana answered questions from students following a presentation of the survey results by David Laibson ’88, the Robert I. Goldman Professor of Economics. Laibson, who serves on the task force and chairs the Economics Department, was closely involved in the survey’s design and analysis.As an institution of higher education, learning from these survey results “is something we are especially equipped to do,” Faust said.“We want to use those skills to figure out how can we combat this, how can we make it stop, and how can we help the individuals who are trapped in these terrible, terrible circumstances from ever having to have those kinds of things happen to them again. How can we help future students not have to confront the same realities?” she said. “Let’s use every tool that we have to make this a better place.”Students attending the community meeting asked that the University offer more opportunities to gather in both large and smaller groups not just to discuss their views about sexual assault policy initiatives and programs, but also to comfortably share their experiences in the hopes of learning more about the underlying issues that contribute to such traumatic incidents. Many expressed support for better and faster access to mental health services and the creation of “safe spaces” so that final clubs events were not a focus of undergraduate social life.Noting the essential value that students derive by socializing and learning from Harvard’s diverse student population, Khurana appeared to signal that single-sex entities like final clubs may face greater scrutiny in the near future.“Any organization that attaches itself, recognized or unrecognized, to Harvard, recruits from Harvard students and enjoys any sort of status by being affiliated with the College has to be in synchronization with the mission of the College,” he said.Alcohol use a major risk factorUnsurprisingly, the use of drugs and alcohol as a “tactic” or precursor to sexual assault on college campuses accounts for a “significant” percentage of reported incidents, the AAU survey found.At Harvard, when students were asked if anyone had been consuming alcohol before an incident of completed or attempted penetration when incapacitation was a factor, 89 percent of respondents said they had been drinking, while 79 percent said the perpetrator had been drinking.“The percent of alcohol is so high that prevention efforts are not likely to succeed if we do not, as part of our final report, suggest approaches to decreasing the harm associated with student drinking,” Hyman wrote in his letter to Faust.More than 75 percent of Harvard College women reported the assaults took place in student Houses, while at least 15 percent said they occurred at what the survey categorized as “single-sex organizations that were not fraternities or sororities,” a category that most closely aligns at Harvard with the non-affiliated final clubs.Not serious enough to report?One reason why reliable information about the pervasiveness of sexual assault on college campuses is so hard to come by, analysts say, is that, historically, few students choose to report such incidents to someone in law enforcement, at a university, or at another organization. The AAU survey bears out this unsettling truth. Just 5 to 28 percent of students nationally said they had reported an incident, depending on the type of misconduct. Among those who said they did not report an incident, the most common reason given was a belief that it was not serious enough to warrant action. Other explanations included that the student felt “too embarrassed, ashamed, or that it would be too emotionally difficult” to report the incident, or that she or he “did not think anything would be done about it.”On that score, Harvard appears no different. Here, 80 percent of female undergraduates who said they had been penetrated as a result of incapacitation did not formally report the assault, while 69 percent who said they were penetrated by the use of physical force did not report the instances.Fifty-four percent of Harvard student respondents who said they “had seen or heard someone acting in a sexually violent or harassing way” did nothing to intervene. A full 80 percent who said they had seen a “drunk person heading for a sexual encounter” indicated that they did not take any action.Hyman said the survey results are “entirely congruent” with testimony that the task force has heard since its formation. “The fact that Harvard data is quite similar to that of other private universities within the AAU gives little comfort,” he wrote to Faust. Noting the “deeply ingrained” nature of sexual assault, Hyman wrote, “It reminds us that we cannot simply make and implement a series of recommendations and consider that we have done our work.”Messages on assault not being receivedDespite initiating several efforts in the last two years to better confront sexual assault on campus, such as the adoption of the University-wide Title IX policy, the establishment of the Office for Dispute Resolution to investigate misconduct, and the addition of 50 Title IX coordinators to work across Harvard on such issues, many students said they are not well-informed about where to get support, how to report sexual assault or misconduct, how the University defines sexual assault and misconduct, or what happens after a report is made.Just 24 percent of Harvard students said they were very or extremely knowledgeable about where to go for help, and only 20 percent said they were very or extremely knowledgeable about where to report an incident. When asked what happens after a report is filed, 82 percent said the process wasn’t entirely clear to them, and only 15 percent said they fully understood what constitutes sexual assault or misconduct at Harvard. In all four areas, the percentage of Harvard students who said they were very or extremely knowledgeable was consistently smaller than the national survey average.“Clearly, we must do more,” Faust wrote. “University leaders — starting with the president, the provost, and the deans — bear a critical part of the responsibility for shaping the climate and offering resources to prevent sexual assault and [to] respond when it does occur.”To that end, Faust has asked the deans from each School to prepare “school-specific plans” that begin to facilitate community discussion, engagement, and action surrounding the survey findings.The task force and the University’s Institutional Research Office will further analyze the survey data to better understand the full results. In January, the task force will submit a report and make recommendations to Faust.Among the areas identified as meriting further scrutiny: the higher rate of sexual assaults reported by LGBAQN-identifying students; the alarming frequency of alcohol as a factor in such assaults; the specific campus locations where incidents most often take place; and the low percentage of students, particularly undergraduates, who say they know where to get help or feel confident that the University will respond to their needs.Confidence in the University’s ability to handle sexual assault cases vigorously and appropriately varies widely.Although 61 percent of all Harvard students think the University is “very or extremely likely” to take a report of sexual assault seriously, only 43 percent of female undergraduates at the College and at the Division of Continuing Education said they feel that way.Asked if they thought the University would conduct a fair investigation of any reported assault claim, 41 percent of Harvard students said they were only “somewhat” certain officials would do the job properly, while 29 percent said the process was “very” likely to be fair. Female undergraduates were a bit more skeptical, with 45 percent saying a fair investigation was “somewhat” likely.But when asked how likely University officials were to take action against an offender, 46 percent of female undergraduates said they had little or no confidence that they would. In addition, 84 percent expressed some doubt any action would be taken. Overall, 68 percent of Harvard students surveyed were dubious of follow-through against offenders.The national survey was designed to provide university communities, federal policymakers, and educational researchers with greater insight into the scope, frequency, and nature of sexual assault and misconduct on American college campuses, the AAU said in a press statement issued Monday.The survey results come amid growing pressure on colleges and universities from the Obama administration, Congress, the Department of Education, and activists to codify and make transparent their procedures for investigating, disciplining, and reporting sexual assault cases, as well as the case outcomes.Other participating Ivy League schools included Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, the University of Pennsylvania and Yale University. Public universities involved included the University of Virginia, the University of Michigan, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the University of Texas at Austin, among others.last_img read more

Advertising panel offers alterations

first_img October 1, 2004 Gary Blankenship Senior Editor Regular News Advertising panel offers alterations Advertising panel offers alterations Senior Editor A tentative and preliminary report suggesting changes to Bar advertising rules has been approved by the Advertising Task Force 2004 and, as this News reaches Bar members, should be posted on the Bar’s Web site for comments.The task force has rejected for now a proposal to require that all nonexempt ads be reviewed by the Bar before publication or broadcast, but instead offered an incentive program to encourage lawyers to have their ads prescreened.The panel also could not reach agreement on whether the 30-day prohibition on direct mail advertisements in personal injury cases should be extended to criminal cases. The task force is offering three options on that.Task force Chair Manny Morales told the group, which met by conference call September 9 following the cancelation of the General Meeting because of Hurricane Frances, that the plan is to get lots of input before meeting again at the Midyear Meeting in January.“I’d really like to get to the point that here is what we’ve come up with for a draft for the rules and get comments,” Morales said. “By the time we have our meeting in January and have heard in writing, in e-mail, and testimony at the January meeting, we’ll be close to a final report after that.”That report will go to the Bar Board of Governors, which will send any final suggested rule amendments to the Supreme Court. The task force planned to write up the actions at its September 9 meeting, circulate them to all its members (several missed the teleconference), make any final adjustments, and then have the preliminary report posted on the Web site (www.flabar.org) by October 1. Comments on that draft can be sent to Bar Ethics Counsel Elizabeth Tarbert at The Florida Bar, 651 E. Jefferson St., Tallahassee 32399-2300, or at [email protected](Note: Because task force members were still reviewing a draft as this News went to press, some details in the preliminary report may have been changed since the September 9 meeting.)At its earlier two meetings, the task force had been unable to reach an agreement on perhaps its two most high profile issues: whether to expand the 30-day bar on direct mail solicitations to criminal cases and whether to require prescreening of nonexempt ads. Direct Mailing The group was still unable to reach a consensus on the direct mailing issue, although several members said they have concerns about direct mailings to criminal defendants.Morales, Tarbert, and other task force members said they had received many comments from criminal defense lawyers opposing limitations on their direct mailings. Tarbert reported that the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is waiting for the task force’s final recommendation before weighing in. Despite the comments, some task force members said they remained unconvinced and wanted to hear from a broader membership spectrum.“The one thing that makes a criminal case different from a civil case is within 24 hours you’re brought before a judge and the judge tells you you should have a lawyer,” said Board of Governors and task force member Robert Rush, adding that defendants also get Miranda warnings. “We’re bombarding people who are in a very vulnerable position and I think they are as vulnerable as personal injury people.. . . There isn’t anything bad that can happen to you in a criminal case that can’t be undone by a competent attorney. There are so many opportunities where you are told to get a lawyer in a criminal case.”But task force member John Bales disagreed, and said the mailings could be helpful.“That’s like telling me when my toilet overflows I need a plumber. If it weren’t for the Yellow Pages, I wouldn’t know who to call,” he said. “These people, they know they need a lawyer; they’re told they need a lawyer, and they have no idea who to call.”The task force agreed to seek comments on three alternatives in the preliminary report:• Keep the present system where only direct mail letters in personal injury cases are subject to the 30-day waiting period.• Extend the waiting period to cover direct mail solicitations in criminal cases.• Extend the waiting period to both criminal cases and civil traffic solicitations. Some task force members noted that criminal DUI charges are frequently accompanied by civil traffic charges which could create a loophole if the waiting period is imposed on criminal cases. Ad Review On the screening of ads, the task force is recommending a voluntary system that encourages lawyers to submit an ad to the Bar for review before it is published or broadcast.The task force rejected options that included not reviewing ads at all (members could still be disciplined for rule violations), requiring prescreening of TV and radio ads only, and requiring prescreening of all ads that are not exempt from the filing requirements. (Under Rule 4-7.8, ads that contain only certain, basic information do not have to be filed for review.) Task force members questioned whether the last two options would pass constitutional muster on free speech grounds.The proposed amendment is a modification of current rules, that provide the Bar will respond within 15 days after an ad is filed. The current rule says only that if a grievance is filed, the Bar’s approval of the ad can be considered. Under the proposed rule, a lawyer would be immune from being disciplined if the Bar had approved the ad, even in error.“It’s giving you the option of ‘I’m going to voluntarily submit my ad to the Bar and they can tell me in 15 days if it’s okay,’” Morales said. “It’s giving him or her a process that no matter what happens, he or she is not going to be subjected to a grievance, but at the same time it does not require every single ad to be filed [and approved prior to publication or broadcast].. . . “If I’m going to put an ad out and I’ve got an alternative where the Bar is going to tell me it’s okay and I’m not subject to a grievance, who is not going to want to do that?”The proposed rule also provides that if the Bar fails to respond within 15 days, the ad is assumed approved and the lawyer can run it without fear of a grievance.While task force members readily agreed on that option, they wrangled over details. Morales first advocated a hard deadline of 15 days for review, with no exceptions. But Tarbert said while most ads could be done in that time frame, there would be difficulties. The most common problems, she said, are that lawyers have to be contacted to get more information and on close calls Bar staff frequently takes the ad to the Standing Committee on Advertising for guidance. Both of those typically take more than 15 days.If staff had to meet the 15-day deadline without exception, reviewers would err on the side of caution and reject those ads, she said.The task force agreed to keep the rule that the Bar must make a response within 15 days, but not necessarily a final decision.Tarbert also asked for a rule that would spare a lawyer from discipline for running an ad that violated the rules but which was accidentally approved by Bar staff, as long as the ad was corrected after the Bar notified the lawyer. The task force rejected that. Morales said if the Bar wants lawyers to use the system, then its word must be final. The task force, though, agreed the approval would not be binding if the member provided false information in the proposed ad that wasn’t discovered until after the Bar gave its okay. Other Recommendations On other matters, the task force:• Reviewed several options but decided, for the moment, not to add a definition of advertising to the rules. Members said while it might help provide some clarity, it could also create more problems that it would solve and that the definition is set by case law and court rulings.• Added language that out-of-state lawyers who advertise in Florida must follow the advertising rules. Tarbert noted that is consistent with proposed multijurisdictional practice rules pending at the Supreme Court.• Ratified that communications between lawyers, with family members, with current and former clients, and at the request of a prospective client are not covered by the advertising rules, but are subject to the general misconduct rule involving dishonesty, deceit, or misrepresentation.• Refined and expanded slightly what can be included in an ad and still be exempt from being filed and reviewed by the Bar. New exempt information includes military service information, and illustrations of the state or American flag, the American eagle, unadorned law books, diplomas, and inside or outside depictions of a courthouse.• Decided to tighten up the definition of “continuing professional relationship” as it applies to whom an attorney can solicit. Members said they don’t want attorneys approaching accident victims in a hospital merely because the attorney had served on a charitable or civic board with the victim or the victim had attended a seminar held by the lawyer. At the same time, task force members said they did not want to discourage attorneys from inviting people to their seminars or similar function. They rejected an alternative rule that would define professional relationship as a strictly current or past attorney-client relationship.• Decided to recommend a change that a spokesperson on a radio or TV ad who is obviously not an attorney would not have to be identified as a nonlawyer. Task force members said such identification could take up an inordinate amount of time on a 10-, 20- or 30-second spot and with some ads, such as on National Public Radio, it is plain that the ad reader is a station employee and not an attorney.• Recommended that lawyers’ Web pages no longer be required to state all jurisdictions where members of the firm are licensed to practice, or list the bona fide offices of the firm. But task force members said e-mail communications should be subject to all the restrictions of direct mail solicitations and that “pop-up” and “banner” Internet ads should be regulated as other ads.• Recommended eliminating most of Rule 4-7.9 which applies to information provided by an attorney or law firm upon request of a prospective client. Task force members favored little regulation of such communications, beyond that they must be truthful and not misleading, and noted most of the provisions of that rule were covered in other sections of advertising regulations.• Agreed to an amendment to the rule on lawyer referral services that requires all such services to affirmatively state in their ads that they are referral services. That change was recommended by the Bar’s Standing Committee on the Unlicensed Practice of Law. Noncomplying ads Throughout the debates on the rules, task force members reiterated their desire to simplify the rules and make them as easy as possible for Bar members to follow.Tarbert presented some Bar statistics that supported that goal. According to Bar records, in 1991-92, the first year the Bar required that ads be reviewed, 3,937 ads were filed and 87 percent of them did not comply with the rules on their initial submission. In 1994-95, it was 93 percent, and in 1997-98, it was 91 percent.For the most recent year, 2003-04, 82 percent of the 2,705 ads submitted did not comply. So far for the 2004-05 fiscal year, that number has dropped to 63 percent.last_img read more

Dornsifes inspired by Nikias’ inauguration speech

first_imgWhen Dana and David Dornsife returned to their hotel room after President C. L. Max Nikias’ inaugural speech in October, they both had one thing on their mind: naming the College of Letters, Arts & Sciences.Benefactors · David Dornsife graduated from USC in 1965. He and his wife, Dana Dornsife, both sit on the board of the USC Brain and Creativity Institute. They donated $200 million in unrestricted funds to the College of Letters, Arts & Sciences. – Courtesy of Philip Channing “We were staying at the Radisson across the street, and we both kind of simultaneously brought out, ‘Wouldn’t that be exciting if they announced in the future ‘the College of Letters, Arts & Sciences,’ but instead they said ‘the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts & Sciences?’” David Dornsife said. “That was the first time we saw each other [that day] and we both had the same idea.”Further talks with Howard Gillman, dean of the College of Letters, Arts, & Sciences, as well as meetings with Nikias led to the Dornsife’s $200 million unrestricted donation to the College of Letters, Arts & Sciences, which will officially be renamed the USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts & Sciences on March 23.“We’re thrilled to be able to do it,” Dana Dornsife said. “And we feel very blessed and fortunate to have the financial resources that allow us to do things like this to help make the world a better place.”The Dornsifes’ pledge is the largest single donation in USC’s history. They credit Nikias with motivating them to give during his inauguration speech.“He put a challenge out to the audience to have the courage to explore boldly and he really put forward a very aggressive agenda on the things that he wanted to do to improve the quality of the education at USC and to attract highly sought after professors,” Dana Dornsife said. “Dave and I really took that to heart.”The donation will also create a Dornsife Scholars Program, given to graduating seniors in the College who plan to continue with the research they began at USC on a national or global scale.“The idea of the Dornsife scholars is to take top performers and incentivize them to go on further, and in particular, look at those that feel that they can change the world as a result of the scholarly work that they could continue to do at USC,” David Dornsife said.At a Visions & Voices event about two years ago, the Dornsifes were invited to talk about water-well drilling in Africa and their involvement there. They left impressed by the students’ reaction, which gave them faith in the students to make a difference in the world.“We were overwhelmed with the students who were very eager to do what they could do to change the world and were asking us if we had any ideas for them,” Dana Dornsife said. “That mindset, coming from the heart, and being passionate about helping their fellow man, David and I are very impressed with them.”Because the $200 million is an unrestricted endowment, the College can use the money in any way it sees fit.The Dornsifes are not worried about the different ways the money will be used.“We have a lot of faith in the individuals running the College,” David Dornsife said. “We’re not concerned about mistakes being made because they’re good people and they know a lot about education.”David Dornsife graduated from USC’s business school in 1965 and is currently a USC trustee and chairman of the USC Brain and Creativity Institute in the neurosciences. His parents were also USC alumni. Dana Dornsife also sits on the board of the Brain and Creativity Institute.Their involvement in the neuroscience program provided opportunities for the Dornsifes to meet faculty in the College, as well as the dean.“We think the fact that the neuroscience program is funded and working is an example of what could be done when you really focus on an area,” David Dornsife said. “All that exposure with the neurosciences started getting us interested in broadening out to the rest of the members of the college, so that was the catalyst that got us a chance to be involved intimately with other disciplines.”Dana Dornsife said they are proud of the interdisciplinary studies taking place at USC, and donated specifically to the College because they feel it has more interdisciplinary opportunities for students.The Dornsifes plan to continue their support of both neuroscience and the College through meetings with Gillman and continuing their positions in the Brain and Creativity Institute.“We think this is the right time to be supportive of the school,” David Dornsife said. “We think they’re doing a great job and we hope this helps lift them to a higher level.”last_img read more

DPS deputy chief addresses annual report

first_imgThe Annual Security and Fire Safety report, which was released by the Department of Public Safety last Wednesday, illustrates a continuous decrease in crime in the USC community according to Deputy Chief David Carlisle.Reports of auto theft dropped from 21 in 2013 to six in 2014, and reports of robbery decreased from 17 to 11. Both of these crimes have been steadily decreasing since 2012. However, reports of burglary increased from 28 to 31 in the last year and aggravated assault increased from eight to 10. Carlisle noted that when reports of crimes are relatively low, increases and decreases can be coincidental and difficult to prevent.Another decrease occurred in Violence Against Women Act crimes. These crimes are defined by a 1994 federal law and include domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking. The University created new policies to address these crimes in 2013 and saw a decrease from 26 to 17 reports in the last year.“The University has implemented policies to make sexual assault reporting easier for students; therefore, DPS anticipated an increase in the number of reports,” Carlisle said. “However, the opposite was true. We hope that increased awareness and prevention have led to the decrease.”A significant spike occurred on the Health Sciences campus, where motor vehicle theft rose from two reports in 2013 to 13 reports in 2014. Carlisle attributed this to the expansion of the campus, which has caused an increase in parking premiums. This typically causes students and faculty to park on side streets, which are not as closely monitored as the parking structures. DPS is currently building a new parking structure that will provide more secure parking spots.Despite the spike, Carlisle reports that the number of auto thefts on the Health Sciences Campus are still remarkably lower than the average number in surrounding neighborhoods. To keep those numbers low, he is coordinating with LAPD to increase security presence in the areas where theft most often occurred. This effort is just part of the overall coordinating effort between DPS and the LAPD, who feel that the USC campus is continuing to lead the nation in safety and security measures.“We believe that the crime statistics demonstrate that USC compares very favorably in comparison to institutions of higher learning in similar urban environments,” Carlisle said. “While in reality the objective of continual declines may be unachievable, our goal is to make USC the safest urban campus in America.”The report is mandated by the Jeanne Clery Act, a 1990 federal statute aimed at providing accurate reports of on-campus safety. All colleges that receive federal funding are required to produce a security report that provides detailed analysis of certain types of crime on campus and in the surrounding area by Oct. 1 each year. The report also gives a detailed description of the University’s relationship with local police and its campus-wide procedures and policies for emergencies, discipline and security.“The Annual Security Report’s purpose is to provide current and prospective students and staff with crime statistics so that they can make informed decisions about which educational institutions to attend or as a place of employment,” Carlisle said. “We are pleased to able to report an overall decrease in reportable crime over the prior year with notable reductions in robbery, auto theft and Violence Against Women Act crimes.”last_img read more