As 19-year-old Jeanne Ann Clery slept peacefully in her Pennsylvania Lehigh University dormitory her killer awaited in the shadows. After being tortured, raped, sodomized and murdered Clery’s lifeless body lay in a darkened dorm until PLU’s campus police arrived on the scene at the break of dawn of April 5, 1986. “Our daughter died because of what she did not know, and we don’t want this to happen to other students," Jeanne Ann Clery’s parents said on their Security on Campus Inc. website.
Sadly had Clery known of the 38 crimes previously reported to PLU’s campus police that semester, and the 181 reports to the administration of propped-open doors in her dormitory she might still be alive. However, Clery’s parents Connie and Howard, made certain that their daughter’s death was not in vain. Thanks to the Clery’s extraordinary efforts Congress passed the Clery Act in 1990 which states, “…schools must disclose crime statistics for the campus in unobstructed public areas." If campuses do not follow the Clery Act they can be fined up to $25,000.
It is the Clery Act that permitted the SF State Campus Police to distribute flyers and other information to students about the recent attempted strong-arm robbery that took place in the lower level of parking garage 20 at
9:58 A.M. on Feb. 11. “I’m so glad that this type of information is made available. It is my right to know about the crimes that happen here on campus,” Christina Wong a SF State student said. “I feel a little safer knowing that this information is out there. It’s just so sad that someone had to die for the act to become law.”
The Clery Act states “…all schools in the United States have to publish an annual report every year by October 1st that contains 3 years worth of campus crime statistics and certain security policy statements including sexual assault policies which assure basic victims’ rights, the law enforcement authority of campus police and where students should go to report crimes." Additionally, the Clery Act requires universities to report statistics in seven categories including murder and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, vehicle theft, and arson.
Now thanks to the mandatory release of SF State's Campus Security Report, newspapers like The Golden Gate Xpress have access to all crimes committed on campus. Therefore The Xpress can accurately report assaults like Feb. 11 attempted strong-arm robbery of a graduating female. "It’s good to know that the paper is covering the robbery. But I really believe it would be beneficial for everyone on campus if there were cameras around the parking garages and also in public places,” Rick Booth administrative assistant for Student Services said. “We need to catch these people on camera so they can be brought to justice.”
In order to bring justice to light, a drawing of the suspect was completed by the victim and sketch artist Officer Joe Lynch, of the S.F.P.D., and is now posted all over campus. “If you think this kind of crime can’t happen to you, you had better think again,” Officer Lynch said. “I recommend that you should always travel in pairs, and make sure you keep your cell phone will you at all times. Have the campus police programmed into your cell phone. If a student wants to reach the SFSU Campus Police directly they need to dial 415-338-7200. If anyone on campus sees anything suspicious, they are advised to immediately report it to the Department of Public Safety at 415-338-2222.
In order to minimize the chance of another crime occurring in the parking garages, more officers will be patrolling the area. “We are increasing the patrols in the parking garages. That means that the frequency of the officers patrolling the structures will rise,” Senior Sergeant Jennifer Schwartz of SF State's Campus Police’s Operations Division said. “The officers will be either be traveling in the parking garages on foot, in cars or on bikes because we take crime very seriously.”
Numerous other campus organizations take crime just as seriously, and are willing to go to any lengths to protect and inform the more than 27,000 students enrolled at State. Nina Jo Smith the coordinator of The S.A.F.E Place (Sexual Abuse Free Environment) is concerned for the welfare of all students. "We are trying to build a culture of awareness here on campus. People need a place to go when they are hurting," Smith said. Our program focuses 90 percent on prevention education, and 10 percent on crisis counseling referrals on and off campus."
Unfortunately state budget cuts could affect The S.A.F.E Place, but not if students vote for fee increases on March 2nd. "We are encouraging students to vote for their needs, but it is hard to ask for the extra money," Smith said. "Currently we are sponsoring a free self defense class on March 18 from 7-9 p.m. in Centennial Village.
Lieutenant Amalia “Molly” Boria, who works closely with Smith, is also committed to keeping people safe. Boria of the Department of Public Safety is the S.A.R.T. (Sexual Assault Response Team) leader, and educates students about how to prevent sexual assault from occurring. In order to avoid putting yourself in a dangerous situation Boria suggests that students, “…walk with their heads up, and walk with confidence. You could even wear military-style t-shirts to keep people from bothering you. Boria also recommends, “If you are going to use pepper spray make sure you know how to use it. It would be a shame if the perpetrator got a hold of it and used it on the victim.”
Another excellent source to turn to in times of emotional need is The Counseling and Psychological Service Center in room 208 of the Student Services Building. “We see thousands of students every year, and have a waiting list by the middle of the semester,” Associate Clinic Director of the service center Willie Mullins said. “We want to help people when they first experience a trauma so we can get at the core issues."
Besides offering 10 free 45-minute sessions per academic semester, the center also puts on workshops around campus with the help of the judicial affairs office and the campus police. “We teach people how to respond properly to hostile behavior, and we will put a workshop together for anyone who asks," Mullins said.
In the event that a student needs after hours care or has an emergency, there are 11 hospitals/clinics in San Francisco County available. Of these 11 organizations four have sliding scale fees, and two offer free/donation services. Both The Women’s Community Clinic at 2166 Hayes St. and The Haight-Ashbury Free Clinic at 558 Clayton St. are free for students. Additionally C.A.R.E. (Campus Alliance for a Risk Free Environment) escorts are available free of charge at 415-338-7200.
Today the admitted alcoholic and drug addict who took Clery’s life is facing his own shadow of death in a Pennsylvania state prison, and has confessed to the crime. He said he knowingly committed murder and serves to die. Although we cannot bring back Jeanne Ann Clery, we can begin to appreciate how her life is still shaping ours. We can also let her memory live on in the name of knowledge, protection and safety.