Franciscan safer than comparable universities

BY KATHLEEN STUBBS
STAFF WRITER

The Annual Security and Fire Safety Report for Franciscan University was recently emailed to all students who attend the University. The security report provided information regarding campus security and personal safety for the three previous calendar years.

The University’s security statistics reveal that the campus is very safe overall, even in comparison to other private universities nearby.

Franciscan’s disciplinary action and judicial referrals for liquor violations on campus totaled 27. In comparison, disciplinary action for liquor violations on the campus of Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia totaled 164 in 2012. Duquesne University in Pittsburgh had 460 liquor violations on campus referred for disciplinary action in 2012.

Franciscan’s security report recorded nine reported incidences of theft or burglary, whereas Wheeling Jesuit University had 13 incidences for 2012. Duquesne had only one reported burglary in 2012.

Michael Conn, director of security at Franciscan, said that some of the instances of theft and burglary could be avoided. He said people have had things stolen from the cafeteria and field house, and Christ the King chapel. “Trust is the issue. People think, ‘This is Franciscan. These things can’t happen,’ but they do happen here,” said Conn.

“It has been my experience that students do report when they see something suspicious happen,” he added. “Not 100 percent of the time, but students are very good at reporting what needs to be reported.”

According to the security report, Franciscan University had one reported forcible sexual offence and zero non-forcible sexual offenses. Wheeling Jesuit University had five total reported forcible and non-forcible sexual offenses in 2012. Duquesne had one reported forcible sexual offense and zero reported non-forcible sexual offenses in 2012.

There is a list of definitions on each security report. People often confuse simple assault with aggravated assault. Aggravated assault is defined as “an unlawful attack by one person upon another for the purpose of inflicting severe or aggravated bodily injury” and is usually accompanied by “the use of a weapon or by means likely to produce death or great bodily harm.”

On the other hand, simple assault is “an unlawful physical attack by one person upon another where neither the offender displays a weapon, nor the victim suffers obvious severe or aggravated bodily injury.”

“People usually misconstrue robbery and burglary as well,” Conn said.

When asked about traveling in groups at night, Conn said, “I would recommend that in general. You’re more likely to get attacked while alone, not just on campus.”

Conn would like to remind Franciscan students that they can always request a security guard to escort them “24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.” An escort can take you to lower campus, back to your dorm from the Heights, or to and from the Port for your 2 a.m. holy hour. “People don’t know we offer that service,” Conn said.

He said, “An escort will meet you where you are. If you want to go to the Port, we will meet you where you are. Any time, day or night, doesn’t matter.”

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