MIDDLEBURY, Vt. — Middlebury released its 2016 Annual Security and Fire Safety Report on Saturday, Oct. 1. The report includes campus crime and fire statistics for its Vermont campus over the past three years (2013 – 2015), as well as a handbook of safety information and procedures.

Most of the reported crimes in this year’s report remained flat or changed only slightly from previous years. There were two exceptions:

  • Due to a change in how the institution interpreted the reporting requirement relating to underage liquor law violations, Middlebury reported 356 violations in 2015. That compares to 63 reports in 2014 and 60 in 2013. In previous years, Middlebury counted only disciplinary actions that were triggered after a student’s third or subsequent violation. This year Middlebury’s statistics include any reported violation, even if does not lead to disciplinary action. For comparison, using the previous standard of reporting, Middlebury would have reported a decline in violations to 54 in 2015.
  • In 2015, reports of rape increased to 21. That number compares to 9 reports in 2014 and 15 in 2013. It is important to note that these numbers include all reports, from any source, received during that year, regardless of when the alleged incident occurred and whether the alleged perpetrator was a member of the Middlebury community. The 2015 figure includes four reports of incidents from previous years. This delay in reporting, which also impacted the data for 2013, makes precise comparisons of year-over-year numbers difficult. In addition, colleges and universities—including Middlebury—are actively seeking to encourage people to come forward and report incidents of sexual misconduct.

“Understanding the true picture of sexual assault on campuses is very challenging,” said Katy Smith Abbott, vice president for student affairs and dean of the College. “National surveys clearly indicate that assaults are under-reported. If our efforts to encourage students to come forward are successful, it naturally will lead to an increase in the number of reported offenses. Longer term, and most importantly, we hope that the efforts we have made in recent years to educate students about sexual misconduct in all its forms, from rape to unwanted touching to sexual harassment, and the emphasis we are putting on bystander intervention, will have an effect on the attitudes, awareness, and behaviors of students.”

In recent years Middlebury has made a concerted effort to educate students, faculty, and staff about sexual violence and to encourage reporting of any actions described in Middlebury’s updated Policy Against Sexual Misconduct, Domestic and Dating Violence and Misconduct, and Stalking.

Statistics for the Middlebury campus are for the full calendar year and include summer use of the campus by the Middlebury Language Schools and School of the Environment.

The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act) requires that colleges and universities receiving federal funding maintain and publicly disclose campus crime statistics for the preceding three years, as well as security information and policies. The definitions in the Clery Act are used by all institutions in the United States to classify and report crimes under the Act. The Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization of 2013, often commonly referred to as VAWA, modified the definitions of some of the sexual offenses beginning with the 2014 data.

As required by the Clery Act, this year’s report documents the numerous education efforts that Middlebury has instituted for incoming and current students. Programs for faculty and staff are described as well, including online sexual violence prevention for all incoming students, response training for all faculty and staff, and the Green Dot Violence Prevention Strategy that was put in place campus-wide in the fall of 2015. Many of Middlebury’s programs aimed at preventing sexual violence are funded by a 2013 grant from the Department of Justice.

Middlebury also filed reports on Saturday for its Bread Loaf Campus in Vermont and for its summer Language Schools program at Mills College in Oakland, California. All three reports are available on the website of Middlebury’s Department of Public Safety, and include data from the Middlebury College Department of Public Safety, the Middlebury Police Department, and law enforcement agencies in locations where Middlebury has a presence.

Middlebury issues a separate report for its campus in Monterey, California, which is home to the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.