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Report: Campus crime data confusing

Sept. 4, 2012 at 4:48 PM

BALTIMORE, Sept. 4 (UPI) -- An examination of reporting on campus crime by universities finds data likely to be of little use to students and parents, The Baltimore Sun says.

The schools also do not have to report crime that occurred off campus in the immediate area.

The Clery Act, named after Jeanne Clery, a student at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania who was raped and killed, was signed by President George H.W. Bush in 1990. Colleges and universities must issue annual reports with three years' worth of statistics on violent and sex crimes, and liquor and drug violations. Colleges must also issue "imminent threat" warnings when appropriate.

The Sun said it found many discrepancies in crime reporting.

One example at Morgan State University was that twice as many burglaries were reported to campus police in one period as the university reported to the federal government. Officials say the federal guidelines classify thefts as burglaries only when there is proof the thief entered without authorization.

Johns Hopkins reports many more alcohol violations than Morgan State. Loyola reports almost three times as many as Hopkins.

Jarrett Carter, a Morgan State spokesman, said the university, like other historically black institutions in Maryland, has had a long history of cracking down on drinking.

"You don't find students at historically black colleges having keg parties," Carter said. "It would take a lot to get beer or liquor in your room. It's not worth the trouble."

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