Email sent to sociology class after WMU student self-reports COVID-19

Western Michigan University's campus

A majority of crime rates were at a three year low in 2020 at Western Michigan University main campus according to the Annual Security and Fire Safety Report

It is notable that students left campus in March of 2020 and the remainder of that semester’s courses were conducted virtually due to COVID-19. In Fall of 2020 students returned to campus, still a majority of courses were held virtually or hybrid. 

Reports of sexual assault in 2020 were the lowest in three years, with an overall total of seven sex offenses. In 2019, there were 25 incidents and in 2018, there were 14 incidents.

Sex offenses are defined in the report as “any sexual act directed against another person, without consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent.”

Sex offense totals include rape, fondling, incest and statutory rape. Each category of sexual assault was also at a three year low. 

In the category of rape there were three reports in 2020, 20 reports in 2019 and nine reports in 2018. In the category of fondling there were four reports in 2020, five reports in 2019 and five reports in 2018. No instances of incest or statutory rape were recorded for any of the years covered in the report. 

Other offenses with three year lows in 2020 include domestic violence, stalking and motor vehicle theft.

Seven domestic violence reports were recorded in 2020, 13 in 2019 and 12 in 2018. One instance of stalking was reported in 2020, five in 2019 and seven in 2018. Motor vehicle theft saw two instances in 2020, seven in 2019 and six in 2018. 

Aggravated assault rates also decreased from the previous year but did not reach a three year low with four instances in 2020, five in 2019 and four in 2018. 

Crime rates increased to a three year high in the categories of robbery, burglary, arson and hate crimes. 

 Robbery cases were reported twice in 2020, with one case in 2019 and one case in 2018. Burglary increased to 17 incidents in 2020, with 15 in 2019 and 6 in 2018. 

Arson rates more than doubled from the previous year, with seven incidents in 2020, three in 2019 and two in 2018.  

One reported hate crime was seen in 2020, with no preceding incidents in 2019 or 2018.

The security report also includes fire statistics for the three year period. 

2020 saw a three year high for residence hall fires, with eight instances recorded. Six fires were reported in 2019 and four in 2018 for student residences. No injuries or deaths were associated with any fires in the past three years. 

Normally, every residence hall conducts two fire drills each year, one each semester. This is true in 2018 and 2019. However in 2020 Spindler, Valley 1 and Valley 2 were the only dorms to conduct the standard two drills. Only one drill was conducted in 2020 for residents in Davis, Valley 3, Hall-Archard-Pickard West, Hall-Archard-Pickard East and Zimmerman. 

The Burnhams, Draper/Siedschlag, French and Henry did not conduct any fire drills in 2020, as the university shut down the week before drills were scheduled in Spring 2020. 

Fire alarms, smoke detectors, fire extinguishers and sprinkler systems were maintained in 2020 for each standing residence hall.

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