GU Report Shows Hate Crime Rise
Report shows 333 percent increase in stalking

Hate crimes against racial, religious and sexual orientation minority groups increased by 300 percent from one in 2014 to four in 2015, according to the Georgetown University Police Department’s 2016 Annual Security Report.

Alleged instances of rape in non-residential areas decreased 50 percent from four in 2014 to two in 2015. While these cases decreased in residential areas as well, the drop was less pronounced — 12.5 percent from eight to seven in the same time span.

Hate crimes have increased from one in 2014 to four in 2015 and have targeted minority groups on the grounds of race, sexual orientation, religious affiliation and gender identity.

Reports of stalking increased by 333 percent from three in 2014 to 13 in 2015, while reports of dating violence increased by 80 percent from five in 2014 to nine in 2015.

Reports of fondling increased from zero to two in nonresidential areas and remained constant at two in residential areas.

The report, released every year by Oct. 1 and accessible from the Georgetown University website, aggregates all criminal activity reported on facilities owned by Georgetown University — including those overseas — in the previous academic school year and provides statistics comparing results to the three previous calendar years.

GUPD Chief Jay Gruber said multiple departments, including the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Affirmative Action and the Center for Multicultural Equity and Access, have worked together to address hate crimes on campus.

“The university takes a collaborative approach to dealing with these crimes,” Gruber said.

More institutional support for minority groups is required to minimize the rate of hate crimes, according to GUPride Co-President Grace Smith (COL ’18).

“Many queer students have had unfortunate or even harmful encounters with other members of the community as well as GUPD and administrative forces meant to prevent these events from occurring,” Smith wrote in an email to The Hoya. “On a personal level, I believe that GUPD should make a more active effort to reach out to GUPride and remind them of their solidarity.”

Smith said the report’s statistics may not be accurate because of potential reporters’ lack of faith in GUPD and the university.

“GUPride would appreciate and be receptive to more engagement with GUPD with the intent to build a bridge of solidarity and trust between the communities,” Smith wrote. “GUPride fights hate with love, fear with acceptance, and violence with care. The organization takes what measures it can to provide safe and brave spaces for its students and community members at its events, but we have not worked with GUPD directly.”

Representatives from the Black Student Alliance and Casa Latina declined to comment pending further review of the report.

For a second straight year, GUPD also attached an appendix devoted to describing procedures used to address sexual misconduct and sexual assault.

Gruber said the number of documented cases might not reflect the actual number of sexual crimes committed on campus.

“Many studies and climate surveys show that sexual assaults on campus are significantly under-reported,” Gruber said. “There is hesitation on the part of the survivor to report the crimes for various reasons.”

Georgetown University Student Association Security and Sexual Assault Policy Team Chair Maddy Moore (SFS ’17) said the statistics included in the report are not an accurate representation of the prevalence of sexual assault on campus.

“The numbers are helpful in raising awareness that sexual violence is happening at Georgetown, but it is important to note that they do not necessarily correlate with the number of assaults,” Moore wrote. “Many survivors — for various reasons — do not disclose their assault to anyone or only share with confidential campus resources.”

Bystander education programs, the hiring of a full-time Title IX coordinator, the Campus Climate Survey and the new Sexual Assault Response Team have contributed to increased resources for survivors of sexual assault, according to Moore.

Moore said GUSA will continue to use the Sexual Misconduct Task Force — a group of students, administrators, faculty and staff assembled following the release of the results of the Sexual Assault and Misconduct Climate Survey in June — to recommend policy on bystander programs, alcohol, drugs and grievance procedures to University President John J. DeGioia.

Associate Vice President for Strategic Communications Stacy Kerr did not respond to a request for comment as of 2:30 a.m. Friday.

Referrals for illegal consumption of alcohol dropped from 250 in 2014 to 226 in 2015 for on-campus reports, a 9.6 percent decrease.

The report also addresses crime prevention measures, crime reporting policies and disciplinary procedures as well as new GUPD resources and programs such as the new closed-circuit television camera surveillance system, the LiveSafe mobile app and self-defense courses open to all students.

Gruber said GUPD will work to continue to build trust with community groups.

“In my opinion, the relationship between GUPD and the university community has never been better,” Gruber said. “We all have a mutually inclusive goal of maintaining a safe and secure living and learning environment.”

Correction: This article previously stated there was a 75 percent increase in hate crimes; there was a 300 percent increase. This article also previously stated that there was a 9.6 percent increase in illegal consumption of alcohol; there was a 9.6 percent decrease. 

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One Comment

  1. Georgetown Student says:

    A note to whoever did the calculations for this article – a few have been caught, but they should all be checked. 5 to 9 isn’t an 80% increase, etc. If you’re going to cite statistics (and turn them into percentages), make sure to do so correctly. :)

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