Despite an expected drop in overall crime on Cabrini’s campus in 2020, the university’s annual security report shows a bump in drug referrals, up from 41 in 2019 to 42 in 2020. While this difference is minuscule on the surface, less students were on campus than in 2019.
Joseph Fusco, Cabrini’s director of public safety, attributes the steady influx of drug reports to the legalization or decriminalization of marijuana across the region and country.
“Marijuana (is) slowly becoming legal in other states and decriminalized in the city of Philadelphia,” and “some students seek to use it more and more,” he said. As of this article’s publication, it’s illegal to possess any recreational drug on Cabrini’s campus. As a result, students will be charged with a violation, regardless of the laws in nearby towns and cities.
The annual security report, released on Sept. 27, also contains statistics of crime on campus for the 2018, 2019 and 2020 school years, tips on how to stay safe and contact information for various services. Besides drug and liquor law referrals, the number of criminal charges at Cabrini are low due to the school’s small size.
This report documents recorded cases of sexual assault, petty theft, destruction of property, arson and illegal possession of drugs and alcohol. Of the three years covered, 2020 had the fewest number of charges. 2018 and 2019 had a similar number of cases, with 2018 having more Liquor referrals (91), and 2019 having more cases of sexual assault (7).
Fusco attributes the drop in charges in 2020 to the COVID-19 pandemic, with most students taking online classes from home or commuting. He said,”Even though most students returned back to campus over the last year, there are still some who have not fully returned yet.” He also believes that crime could rise over the next year as more people start to move back to campus.
The school also has multiple plans and strategies to reduce the amount of criminal activity on campus. “Public Safety has been awarded a grant from the PA Liquor Control Board which allows extra officers to be present at times where underage drinking could be more prevalent on campus. These extra officers help patrol our residence halls, athletic events, as well as other campus events where alcohol could be being used. The grant also affords public safety the ability to purchase additional cameras to use indoors and outdoors, greatly improving areas that may have not been as monitored in the past,” Fusco said.
To report a crime or suspicious activity on campus, contact 610-902-8111, or go to the public safety office. You can also anonymously report any incident on ethics point.