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Leaves from a nearby tree frame iconic Woodburn Hall in the heart of the West Virginia University campus.

The annual WVU Clery Report shows an increase in rape and fondling offenses from 2018 to 2019. 

There was about an 86% increase in on-campus rape offenses, with seven reported in 2018 compared to 13 reported in 2019. There was an increase in on-campus fondling cases, as the numbers increased from one reported in 2018 to seven in 2019.

According to a University MIX email, University Police Chief W. P. Chedester said he believes the increase in reports is the result of educating students through the WVU Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

“We’ve worked to help students and employees know how to report tips and concerns, and more importantly, we want them to feel empowered to reach out for help because that’s our number one priority – the safety of our campus community,” Chedester said.

University Police and the Office of Emergency Management are required to publish the report in accordance with the Clery Act, which was passed in 1990.

The report shows a decline in on-campus robberies, with three reported in 2018 and one reported in 2019. On-campus burglaries showed a small increase, with 13 reported in 2018 and 14 reported in 2019, about an 8% increase. Four additional burglaries occurred on non-campus property in 2019.

According to the Clery Report, robbery is defined as “the taking or attempting to take anything from value of the care, custody or control of a person or persons by force or threat of force or violence and/or by putting the victim in fear,” and burglary is defined as “the unlawful entry of a structure to commit a felony or a theft.”

There was also an increase in on-campus liquor law violations. The number rose about 23%, with 128 violations in 2018 and 157 in 2019. One additional violation was reported on non-campus property. On-campus liquor law violation referrals increased from 1,294 in 2018 to 1,322 in 2019, with five additional referrals reported on non-campus property.

The report shows about a 9% increase in drug abuse violations, with 128 arrests in 2018 and 139 in 2019. Drug abuse violation referrals decreased in 2019, with 113 reported in 2019 and 368 in 2018.