SAN MARCOS, Texas - Earlier this year, the Department of Education zeroed in on Texas State University, telling the administration to correct some underreported crime stats for the years 2016 and 2017 for both the San Marcos and Round Rock campuses. The school said the crimes were misreported.
They have since released a revised crime report.
“We expected some increase in the numbers and that's what's happened,” said Sandy Pantlik, assistant director of communications at Texas State.
In their last report, the school said there were eight sexual assaults in both 2016 and 2017, but the revision says there were four times more, 38.
“We know it's troubling to see these revised numbers. Safety is our priority, security, peace of mind of our community is paramount to us,” said Pantlik.
Dating and domestic violence, including stalking, also went underreported with eight reported cases. Now, more than 40 cases are documented.
The Clery Act requires universities to report timely and accurate crime stats for students and prospective parents to see. Texas State says transitions in leadership, poor UPD record management, and miscommunication led to the inaccuracies. They've since created a Clery compliance committee to make sure they get it right in the future.
“In addition to the Clery Compliance Committee, we have joined the National Clery Center," Pantlik said. "Through that center, we get assistance learning about best practices. They will also review our annual security report every year moving forward, also we are working with a national Clery consultant. We know it's important to our community to get those numbers right."
“You kind of get insecure about those things when you figure out you're almost kind of being lied to,” Texas State student Madeline Mentesana said.
Some students say it may take a while for them to regain trust in their university administration's record keeping.
“I’ve heard first-hand stories about things being underreported. It's certainly changed my view of the campus,” student Shane Becherer said.
What students are demanding moving forward are accuracy and honesty.
“Telling the truth is the biggest thing,” said Mentesana.
In addition to the Clery Compliance Committee, Pantlik said the school just finished a $1.6 million lighting renovation, and the school is increasing police patrols.