Updated October 8, 2015 at 9:41 p.m. 

Twenty sex offenses occurred at Bowdoin in 2014, according to the Annual Clery Campus Crime Report for the 2014 calendar year released on October 1 by the Office of Safety and Security.

The 20 reported sex offenses is a jump up from the six reported in 2013 and the four reported in 2012. Peer schools reported similar jumps in numbers for sex offenses in 2014—Bates and Amherst each reported 12, Williams reported 20 and Wesleyan reported 41 sex offenses.

According to Director of Safety and Security Randy Nichols, the increase in reported sex offenses is a positive sign, considering that such crimes are notoriously underreported.

“We’re very pleased that more students are reporting,” he said. “I think that has a lot to do with the fact that as students become more educated with the reporting process, they understand that they are in control of what happens.

“It’s very important that even if the victim does not want to pursue it...that we know that the incident occurred for statistical purposes. As we all know, sexual assaults are notoriously underreported, so even though our numbers this year increased substantially...it still really is the tip of the iceberg.”

Director of Gender Violence Prevention and Education Benje Douglas credited increased reporting to the work of student leaders on campus.

“I think it’s a variety of things...but if I had to boil it down, I’d say student leaders probably getting more information...out to other students about what it means to report,” he said.

Nichols said that many of the cases in the Clery report were reported anonymously. When reports of a sex offense are brought to security, all Nichols needs to know is that an incident occurred and where it occurred for it to be counted in the Clery statistics.

Certain people on campus are required to report any sex offense that they are made aware of to security, anonymously or otherwise. Mandated reporters include Deans, Residential Life staff and Douglas.

However, Counseling Services, Safe Space members, Director of Religious and Spiritual Life Bob Ives, Director of the Women’s Resource Center Melissa Quinby, Director of the Resource Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity Kate Stern and Health Services are fully confidential resources. Therefore, any sex offenses discussed exclusively with them would not be represented in the report.

Any sex offenses that occurred off campus are also not included in the Clery report.

Changes were made to the system for the report of sex offenses for the 2014 report. In previous years, sex offenses had been noted only as “Forcible Sex Offenses.” However, following the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 signed in March of 2013, colleges were required to phase in a new method of reporting statistics: now, sex offenses must be broken down into “Rape” and “Fondling.”

Bowdoin also reported that five burglaries, 143 liquor law violations and 43 drug law violations took place on or directly adjacent to campus in 2014. According to Nichols, those numbers are consistent with previous years and are not surprising.