Thuy-Linh Dang, Staff Writer
The Office of Public Safety released the 2019 Annual Security and Fire Safety Report which accumulated the reported numbers of crime and fire incidents on all three campuses from 2016-2018.
Between the Statesboro and Armstrong campuses, there is a total of 39 sexual assault-related reports over the last three years with Statesboro reported at 24 and Armstrong at 15. The campuses’ sexual assault offenses were reported from rape and fondling.
There was also a total of 71 reported cases of violence against women between both the Statesboro and Armstrong campuses with Statesboro at 45 and Armstrong with 26.
These violence against women offenses cover domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking.
There were no reported hate crimes on any of the campuses from 2016-2018.
With this year’s report, the Georgia Southern University community was able to see the changes in the numbers of reported incidents for the campuses over the last three years. While some numbers fluctuated between 2016 and 2017, the numbers show that the reported incidents were significantly lower by 2018.
“It’s just unbelievable because, you know, no one really talks about it and I didn’t really know that it actually happened and they’re going to get worse,” said Mathematics major, Peyton Mizelle, about the concerning numbers of reported sexual assault incidents at Georgia Southern.
“Even if it went down in 2018, but it will probably go back up. I just feel that it’s kind of unbelievable. Those numbers are kind of high.”
When Mizelle was asked if she ever felt unsafe on campus, she said, “not yet because I know sometimes I stay on campus until 9 p.m. and I go home but I haven’t… I always have somebody walk with me or something. I try not to walk alone.”
When junior Music Education major Priscilla Santana was asked if she lived on campus, she said, “during 2017 I did. I didn’t notice anything then. I was a freshman in 2017. I didn’t notice anything of that nature. I tend to stay isolated ‘cause I’m not involved with anything really. We go to Fine Arts and then come back. That’s my life. We have had alerts where there’s a person that was being weird and staying in areas, like that happened, but not as bad as the Statesboro campus.”
“I don’t personally, but I’m a male so…” said senior Biology major Kareem El-Hadi on if he ever felt unsafe on campus.
Dasha Nolan, a graduating English Communications major and campus resident, said, “I live at the Armstrong campus and have had an experience in which I felt unsafe. I was walking back to my dorm one day and a black van pulled up in front of me. The woman on the passenger side asked if I needed a ride to “church”, and I said no. Some of my friends have had similar experiences of seeing that van, and we fear that it might be related to sex trafficking. It didn’t have any identifying tags that proved that it belonged on campus, and it occurred when we still had parking stickers on cars.”
Between 2016 and 2018, Armstrong reported zero cases of aggravated assault, 20 cases of burglary and three cases of motor vehicle theft.
After looking at the reported incidents of the above crimes, Santana said, “It’s gone down, but that’s still bad that’s happening.”
“It should be zero,” said El-Hadi.
Between 2016 and 2018, the reported numbers of arrest and judicial referrals for the Statesboro campus were a total of 1,398 and the Armstrong campus were a total of 239. These reported numbers covered liquor and drug-related arrests and violations for both campuses.
“The drug arrests are surprisingly low. That’s not all that bad, I was expecting worse,” said El-Hadi.
“Yeah, I mean we are smaller than them,” said Santana.
Liberty campus reported zero incidents from the above categories for all three years.
“Nothing happens on Liberty,” Brea Yates said.
After looking over the reported numbers, Van Ly Dang, a Writing and Linguistics major, said, “They’re disturbingly high. They’re a lot higher than I thought they would be but not super bad, I don’t think. It’s a little unnerving.”
Dang also does not personally feel unsafe on campus.
When asked how they felt about having security reports released to students, Mizelle said, “It’s good to know because students just need to be aware of their surroundings and need to know what actually happens in every year on campus.”
The Division of Public Safety concluded the report by advising the Georgia Southern University community to practice smart safety precautions around campus.
You can read the full report here 2019 Georgia Southern Annual Security Report or in your student email from Communications and Marketing.