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St. Mary’s crime rate stays low

Katie Peralta | Friday, September 14, 2007

Crime is an infrequent occurrence on Saint Mary’s campus, according to an annual report released by the College that discloses last year’s crime statistics.

As in previous years, the crime rate at Saint Mary’s is very low, said David Gariepy, director of security at Saint Mary’s.

For the 2006 academic year, Saint Mary’s reported three burglaries on campus.

Students most frequently report stolen clothing, computers and other electronics, Gariepy said.

“Sometimes, these thefts are just mistakes,” Gariepy said. “Girls leave their backpacks and jackets outside the dining hall and someone grabs the wrong one. We get that sort of thing worked out pretty easily.”

Saint Mary’s reported no aggravated assault, incest or forcible rape last year. It is required that Saint Mary’s Security reports incidents of sexual assault to South Bend Police, Gariepy said. In incidents of sexual assault, he said, the suspect is usually known to the victim, such as a boyfriend or other male acquaintance, and alcohol is usually a factor.

Saint Mary’s has taken measures to educate women about alcohol abuse and personal safety, Gariepy said. At freshman orientation students are informed about alcohol awareness and are encouraged to make smart decisions.

Gariepy said the effects of alcohol can lead to disputes among women, but those rarely reach the level of physical abuse. Women, Gariepy said, do not tend to get as physically aggressive when intoxicated as men do.

To prevent crime, Saint Mary’s Security provides transportation options for students during the week and on weekends..

“We would not want students walking home that late at night,” Gariepy said.

Students may utilize the Sweep, a bus that runs between Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s weeknights until 2:30 a.m. and weekends until 4:30 a.m. They can also use the late night van known as “Blinkie,” which runs from the Grotto back to Saint Mary’s for two hours after the Sweep stops its runs.

Saint Mary’s also has security officers on campus to ensure student safety.

The card access system within the dormitories promotes safety by making it more difficult to enter residence halls, especially on game weekends, Gariepy said.