Disciplinary referrals up, new categories added after reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.
By James Irwin
Disciplinary referrals for liquor and drug law violations at the George Washington University increased in 2013 compared to the previous two years, though arrests for drug law violations decreased, according to the university’s annual security report.
There were 268 referrals for drug law violations on the Foggy Bottom Campus and 431 for liquor law violations last year, up from 162 and 291, respectively, in 2012, according to the report. While referrals for possession of drugs were up, more serious cases involving sales, possession with intent to distribute or possession of felony drugs were down, from 20 arrests for drug law violations in 2012 to 11 in 2013. Of the disciplinary referrals for drug violations, the most common was for marijuana possession.
The 56-page security report, provided by the Office of Safety and Security and GW Police Department, is available for download and contains information and crime statistics for the three previous calendar years regarding crimes on campus, in certain off-campus buildings or property owned or controlled by GW, and on public property within or immediately adjacent to and accessible to campus. The report is provided annually in compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Police and Crime Statistics Act and the Higher Education Opportunity Act.
One significant reason for the increase in disciplinary referrals for illegal substances was due to contraband found during end-of-semester room checks in residence halls in December 2013, said Darrell Darnell, senior associate vice president for safety and security.
“The university made a concerted effort to improve our monitoring of the residential inventory and staff examined room conditions at the mid-point in the academic year,” he said. “During that process a number of policy violations for illegal substances and facility damage were noted.”
Referrals on the Mount Vernon Campus increased as well, with 20 disciplinary referrals in 2013 for drug law violations compared to 10 in 2012. The university’s drug and alcohol policy does not condone violations of laws forbidding possession, use, sale, manufacture or distribution of illegal drugs and complies with federal, state and local laws that regulate the possession, use and sale of alcoholic beverages and controlled substances.
GWPD introduced three new reporting categories—domestic violence, dating violence and stalking—in the 2013 report, as a result of the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. The university reported 18 incidents of domestic violence on the Foggy Bottom Campus, two of dating violence and 12 of stalking in 2013. Reports of sexual assault increased from 14 in 2012 to 17 in 2013, though many of those cases did not involve the filing of a police report with GWPD.
“The number of reported cases are up, and some of that has to do with the efforts the university has made to create more methods of reporting,” Mr. Darnell said, citing methods people can take to report and seek assistance following incidents of sexual assault, including the GWPD, the Metropolitan Police Department, the Division of Student Affairs, Title IX reporting, the Sexual Assault Response Consultative team and the university’s Haven website.
Burglaries on the Foggy Bottom Campus rose from 20 in 2012 to 39 in 2013, largely due to a burglary ring that hit some GW residence halls and also affected Catholic University and Georgetown University. GWPD officers arrested three burglary suspects in 2013 and cases have since leveled off, Mr. Darnell said. Robberies on the Foggy Bottom Campus dropped from eight in 2012 to four last year.
The report, which contains information regarding campus security and personal safety topics—including crime prevention, fire safety, university police law enforcement authority, crime reporting policies and disciplinary procedures—can also be obtained from GWPD at Rome Hall. Additional information, including safety tips, crime prevention information and access to the GWPD crime log, are available online.