April 5, 2006 - Issue: Vol. 152, No. 42 — Daily Edition109th Congress (2005 - 2006) - 2nd Session
SENATE RESOLUTION 426--SUPPORTING THE GOALS AND IDEALS OF NATIONAL CAMPUS SAFETY AWARENESS MONTH; Congressional Record Vol. 152, No. 42
(Senate - April 05, 2006)
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[Pages S2916-S2917] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] SENATE RESOLUTION 426--SUPPORTING THE GOALS AND IDEALS OF NATIONAL CAMPUS SAFETY AWARENESS MONTH Mr. SPECTER (for himself and Mr. Feingold) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary: S. Res. 426 Whereas students and faculty on college and university campuses are subject to criminal threats from-- (1) within the borders of their respective institutions; and (2) the communities in which their respective institutions are located; Whereas, between 2001 and 2003, 84 homicides, 7,941 sex offenses, 9,296 aggravated assaults, and 3,367 arsons on the campuses of colleges and universities in the United States were reported under the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (20 U.S.C. 1092(f)); Whereas between \1/5\ and \1/4\ of all female students become the victim of a completed or attempted rape, usually by someone they know, during their college careers; Whereas more than 97,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are victims of alcohol-related sexual assaults each year; Whereas, each year, more than 696,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking; Whereas 1,700 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die each year from alcohol-related unintentional injuries, including motor vehicle crashes; Whereas, according to the Center for Campus Fire Safety, there were 82 fire fatalities in student housing buildings between January 2000 and January 2006; Whereas Security On Campus, Inc., a national group dedicated to promoting safety and security on college and university campuses, has designated September 2006 as ``National Campus Safety Awareness Month''; and Whereas the designation of National Campus Safety Awareness Month provides an opportunity to colleges and universities to inform students about-- (1) existing campus crime trends; (2) campus security policies; (3) crime prevention techniques; (4) fire safety issues; and (5) alcohol and other drug education, prevention, and treatment programs: Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the Senate-- (1) supports the goals and ideals of National Campus Safety Awareness Month; and (2) encourages students who are enrolled in colleges and universities to participate in events and awareness initiatives held during the month of September. Mr. SPECTER. Mr. President, today is the 20th anniversary of the murder of a 19-year-old on a Pennsylvania college campus, Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA. Twenty years ago, a student who was on drugs and alcohol entered her room through three doors which should have been locked and committed a brutal rape and murder. When I was district attorney of Philadelphia, I dealt with numerous incidents of campus crime and knew firsthand of the severity. However, I believe that many people would be surprised by the extent of the problem. According to U.S. Department of Education statistics, from 2001 to 2003, there were a total of 84 homicides, 7,941 sex offenses, 9,296 aggravated assaults, and 3,367 arsons on college campuses during that period of time. The parents of Jeanne Clery, Connie and Howard Clery, have undertaken a crusade to try to prevent the recurrence of the brutal crime against their daughter and have had a national campaign. Part of that was their efforts, which I joined them on, to introduce the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act of 1989, which became law in 1990. Regrettably, there is only about one-third compliance with the schools on that act. The beginning of the school year is the time they call the Red Zone, when there are more offenses likely to be committed. For this reason, Security on Campus has designated September 2006 as National Campus Safety Awareness Month to provide an opportunity for colleges and universities to inform students about existing campus crime trends. At a very minimum, the colleges and universities ought to comply with the law on disclosure so that students may know what the risks are. I ask unanimous consent that the full text of my prepared statement be printed in the Record at the conclusion of my remarks. There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in the Record, as follows: Statement of Senator Arlen Specter National Campus Safety Awareness Month Resolution Mr. SPECTER. Mr. President, I have sought recognition today to introduce a resolution supporting the goals and ideals of National Campus Safety Awareness Month. Today is a somber yet, important day for this resolution to be introduced as it marks the 20th Anniversary of Jeanne Clery's murder. In the early morning hours of April 5, 1986, Jeanne Clery, a 19 year old student at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, was brutally raped and murdered in her dormitory room. Her killer was a drug and alcohol abuser and a Lehigh University student whom Jeanne had never met. He gained access to her room by proceeding, unopposed, through three propped-open doors, each of which should have been locked. This heinous crime opened the eyes of our nation to the extent of crime on college and university campuses. When I was district attorney of Philadelphia, I dealt with numerous incidents of campus crime and know firsthand of its severity. However, I believe that many would be surprised by the extent of the problem. According to recent U.S. Department of Education statistics, a total of 84 homicides; 7,941 sex offenses; 9,296 aggravated assaults; and 3,367 arsons were reported on our nation's college and university campuses from 2001 to 2003. In addition, 1,700 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die each year from alcohol related unintentional injuries, including motor vehicle crashes. Additionally, more than 696,000 students are assaulted by another student who has been drinking and more than 97,000 students are victims of alcohol related sexual assault or date rape according to the latest research from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Since their daughter's death, Connie and Howard Clery, have worked tirelessly in their daughter's memory to protect the lives of college students by warning them of these dangers through the work of Security On Campus, Inc., a national nonprofit that they founded, which is based in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. The Clerys first brought these issues to my attention shortly after their daughter's murder and I worked with them [[Page S2917]] to develop the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act of 1989, which became law in 1990. This Act was modified and included in the Higher Education Act of 1998, as the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act. Although the U.S. Department of Justice has concluded that only a third of all schools are reporting their campus crime statistics in a manner fully compliant with the law, the Clery Act has significantly changed the landscape of campus security for the better, but as the statistics reveal, more work remains to be done. Security on Campus has found that the beginning of each new school year can be an especially dangerous time for students. This is particularly true for first year students who are on their own for the first time in a new environment and are experiencing new freedoms. Due to the increased risk of sexual assault that female college students face during this time, the period from the start of the Fall semester through the end of November is often referred to as the ``Red Zone''. For this reason, Security on Campus has designated September 2006 as National Campus Safety Awareness Month to provide opportunity for colleges and universities to inform students about existing campus crime trends, campus security policies, crime prevention techniques, fire safety, and alcohol and other drug education, prevention and treatment programs. Throughout the past several years, I have worked together with the Clerys, Security on Campus, and crime prevention professionals on campuses across the country to help raise much needed awareness about these dangers. Thus, I urge my colleagues, in honor of Jeanne Clery's memory, to join me in this effort by supporting the goals and ideals of National Campus Safety Awareness Month. Thank you, Mr. President. I yield the floor. ____________________