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Ohio Public Universities Have Lowest Confidence in Crime Prevention, According to a Survey

Blue emergency lights on campus

Emergency Lights | Photo by Christian Peters | The Wright State Guardian


Wright State University (WSU) recently partook in a statewide gender-based violence survey to undergo program evaluation for crime prevention.  

Gender-based violence survey 

WSU participates in the Ohio Department of Higher Education’s (ODHE) ‘Changing Campus Culture Initiative’ (CCCI). This program collects data on power-based violence and sex crimes as well as provides prevention guidance.  

According to Kerry Soller, Campus Safety and Sexual Violence Prevention Project Manager, participation in this program is not required for universities but is encouraged. 

A key part of the initiative is the CCCI survey, conducted Aug. 1, 2020 until May 30, 2021, collecting data on topics including reported sex-related crimes on campus, Title IX training and likely occurrence on campuses. 

Data collected for 2021, comparing responses from public, community and private university employees, show public institutions employees have the lowest confidence that campus officials would take action to prevent or provide support after a Title IX crime has occurred. 

2.61% of public university employees who partook in the survey reported that sexual misconduct is a problem on their campuses, higher than community college employees, 2%, and private institution employees, 2.27%. 

In addition to the annual survey, the ODHE evaluates universities on their prevention, training and response to power-based violence among other crimes. 

According to Destinee Biesemeyer, Associate Director of Student Advocacy and Wellness, WSU received a perfect score on its CCC annual report for the 2020-2021 academic year. 

Hate crimes at WSU 

Required under Title IX and Jane Clery Act statutes, college and university campuses are required to report hate crimes 

Defined under the Clery Act, hate crimes are any criminal offenses where the victim was intentionally selected because of the perpetrator’s bias against the victim. Bias can include discrimination based on disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, national origin or religion. 

In addition to Title IX and the Clery Act, WSU also has its own anti-discrimination policy. WSU police report hate crimes in the annual fire and security report. According to the report, there were no specific hate crimes reported between the years 2018 and 2020. 

Some, like Biesemeyer, disagree and explain that hate crimes are often categorized as other crimes like assault.

“Based on what I would perceive to be a hate crime, I wouldn’t say that there were zero,” Biesemeyer said.

Resources 

Survivors of power-based violence, sex crimes, or hate crimes may utilize Wright State Police, Student Advocacy and Wellness, the Title IX office, the Office of Student Conduct, or the anonymous EthicsPoint program for support.

All resources can be found on the university’s Title IX webpage.


Jamie Naylor

News Reporter