The University of Oregon Police Department responded to 2,128 reported crimes during the 2018-2019 school year, according to the UOPD clery crime log. This is a minor increase from the previous school year of 2.4 percent, but not one that UOPD considered statistically significant, according to UOPD spokesperson Kelly McIver.
“In any case, law enforcement always wants citizens to report crimes even if resolution or prosecution is unlikely (as is the case, for instance, with many thefts that have no available evidence),” McIver wrote in an email.
Most of that increase came from low-level alcohol and drug violations that get reported to UOPD but are otherwise handled by the Dean of Students office. This year, 1,356 drug and alcohol violations were reported. That’s up 10 percent from last year. The majority, 70 percent, were alcohol violations.
Students who get a violation then have to go through the conduct process laid out in the Student Conduct Code. According to the terms of that process, the university will use a “‘preponderance of the evidence’” to decide whether it’s likely the student actually committed the conduct violation or not, and if they are found responsible, they will be sanctioned.
“Typically, a student is assigned at least an educational sanction and a status sanction for any case,” wrote UO spokesperson Molly Blancett in an email.
DUII stops and arrests by UOPD dropped significantly this year. There were 27 DUII entries this school year, 18 of which ended in arrest. That’s a decrease of 56 percent in arrests since last year, and about the same in stops.
“Staffing levels on average were lower for various reasons this year, and our federal grant allotment for targeted DUII enforcement was also lower,” McIver said. He added that UOPD’s most productive officer on DUII cases switched shifts to a time when there are fewer drunk drivers on the road.
The number of sexual harassment and sexual violence crimes reported stayed approximately the same at 41 reports this year, but how they were reported changed. Last year, only eight reported were received from Title IX coordinators. This year, 28 of them were reported from Title IX, a 250 percent increase.
Title IX reporting may change next year.
McIver said the number of incidents reported to law enforecement will always differ from the number reported to Title IX, the statute prohibiting sex discrimination at universities receiving federal money, in part because Title IX handles a wider rangle of issues that aren’t considered criminal.
“Also generally, more victims report to Title IX than to law enforcement for various reasons which can be related to choices not to pursue criminal action, requests for anonymity, or desiring support and resources but not wishing to engage in an accountability process,” McIver said.
“We believe that the university’s ongoing work to raise awareness of the issue of sexual misconduct and broader equity concerns and encouraging reporting continues to lead to more people sharing their experiences and seeking assistance in a variety of ways.”
Theft is a common issue on campus and in Eugene, and this year was no different. There were 285 instances of theft reported to UOPD this year, down slightly from 306 last year. Bike-related theft accounted for a third of those crimes this year, and among those, very few arrests — only four — were made.
But arrests in theft cases overall increased 83 percent, from 12 last year to 22 this year, though many cases were still closed because there’s no suspect to arrest.
McIver said arrests made in theft cases largely come down to the circumstances of the incident but said UOPD has also been making an effort to be more visible on campus. “Proactive, high-visibility patrols around campus is a deterrent to theft,” he said.
There were 23 entries from the Portland campus, crimes ranging from graffiti to assault. But there were only two arrests; one for assault and one for possession of a controlled substance. One was a Title IX complaint, and the rest were closed because there was no suspect information.
Universities and colleges that receive any federal money must keep a daily log of crimes reported in their jurisdiction in accordance with the 1998 Jeanne Clery Act. According to the UOPD website, the UOPD posts its log online and at the UOPD station every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Editor’s Note: The school years for both 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 were defined as being from beginning of Week of Welcome to the end week 10 of spring term. Finals week of either year was not included to allow time for the Emerald to analyze the data.