Julia Nagel/Sun Photography Editor

Arson incidents in Ganędagǫ hall and Mary Donlon Hall have been frequent, yet met with indifference among hall residents.

October 11, 2022

University Releases Annual Security, Fire Safety Reports

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The University released the 2022 Annual Security Report and Annual Fire Safety Report —  which include records of all reported crimes and fire incidents on campus from 2019 to 2021 — this fall. 

In accordance with the Clery Act, a federal law requiring colleges and universities to disclose information about crimes on and around campus, Cornell releases an annual security report by Oct. 1 each year. The reports contain campus crime statistics from the past three years, as well as relevant campus security policy statements.

The Clery Act also defines each crime, and the University must categorize reported situations according to these definitions. If reported criminal activity does not fit any of the established definitions or is not attached to a specific location, it is not required to be included in the report’s statistics. This year’s report stated that 40 reported situations over the past three years did not fall into a Clery Act defined category and 16 cases had no specific location. These cases were not included in the report’s crime statistics.

The most prevalent crime reported over the past three years was burglary, followed by stalking, dating violence and rape. The data also disclose whether crimes violate the Violence Against Women Act — a federal act that supports responses to gender-based violence against women. For crimes to be classified as VAWA offenses, the data must be classified by gender. All reported incidents of dating violence and stalking were VAWA offenses.

The total number of reported crimes fell dramatically from 2019 to 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic struck campus and led most instruction for the 2020-2021 school year to be virtual. In 2021, crime levels increased slightly. 

The Security Report also included statistics for Liquor, Drug and Weapon Law Violation disciplinary referrals and arrests from 2019 to 2021. Referrals involve notifying the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards of the Violation. The Director of the OSCCS handles the disciplinary infraction and may recommend students for screening, education and prevention programs for alcohol and other drugs, according to the Student Code of Conduct Procedures.

Drug Law Violations decreased slightly over the three years, whereas Liquor Law Violations increased. There were no reported incidents of Weapon Law Violation. In addition, so few Liquor and Drug Law Violations resulted in arrest that they have not been included in the graph below.

The Annual Fire Safety Report details the date and time, location, cause and cost of damages for all reported fires on and around campus from 2019 to 2021. The report also classifies fires as intentional or unintentional. The report lists 18 fires in total.

The property damage for most of the fires was under $1,000, with five fires causing no property damage. The exception, however, was a fire at Akwe:kon — a program house dedicated to celebrating American Indian culture and heritage — on Feb. 24, 2020, which resulted in $30,000 of property damage.

The fire began as a cooking fire due to grease buildup — the causes of seven other reported fires were also cooking-related. Although the fire caused costly property damage, it resulted in no treated injuries or deaths. Overall, no injuries or deaths were reported for any of the fires.

Several reported fires from 2021 took place in Ganędagǫ Hall, where numerous incidents of arson occurred throughout the 2021-2022 school year — the incidents that occurred in 2022, however, are not included in the report. Two fires caused no property damage, but one resulted in $700 of damages.

Andie Kim ’24 contributed data analysis.