Security incident numbers decline over break

Security incident numbers decline over break

Erin Jones, news reporter

Campus security at Winona State University has little to report on crime and offense rates from last semester compared to winter break.

Because there are less students in Winona during winter break, offense rates are likely to be lower, according to Director of Winona State Security Chris Cichosz.

“When students are gone and class is not in session, there’s not a lot typically going on,” Cichosz said.

According to Cichosz, there were no crimes reported for the duration of the 2017 winter break session, which is the same as last year during that time.

However, when classes are in session there is a slight increase in the student crime and offense rate.

To help keep track of offenses during the academic year, Winona State security sends out weekly crime and fire logs every Monday to specific people to update them on crimes and offenses that occurred during the previous week.

Despite being sent out each week, the crime and fire logs don’t always have much to report either.

“The crime and fire log stuff is reported to security,” Cichosz said. “But it isn’t necessarily all encompassing.”

Cichosz elaborated by stating that some people don’t even report offenses to security, making it difficult to determine how much crime is actually occurring on campus.

“There could be stuff that’s happening that we aren’t notified about,” Cichosz said. “So we never really know.”

As for the offenses that are reported, Cichosz stated that most are typically alcohol and drug violations and thefts.

“A lot of the stuff that gets reported to us is alcohol and drug law violations. We deal with a lot of thefts in the residence halls as well, whether that’s food out of community fridges and freezers or clothes and laundry,” Chichosz said.

Cichosz also added that sexual assaults have been reported to security, but that most are actually reported elsewhere.

“We had a few sexual assaults last year,” Cichosz said. “But [the victims] usually go right to Title IX or to the victim resources on campus.”

Title IX is a federal law, enacted in 1972, which prevents discrimination based on sex, as well as protecting students from sexual harassment, stalking, dating and relationship violence, and sexual violence, including assault, battery and rape.

Cichosz added that recently there has been an increase in the number of sexual assaults reported on campus.

“I don’t believe it’s because there are more happening, but I believe that victims are feeling more comfortable reporting and know where to report,” Cichosz said.

He believes that with the number of resources and support systems there are on campus, victims will be more likely to report sexual assaults.

“It’s talked about more often now,” Cichosz said. “I think there will be a continual upward trend of people making reports because they know how to do it now.”

Although there are crimes that go unreported, Winona State is lucky that the university doesn’t have too much to deal with, according to Cichosz.

“In Winona, it’s a different kind of community,” Cichosz said. “We don’t have a lot going on here, thankfully.”

Cichosz added that the majority of Winona State is female, which he believes makes a difference in the amount of offenses that occur at the university.

“It’s just the reality of it,” Cichosz said. “Males typically cause more problems in regards to crime.”