E-mail crime alerts warn U community

Individuals traveling the campus at night should walk in groups along well-lit routes.

by Mohamad Elmasry

University police are pursuing a lead they received about two robberies that occurred outside of Territorial Hall on campus last week, Lt. Chuck Miner said.

To date, no arrests have been made, he said. Miner would not specify on what the lead was.

No one was injured in the two separate incidents involving two female victims and one man, according to a police report.

A few days after the incidents, University police sent an e-mail crime alert to University students, faculty members and staff members. The alert notified them of the incidents and described the suspects.

It advised the University community to take precautions when traveling on campus at night. People who travel the campus at night should use the University’s Security Monitor Program or walk in groups and along well-lit routes, according to the alert. 

University police send crime alerts to the University community when certain crimes are committed on or near campus, Miner said. The alerts are required as part of a U.S. Department of Education directive, he said.

The directive requires timely notification of crimes that represent threats to the campus community, said Jane Glickman, U.S. Department of Education spokeswoman.

Colleges and universities must also provide general information, including policies and statistics about campus crime and security, she said.

The directive is based on a federal law, the Jeanne Clery Act, Glickman said.

In 1986, Jeanne Clery, a 19-year-old college student, was raped and murdered in her residence hall room at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa.

Her parents were upset Lehigh University did not provide them with information about previous crimes that occurred on campus, Glickman said. Their civic action resulted in the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act of 1990. It was later renamed after Clery, Glickman said.

University students Jessica LeQuesne and Carl de la Cova said they like the alert system because it keeps students aware of what is occuring on campus.

“They’re good to let people know what’s going on,” de la Cova said.

But LeQuesne said people might perceive the campus to be less safe because the alerts increase people’s knowledge about crime on campus.