The Rowan University Annual Security and Fire Safety Report for 2023 was issued on Oct. 1.
The data in the report is given to the Department of Education in compliance with the Clery Act and the Violence Against Women Act, an amendment to the original Clery Act. The act mandates that universities make crime data publically accessible to students annually, to allow students, their families, and staff to make decisions based on safety and take preventative measures when necessary.
The information included within the report includes the main Glassboro campus, the West Campus South Jersey Technology Park, Cooper Medical School Rowan University, Camden Academic Building, Rowan- Virtua School of Osteopathic Medicine in Stratford and Sewell.
Rowan College of South Jersey- Gloucester and Rowan College of Burlington County are included under the “Separate Campuses” designation. The geography of the report also covers some public properties like sidewalks and streets that border student residence halls or are frequented by students. The report covered statistics on fire and crime from calendar years 2020, 2021, and 2022.
The campus saw five fires in 2022. These fires were mostly accidental electrical fires caused by three ovens and one phone charger. The fifth fire was intentionally set when papers on a bulletin board were set on fire in Chestnut Hall. None of these fires resulted in any deaths. Though the exact amount of money in property damage caused by these fires was not specified in the report, the report does note that one of the fires caused $455 in damage and three of the others caused anywhere from $0 to $99 in damage, meaning fire-related property damage costs were anywhere between $455 and $752.
Steven Rolando is the associate director of the Office of Emergency Management.
“Preparation is the key specifically to emergency management,” said Rolando. “The more people that we can actually get to actually pick up something that reminds them of what to do in the case of an incident. So that’s why, you know, across the board, we try to actually preach and we want people to actually pick up documents relating to their safety so that we can practice.”
No murders or cases of manslaughter were recorded for any of the campuses the report covers for any of the three years listed.
A major concern for many students on any college campus is the issue of sexual assault, which Rowan categorizes as sexual offenses, splitting the date between rape and fondling. On the main campus, there were four reported cases of rape in 2020, 11 in 2021 and 18 in 2022. Cases of fondling rose from four in 2020 to seven in 2021 and 10 in 2022. The majority of these cases happened in on-campus student housing all three years.
Joseph Mulligan is the associate director for Clery Compliance and the interim Title IX coordinator.
“Sexual assaults have increased. I’ve always believed that that’s not a function of the actual assaults occurring more,” said Mulligan. “I think it’s more of a function of, you know when you better support and have programs and you know, survivors feel more comfortable reporting, I think they report more frequently.”
Domestic violence cases went up from 49 cases in the past two years to 64 cases in 2022. Mulligan said this is because New Jersey law does not just classify domestic violence as something done in familial situations or romantic partnerships, as violence, threats, and personal property damage between roommates are categorized the same way. Sixty-two cases of stalking were also reported, compared to 2021’s 40 cases.
Robbery cases went down from five in 2020 to two in 2021 and just one case in 2022. There were 18 cases of burglary last year, compared to five in the previous year. Seven of these 18 cases of reported burglary occurred in on-campus housing.
Liquor referrals dropped from 328 in 2020 to 40 in 2021 and 12 in 2022 and drug referrals dropped from 82 in 2020 to 21 in 2021 and zero last year. Liquor law arrests rose between 2021 and 2022, going from six to eight, and drug arrests rose from 10 to 14 between the two years. This is still an overall decrease from 2020, which recorded 60 drug law arrests and 18 liquor law arrests.
“That also is a function of the laws in the state of New Jersey changing… five years ago, underage students who were underage in possession of alcohol that… those would have been counted as disciplinary referrals for violation of the law,” said Mulligan. “But now, only those in that circumstance, only those that would be considered providing alcohol would be counted as a violation of [the] law because providing alcohol was not decriminalized but underage possession of alcohol was.”
No crimes were reported on campus for the West Campus, though there were eight drug arrests made on public property. The Stratford SOM campus reported one case of stalking and one case of domestic violence on campus, as well as two drug arrests on public property. No crimes were reported for 2022 at either Rowan College, the Camden Academic Building, or the Cooper Medical School.
The main campus saw no recorded hate crimes in 2022. The campus also saw no unfounded crimes, meaning crimes that had law enforcement personnel make a formal finding that the report was false or had no basis.