Audit: Sonoma State Underreported Campus Crimes in 2019
The California audit uncovered several unreported campus crimes at Sonoma State, including a sexual assault.
The California State Auditor has found Sonoma State University didn’t report all crimes that happened on its campus as required by the Campus Crime Statistics Clery Act.
The specific crimes in question stem from the school’s annual security report in 2019. At least three crimes were left off the list that schools under accordance of Title IV must prepare, publish, and distribute to students, parents, employees, according to the disclosure requirements of the federal Clery Act. One of the crimes left off the school’s crime statistics report was a sexual assault that per the State Auditor has occurred in a campus dorm room.
The information is important as it gives students, families and employees a clear gauge of the safety on campus and helps universities determine essential services for students. To provide inaccurate information can be misleading to students interesting in attending the school.
Additionally, auditors found that six of 15 incidents reported on campus had not been included in the daily logs. The incomplete logs “may be contributing to an incorrect understanding of campus safety,” said State Auditor Elaine Howle in a June 4 report by The Press Democrat.
Sonoma State is working to rectify the situation, namely encouraging a better line of communication between school officials of various departments and campus police. Also, the university wants officials of any department to contribute to the daily crime log. Previously, the logs included only crimes reported to campus police.
According to Sonoma State’s 2019 crime statistics, there were 27 burglaries, 16 reports of rape, three reports of fondling, and two reports of aggravated assaults.
Sonoma State isn’t the only California school that’s under the gun. Three other schools were reported by the state auditor for publishing inaccurate or incomplete campus crime statistics. These other schools include San Joaquin Delta College, Santa Clara University and the University of California, Irvine.
The report found that “although all four institutions [that underreported incidents] have written procedures for collecting and reporting crime statistics, these procedures alone were not sufficient to ensure compliance” with Clery Act.
Additionally, Santa Clara did not maintain accurate daily logs of all crimes reported to them.