CSU Bakersfield has reported four on-campus rapes in 2017 on the Annual Security Report.
Commonly referred to as the Clery Report, the Annual Security Report, is a federally mandated report of major crimes which occur on any campus property nationwide. This also includes any off-campus properties owned by the university.
Zero rapes were reported in 2015 and 2016.
All four rapes occurred in the residential halls of Student Housing. The cases were all turned over to Bakersfield Police Department, according to Michael Lukens, chief of staff to the president.
The first incident was reported the University Police at 3 a.m. on Feb. 5, 2017. The suspect was a student here at CSUB.
The second rape was reported on March 19, 2017. It occurred at 5 a.m. and the suspect was not a student.
The third incident which was reported occurred at an unknown time in May 2017. The suspect was not a student and the victim never came forward. The case is no longer being investigated.
The fourth rape was reported to have occurred between the hours on 11 p.m. on May 3, 2017 and 8:30 a.m. on May 4, 2017. The victim did not wish to come forward and the suspect was not a student at CSUB.
Housing Director Crystal Becks was contacted for this story. However, we did not receive a formal interview with her.
In addition, there were also four burglaries reported in 2017 after there was only one reported in 2016.
There were also 12 liquor law referrals last year compared to only five in 2016 and nine drug law referrals in 2017, up from only one the year before.
The report’s purpose is to provide the campus with applicable campus safety policies and procedures as well as statistical data of the campus.
In addition, only if the victims and/or perpetrators of the crimes are students, will it appear on the report.
However, it is not a complete account of all crimes committed on campus.
The Antelope Valley campus in Lancaster also has its own Clery Report published.
There are also two additional annual reports released detailing the crimes and violations on campus.
The Title IX Report and the Campus Safety are ways to attempt to cover the violations the Clery Report would not be able to.
Released on Oct. 1 of every year, the Title IX Report contains a number of crimes committed on or off campus. It includes all the different reports made to the Title IX office. The report also details whether the alleged perpetrators were students, staff, faculty or not affiliated with the university. The report covers all reports made from July 1 the year before to June 30.
The Title IX Report offers more details about Title IX offenses than the Clery Report does.
There is an advisory committee which helps put together the report, it includes CSUB staff faculty, a representative from Associated Students Inc., a member from the Student Athletic Advisory Committee and a member of Greek Life.
The Campus Safety Plan is released every January. There is also a separate report published for the AV campus.
It includes Part 1 crimes such as homicides, rape, robbery and aggravated assault, in addition to hate crimes, thefts and destruction of property.
Equity, Inclusion and Compliance Officer and Title IX Coordinator Claudia Catota urges students, faculty and staff to report crimes on campus and work together to keep our community safe.
“I encourage people to report crimes because that gives us a clearer picture of crimes that may be occurring on our campus,” said Catota.
It is Catota’s job to respond to issues around campus related to gender equity and sexual misconduct. This can include stalking, sexual assault and domestic violence.
“If a student reports a gender equity issue on campus, I, as a Title IX coordinator, will work with them to get them the support services they need,” said Catota.
Catota also serves as the Clery director and is responsible for putting together the Clery Report with the help of other departments on campus such as the Clery Compliance Team and UPD.
There are additional services at students’ disposal if they are ever a victim of any sexual misconduct.
Vanessa Corona, the campus advocate, offers a way for students who have victimized by these crimes.
“I really am just trying to make students more aware of their resources and options are once they would like to report,” said Corona.
An important aspect of what Corona does increasing awareness amongst students and letting them know that there is a way to find help.
Corona places an emphasis on relating herself to students so if they are the victim of sexual assault, they have someone who they feel they can talk to and trust.
“Our numbers have increased as far as people reporting, which is wonderful,” said Corona. “It’s great to see people have the confidence to come forward because there should be no shame.”
As campus advocate, Corona, who works closely with other departments on campus such as UPD, the Title IX office, the counseling center and the health center.
Corona works for Alliance, which is an organization whose mission is to stop domestic violence and sexual assault in Kern County and assist survivors in reclaiming their lives.
Alliance works with the Consent Project here on campus.
The Consent Project is another way to inform students about sexual assault and domestic violence. The group wants to bring awareness to CSUB’s population about these crimes.
Jane Anyanwu, a senior liberal studies major, is a member of the group. She says it is important for the Consent Project to have a presence on campus so students will feel they have another avenue to go to.
“The thing about it is, people don’t want to talk about [sexual assault]. We give them a safe haven to come and open up about it.”
The Consent Project meets every Tuesday at 1 p.m. in the Blue Room of the Student Union.