The Dean of Students Office published UAA’s Annual Security and Fire Safety Report on Sept. 27. The 76-page report includes information on the security policies of all UAA campuses, as well as data about on-campus crimes in the past three years.
Votava thinks that the data for this year are similar to previous years.
“I would say that our other crime statistics remained consistent with prior reports,” Votava said.
The number of reported cases of domestic violence went down compared to prior years; the campus police recorded nine cases in 2015 and seven in 2016. For the past year, one case was reported.
Stalking occurred in five cases on the Anchorage campus. This number is comparable to prior reports, Votava explained.
“We’ve been averaging five to seven cases of stalking on campus each year for the last several years,” Votava said.
The police did not record any cases of rape in 2017.
The number of reported aggravated assaults and cases of dating violence, however, increased. In 2017, three cases of aggravated assault were reported on the Anchorage campus. In the two years prior to that, one case of assault was reported.
Twelve cases of motor vehicle theft occurred in 2017, which is the same number reported in 2016. This indicates a significant increase from 2015 data when only one case occurred. Students should be “aware that they need to be safe,” Votava emphasized.
“Even though UAA is a very safe place, I would just want students to understand that there is crime that occurs on campus on occasion, and students should not let their guard down,” Votava said. “They should take reasonable precautions.”
This includes not leaving belongings unattended on campus and being aware of the surroundings while walking at night.
“You never know when there might be someone in the community that’s fallen on hard times and that takes towards committing a crime,” Votava said.
He thinks that the campus safety benefits from the resources available to students, pointing to the SHCC health fair, the DVSA Coalition for Change and the new UAA Safe App.
“I really feel that there is an emphasis on safety [on campus],” Votava said. “UAA does a great job of promoting safety to students.”
September is safety awareness month. The Dean of Students Office hosted a series of events at that time to raise safety awareness among new students, Votava said.
For freshman Mikayla Mader, the awareness of those resources helps her feel safe on campus.
“When my parents found out that they had a virtual walk-home on the UAA Safe App, that made the and myself feel safer,” Mader said. “I know help is near if I ever need it.”
The safety report also informs about university police law enforcement authority, fire safety, crime prevention and crime reporting policies.
“Being informed is a good way to help yourself and others remain safe,” Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Bruce Schultz said in an email to the students.
The statistics in the report are a combination of data from the Office of Equity and Compliance, the campus police and the Office of the Dean of Students.
The full report can be accessed online under uaa.alaska.edu/students/safety.