Updated as of Sept. 30 at 2:27 p.m. to include comment from campus police.
Elon University saw 10 rapes on campus in residential facilities in 2021, according to the annual Fire & Safety Report. This is a 400% increase from the two reported the previous year.
Elon University does not make previous Fire & Safety Reports available on its website. Elon News Network records show no more than three rapes have been reported in a single year since at least 2014.
The Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act of 1990 was signed into law in 1990. This act is what requires Elon University and institutions of higher education who participate in financial aid programs under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 to disclose campus crime information and security information.
Campus Police Chief Joe LeMire said he does not believe the increase is indicative of an increase in rapes occurring on campus, rather of an increase in reporting.
“The fact that the numbers went up in some facet is also positive because we know we are reaching people that are reporting that they're sexually assaulted,” LeMire said. “We're getting them the help, either Title IX or the police are investigating it, that victim advocacy and counseling and other places on campus are providing the support that they need.”
LeMire said students concerned about the increase should reach out to campus police to set up more training and information sessions addressing safety on campus.
“Give us an opportunity to come to an area if you want to get a group together so that we could talk to you about it in person,” LeMire said. “Sometimes it's hard to get an audience. So if people say, ‘Hey, I'm really concerned about this, and I want to talk about it,’ what I want to do as the chief of police is offer access.”