Colorado Mesa University creates a safe space for students

The university released its annual Clery Report, detailing what students are reporting.
Published: Mar. 28, 2023 at 8:28 PM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - With the threats of gun violence and sexual assaults on college campuses, Colorado Mesa University has procedures in place to help students.

The university is required to release a Clery Report every year detailing crimes on and near campuses, such as sexual assaults, weapons, drug, or alcohol violations.

Stephanie Rubinstein, the Title IX coordinator at CMU, said the report is a tool to show what students are reporting. Title IX exists so students can be protected.

“[Title IX is] the law that provides services and makes sure that these issues are being addressed, as opposed to Clery, which is just really the reporting part process,” Rubinstein said.

The Title IX office at CMU has created a series of programs called Real Talk. It deals with sexuality, gender, and issues related to consent. It also helps students recognize red flags versus healthy relationships.

Rubinstein said everyone is accountable on campus; everyone has a responsibility to speak up and say something if they see something.

“In terms of the faculty and staff here on campus, everyone is considered a mandatory reporter. If they see something they have to report it.” Rubinstein said.

Students can make reports from their phone through the CMU app as well.

For students struggling with an uncomfortable situation to students who may be considering violence, Rubinstein said CMU is here to help.

“The issue is keeping our eyes open, making sure that we have relationships with our students,” Rubinstein said. “We know who they are, we’re able to talk with them, keep open doors, to make sure that there is that discussion if someone feels unsafe. Or, if someone feels like violence is an answer, how can we help to make sure that that’s not what the result is.”

Overall, Rubinstein said the best way to help is to say something if you see something. She said there are also counseling services in place to help students who may be struggling and are looking for help.

Clery reports were created in 1990, following the rape and murder of 19-year-old Lehigh University student Jeanne Clery in 1986. The act requires all colleges and universities that benefit from federal financial aid programs to record and share information about crime on and near campuses.