Number of Sex Offenses on Le Moyne Campus Rises

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Number of Sex Offenses on Le Moyne Campus Rises

The Le Moyne campus Emergency Blue Light Telephones can be used to contact security in the case of an emergency.

The Le Moyne campus Emergency Blue Light Telephones can be used to contact security in the case of an emergency.

The Le Moyne campus Emergency Blue Light Telephones can be used to contact security in the case of an emergency.

The Le Moyne campus Emergency Blue Light Telephones can be used to contact security in the case of an emergency.

Patrick Gilbert, Staff Writer

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The number of reported sex offenses on Le Moyne’s campus rose from three in 2017 to 10 in 2018, according to Le Moyne’s most recent Security and Fire Safety Report.

The report notes that there were seven reported instances of rape and three reported instances of fondling in 2018, compared to three instances of rape in 2017.

“I think the shift in the numbers is more indicative of students feeling more comfortable reporting these crimes due to better sexual assault awareness than it is a higher number of sexual assaults,” says Ann Bersani, the Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Student Development at Le Moyne.

According to Bersani, Le Moyne received a $300,000 grant from the Office on Violence Against Women at the U.S. Department of Justice in 2017. As part of the grant, Le Moyne is expected to make an effort to prevent violence and facilitate intervention training to students, faculty, and staff.

According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, more than 90% of sexual assault victims on college campuses do not report the assault.

Billy Eccleston, a senior RA in Foery Hall, said the number of sex offenses at Le Moyne is “very concerning.

“The optimist in me wants to believe that there aren’t more instances of sexual assault on campus, but instead more awareness and acceptance for the victims of these crimes so that they feel comfortable coming forward,” said Eccleston. “As an RA, a lot of our initial training is dedicated to supporting victims of sexual assault and getting them the help they need.”

Le Moyne offers a dedicated webpage for Sexual Misconduct resources. From there, students are able to file reports and obtain medical or legal assistance from dedicated professionals. Additionally, from this webpage students are able to view Le Moyne’s policy on Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct, and view what actions would be taken should those crimes occur.

Alivia Arliss, a senior psychology major, said she doesn’t feel worried.

“I know they have those [emergency blue light telephones] that you can use to get help,” she said. “If people are more aware about these crimes, then they won’t have to worry as much and will be better prepared should they happen.”

As a place of higher education, Le Moyne is expected to adhere to an Education Amendments Act known as Title IX.

“Title IX protects the rights to education for any protected class of people, whether it be gender or sexual orientation, anything at all,” says Eccleston. “Le Moyne is expected to act in accordance with [Title IX], so these crimes are taken very seriously, and appropriate action will be assessed.”

Victims can look to their Residential Advisors and Area-Directors for help, according to Eccleston. “Any Le Moyne Residential Advisor, Area-Director, or Campus-Life employee will be happy to help anyone who’s struggling with these kinds of crimes. We want to help those in need, it’s a part of our job.”

The hotline for assistance with sexual assault at Le Moyne is: 315-251-SAFE.

“If you are interested in coming forward with a case of sexual assault, there’s a lot of different people on campus and off-campus within our community that would be able to help you,” said Bersani. “All of information regarding getting help is available on our website: LeMoyne.Edu/AssaultResources.”