After prodding from federal officials
A public university in Texas recently admitted that it had misreported campus crime statistics. Officials there have vowed to change the way they handle such reports.
Texas State University “says it misreported campus crimes in recent years and is overhauling the way it tracks and records crime statistics for its locations in Round Rock and San Marcos,” KTSA reports.
The school “caught the eye” of a federal official earlier this year during an uptick of crime on and off campus, including three student deaths in off-campus residences. The official reportedly said that the university’s publicly available crime statistics were not commensurate with a university its size. The Department of Education subsequently offered to assist Texas State University in how it handles and reports crime statistics this year.
From the report:
School officials say the Education Department has not told them they’re under formal review, an often lengthy process that can culminate in fines of more than $57,000 per violation. The department has instead provided “technical assistance” to help them come into compliance.
The Education Department did not respond to questions as of publication time.
Texas State has acknowledged flaws in the crime reporting process, saying in a statement: “The system previously in place did not produce accurate statistics…”
Between 2015 and 2017, for example, the university reported nine rapes and seven instances of fondling on its campuses and certain surrounding properties. By contrast, the University of North Texas reported 32 rapes, 22 instances of fondling and four statutory rapes during that period; the University of Houston’s crime statistics include 31 rapes and 37 fondling incidents, and Texas Tech University’s Lubbock campus reported 24 rapes and seven fondling incidents.
The university, like any school that accepts federal financial aid, must adhere to the Clery Act, which stipulates certain campus crime reporting procedures. Universities can be fined tens of thousands of dollars per violation of the act.
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