COLUMBUS (WCMH) – The Ohio State University released Tuesday its Annual Security and Fire Safety Reports, showing an increase in crimes reported on or near the Columbus campus for all of 2018.
According to the report, rape reports increased from 72 to 93. Instances of fondling increased from 30 to 48. Neither of these statistics takes into account accusations made against former physician Richard Strauss.
University officials cite increased education on reporting these types of crimes as a reason for the increased numbers.
According to Ohio State’s 2017 Campus Climate survey, the latest data available, 77 percent of students were somewhat or very knowledgeable about where to make a report of sexual assault or sexual misconduct at Ohio State in 2017, compared to 48 percent in 2015.
Additionally, 70 percent of student respondents believed that it was very or extremely likely that a report of sexual assault or sexual misconduct would be taken seriously by campus officials.
Burglary reports increased from 49 to 95, with the most significant uptick taking place in academic, recreational and medical center facilities, with residence hall burglaries seeing a modest increase.
The statistics include information from Ohio State’s police division and a number of other university officials designated as Campus Security Authorities and local law enforcement agencies.
Ohio State continues to educate incoming students about safety and offer support resources.
In 2018, the university announced the creation of the Office of Institutional Equity. This centralized office is responsible for the support of students, faculty and staff, and Ohio State’s compliance with Title IX, the Americans with Disabilities Act and other federal and state laws, and university policies.
More broadly, the university advanced ongoing efforts to address sexual misconduct, including the launch in 2015 of Buckeyes ACT, a community-wide approach to combat sexual misconduct through action, counseling and support, and training.
In 2016, Ohio State implemented mandatory sexual misconduct prevention education for incoming students. The university expanded this requirement in 2018 to all students, faculty and staff.
The university’s Surviving an Active Aggressor video is required viewing on the new student orientation checklist.
Ohio State also launched a ridesharing service prior to the 2019 autumn semester called Lyft Ride Smart at Ohio State. The program offers students discounted rides, on or near campus, between the hours of 9 p.m. and 3 a.m.
Additional safety resources and information are available through the university’s Department of Public Safety and Office of Student Life.