Group proposes new crime reporting regulations
\nWASHINGTON, D.C. - Counselors will not necessarily have to\nreport rape and other sexual assaults as part of annual campus\ncrime statistics, and police may leave out details in their logs\nto protect victim confidentiality.
After months of debate and compromise, those were the big conclusions\nagreed upon by representatives of various higher education constituency\ngroups working with the Department of Education.
They have met with DOE officials for several months, attempting\nto compromise on what should be considered mandatory in a university's\nannual crime statistics and daily police logs that federal law\nnow requires be made public.
Two main issues under debate were whether campus counselors\nshould report sexual assaults as crime statistics, and if campus\npolice will be allowed to leave out information in the police\nlogs in order to protect victim condfidentiality.
"Basically, schools cannot avoid reporting the crime althogether,\nbut most only leave out the minimum amount of information necessary\nto protect the victim's identity, such as a dorm room number,"\nthe Society of Professional Journalists' Carolyn Carlson said\nin an e-mail.
Counselors will be permitted to release statistics of students\nwho report rapes or sexual assault for inclusion in the campus'\nannual statistics, although they will not be required to do so.\nBut that is only if the school has a procedure for anonymous reports,\nwhich they are not required to have. In addition, the groups agreed\nto push back the date for annual crime statistics to be released.\nStatisitics for the previous calendar year would have to be released\non Oct. 1, not Sept. 1 as current regulations require.
Despite some disagreement, it was refreshing to see another\npoint of view, said Daniel Carter, vice president of Security\non Campus. "[W]e all gained a much better understanding of\nthe various other sides' perspectives on the issues associated\nwith this question," he said.
The new regulations should be in effect by July 1, 2000.
To see the proposed regulations, visit http://campussafety.org/DOE/regneg06.html
Fall 1999, reports