Ramapo College released its Annual Security Report on campus crime late last month, showing reductions in arson, assault, burglary and sexual offenses.
The report allows students, administrators and parents to get an idea of what campus crimes have been reported in the past year and whether or not they are decreasing from year to year. The report is based on the number of crime reports made over the past three years. During that time, no hate crimes were reported. Forcible sexual offenses fluctuate dramatically over that time period. Three were reported in 2009, 13 in 2010 and six in 2011.
"I lived on campus in the furthest CPA in 2011 so to hear that there were 13 sexual offenses makes me feel a bit unsettled," said junior Brandon Seidler. "I have pretty late classes this year so I'm often walking back to my room late at night but the thought of me or one of my friends getting attacked makes me hope that the security has more of an eye on what goes on this year. Since the report decreased more than 50 percent with in a year, the school seems to be keeping a better watch on incidents."
Ramapo College has a tight-knit policy on the times that students check into their dorms, the amount of visitors allowed on campus per student and the amount of cameras set up through out the buildings. Public Safety works hard to make sure everything is handled quickly and properly.
"My friend and I were actually just looking at the crime rates on Ramapo's website the other night and I was actually shocked by how low the numbers were in 2011 compared to 2010. When I saw that there were six sex offenses I was surprised because you hear about that kind of stuff happening often at other schools," said CourtneyVillaluna, a sophomore.
Villaluna went on to say that other than the animals that roam the campus at night, she feels comfortable and safe living on Ramapo's campus.
A large part of the campus's mission to create a safe environment for their students is the Woman's Center. This is a place where students of any race, ethnicity, size, gender and orientation can come to relax, talk and learn from peers with similar life experiences. Part of the Women's Center mission is to "advocate for an equitable environment free from violence and harassment based on gender, race, and sexual orientation."
"Picking specific events that would help prevent hate crimes from happening on campus isn't an easy task," said Women's Center publicist Lexi Lapp. "However, something that might help people under those circumstances is Violence Awareness Week, which starts the second week of October. Most of the events are about preventing sexual assault and dating violence, but the week is really there to prevent any form of violence. In fact, for an organization to be a co-sponsor of VAW, they have to pledge to not be involved in any situation that involves violence or harassment."
The Women's Center is attempting to make a more comfortable environment for Ramapo Students.
"A lot of our events throughout the year are about educating the campus community on issues regarding ability, age, class, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexual orientation to try to make this campus a great environment for everyone," Lapp said. "It is a really big part of what we do because one of the best ways to create a tolerant community is through education."