University fails to inform community of summer on-campus crime


Bianca Cseke | The DePaulia

DePaul University Lincoln Park campus.

A CWB Chicago story surfaced early in September stating that a “DePaul freshman” was charged with felony armed robbery in connection to a crime that took place over the summer on DePaul’s Lincoln Park campus. 

While the crime that took place involved an alleged DePaul student on DePaul’s campus, there was no typical DPU alert sent out to DePaul faculty, staff and students pertaining to the crime. 

DPU Alert is DePaul’s direct emergency notification system. The alerts are used to notify the DePaul community in three different ways: telephone, email and text. 

DePaul spokeswoman Carol Hughes told The DePaulia that there was no alert because the incident was not reported to Public Safety for several days. 

The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, or Clery Act, is a federal statute signed in 1980 that requires all colleges and universities that participate in all federal financial aid programs to disclose timely information and alerts about crimes that take place on respected campuses.

While it’s unclear if DePaul was in violation of the Clery Act by not issuing an alert since the incident took place on campus, the university might be inculpable since Public Safety did not receive a timely report. 

Alerts covered by the Clery Act must be determined as timely and evaluated as a real campus threat –– DePaul was not in any serious violation to the act since it was not reported to Public Safety in a timely manner. 

In DePaul’s Safety and Security Information Report, it states that decisions whether to issue a timely warning or not, will be made on a case-by-case basis by Public Safety.

While the CWB article states one of the offenders was a DePaul freshman, Hughes shared that no records show the man was enrolled at DePaul. 

In regards to the Clery Act, Hughes said that DePaul has been and will continue to be forthcoming in Clery Act reporting. 

“As stated in DePaul’s Crime Reporting and Clery Act Compliance policy, the Public Safety Office posts timely warning notices to notify members of the community about serious crimes against people that occur on or adjacent to our campus,” Hughes said. “In this case, the incident was not reported to the Public Safety Office for several days, at which point a warning would no longer have been timely, and so a timely warning was not posted.” 

Kellie Bartoli from the Chicago Police Department’s Office of Communication confirmed the crime took place.

Bartoli sent The DePaulia a brief report of the crime. On July 26, 2020 around 2:48 p.m., a 23-year-old male reported to officers that he was at the 900 block of West Fullerton when a group of approximately three males approached. One of the offenders displayed a gun and demanded money and personal property from the victim. The victim complied and the offenders left the scene.

Two of the three males were placed into custody on Sept. 9, while the third was not placed until Sept. 16. The CWB article stated that one of the offenders was a DePaul freshman. No offenders were identified and taken into custody until September.