FREDONIA – The State University of New York at Fredonia was included in a report issued Friday by the New York State Comptroller’s Office, in which Fredonia is listed as having reporting discrepancies regarding certain categories listed within the Clery Act.
According to school officials at Fredonia, the discrepancies were the result of a clerical error which occurred during the early part of 2014 as data was transferred during the re-formatting of Fredonia’s website. In a subsequent media release sent out Friday afternoon, school officials stated that the university was consolidating data which had previously been held in multiple reports into a single report, to create an all-inclusive more transparent report. In the process, all of the data from the single reporting category, “Liquor, Drug, and Weapon Arrests” (86 incidents in all) in 2012, were mistakenly left blank.
This was the data used to create the campus’ Annual Security Report (ASR) cited in the Comptroller’s release. It is important to note, however, that the data filed with the U.S. Department of Education was never inaccurate at any time in 2013 or 2014, and the 2012 ASR data was also correctly reported initially in 2013.
The ASR data error was identified by campus personnel on May 6, 2014 and corrected immediately. On the same day, Fredonia’s University Police verbally notified the SUNY Commissioner of Police of the error and correction, and official confirmation was received from SUNY shortly thereafter.
“The press release issued by the Comptroller’s office today following the findings of its auditors states that there were an inordinate proportion of reporting discrepancies committed by the campus in 2012,” said Fredonia’s Marketing and Communications Director Michael Barone. “However, the literal interpretation of that data suggests that our campus reported that it had no liquor, drug or weapon arrests whatsoever in all of 2012. While we would be thrilled if that were the case, it’s a highly unlikely scenario for any college campus.”
“Nonetheless, the initial error occurred on our part, and we take responsibility for that and apologize for the confusion which it has caused,” Barone continued. “We take the reporting of crime statistics and the spirit of the Clery Act very seriously. We would never knowingly or intentionally under-report such data in any manner.”