Despite the media attention Temple received for the November assault in Anderson Hall and the February anti-Semitic hate crime, Campus Safety Services Executive Director Carl Bittenbender said the numbers for this year look good.
Part I offenses for 2007 on campus, including murder, manslaughter, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, theft, auto theft and arson, dropped from 367 in 2006 to 239, according to Campus Safety Services’ annual report.
Part II offenses on campus, including simple assault, forgery, fraud, vandalism, disorderly conduct and other offenses, however, rose in 2007 to 145, up from 73 in 2006.
Alcohol, drug and weapons arrests and referrals on and around campus also saw a drop of 77 offenses from last year to this year.
Even with some negative media attention in the cases of the assault and the hate crime, both of which are set to go to trial, Bittenbender said Temple received a lot of positive press this year.
“I think there’s always attention at universities for positive things and negative things. Has this been, in my 12 years, the most I remember media attention? I don’t believe so,” he said. “We had [the media] in here for a number of positive things.”
Positive press for Temple includes running stories about the radio room that Campus Safety redid this semester and also an upcoming U.S. News and World Report story about Rape Aggression Defense training on college campuses that features Temple.
Bittenbender said that the U.S. News and World Report reporter commented that students at Temple seem to have a very good relationship with the police.
“I have students who have studied at other institutions who say, ‘I didn’t find that at my other school.’ My question always was, ‘Why not?’ We’re not separate, we’re part of the university community,” Bittenbender said.
He said he is proud of the relationship the Temple police have with the students.
“We’re not perfect, trust me, nobody’s perfect,” Bittenbender said. “But overall, the comments of the ease of the students with the Campus Police, talking to them, interaction with them, has always been positive.”
Morgan A. Zalot can be reached at email@example.com.