The University of Utah’s 2021 Annual Security & Fire Safety Reports are now available with data from 2020. The reports, one for Utah and one for the Utah Asia Campus, include statistics about criminal offenses, hate crimes, arrests and referrals for disciplinary action, and Violence Against Women Act offenses. The reports also provide information about safety and security-related services offered by the University of Utah.
The most recent Utah report shows a decrease in Violence Against Women Act offenses compared to the statistics from 2019. Additionally, fondling cases, aggravated assaults, motor vehicle theft, and drug and alcohol arrest cases also decreased. This is likely due to the Coronavirus pandemic, which reduced the population on campus during the last 12 months.
Authorities noted that rape cases peaked between 2018 and 2019—from 12 to 20 cases, presumably due to more information and resources available to assist victims with reporting. During 2020, cases remained steady, with 21 total cases.
The University of Utah offers resources to support victims of sexual assault, including social workers from the University Safety Department’s Community Services division, who are available 24/7. The Center for Student Wellness also provides confidential victim-survivor advocates to support those who have experienced interpersonal violence.
Robbery, weapons arrests and property crimes increased slightly. Weapons arrests occur when someone has a weapon when they are not authorized to possess one under state law (for example, if someone is carrying a knife when they have been convicted of a violent felony). Information about what to do it if a weapon is seen on campus is available here.
It is important to note that these data reflect all incidents occurring within the University of Utah, including incidents at the hospital and clinics, and do not always involve students. Additionally, the data include reports coming to police, as well as other campus offices, such as Housing and Residential Education, the Office of the Dean of Students, the Office of Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action and Title IX, and more.
This report is created annually in compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, commonly referred to as the Clery Act. The act seeks to standardize campus crime reporting so students, staff, faculty and visitors can learn about institutions’ crime histories. The report also fulfills the State of Utah requirement for a Campus Safety Plan. The University Safety Department is moving to a new record management system that will allow the department to provide more robust and more frequent safety data to the campus community.
The U report covers the main campus in Salt Lake City; the Sandy Center; the Graduate Center in St. George; the Bonderman Field Station at Rio Mesa in Grand County, Utah; the Range Creek Field Station in Emery County, Utah; and the Taft-Nicholson Environmental Humanities Center in Mon tana. The U Asia Campus report covers the campus in Incheon, South Korea.
The reports are available online. If you would like a printed copy, visit the University of Utah Public Safety Building, 1735 E. South Campus Drive, or the Office of the Dean of Students at the Utah Asia Campus. Questions regarding the reports can be directed to the Office of the Chief Safety Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Safety improvements on campus
The University of Utah remains committed to improving campus safety and recognizes that safety looks and feels different to everyone. Some recent efforts to increase campus safety include:
- University Police began using body-worn cameras in August 2021 to promote accountability; increase public trust; provide supportive documentation for complaints, investigations, and prosecutions; and improve training opportunities.
- The University Police Department became the first law enforcement agency in Utah to join the 30x30 initiative in July 2021 to increase the representation of women in police recruit classes to 30% by 2030.
- New digital signs throughout campus offer a place to broadcast emergency messaging and other safety information.
- In fall 2021, the University Safety Department launched the new SafeU Student Ambassador program, a year-long paid leadership cohort program focused on improving campus safety, gaining leadership experience, and giving students an opportunity to interact with staff and officials at the U.
- The University Center for Student Wellness hosted various events in 2020-2021, encompassing topics like healthy relationships, queer survivors support, suicide prevention and Sexual Assault Awareness Month activities.
- The Gender-Based Violence Consortium at the University of Utah held a daylong symposium in April 2021 called “Visualizing Change, Resisting Violence,” and featured experts from across the country. The consortium aimed to increase public recognition of and deepen public knowledge about this type of violence.
- The University Counseling Center began providing more services to students without charging session fees thanks to a new Student Mental Health Fee and other creative solutions.
- Equity, Diversity and Inclusion developed the Anti-Racism Committee to advise regarding issues and events of racism across all intersections of identity and bias. The committee recommend and evaluate measures to ensure that every student, faculty, and staff enjoy an environment free of racism and hate.
- The University of Utah launched the McCluskey Center for Violence Prevention at bridging the gap between research and practice by bringing together researchers, prevention educators and students. The center works to better understand and analyze perpetration and peer culture as it relates to relationship and sexual violence.
- The University Safety Department established the Public Safety Advisory Committee to assist the chief safety officer with the development of the strategic direction of the department in order to enhance the safety and overall quality of life for the U community. The committee is chaired by two students and includes student, faculty, and staff representatives from across the campus.
- The University Safety Department developed the Independent Review Committee to help ensure confidence in the U’s public safety functions by reviewing complaints made against public safety personnel, evaluating the actions of public safety personnel, and making recommendations regarding policies and procedures. The IRC is chaired by a law professor and includes student, faculty, and staff representatives.
- To support the University of Utah’s commitment to safety, diversity, and inclusion, the University Safety Department created a new Special Assistant to the Chief Safety Officer position to coordinate community engagement initiatives with organizations across campus, as well as implement new response protocols developed by the Racist and Bias Incident Response Team. This position works closely with the divisions of Student Affairs and Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion to comprehensively evaluate and improve safety efforts.
- The new Public Safety Building is scheduled to open in early 2022. The facility will house the university's public safety functions in an environment designed specifically to support these functions. This building is part of the University of Utah’s efforts to achieve accreditation through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.