Though San Marcos Hall is not the largest residence hall at Texas State, it is the dorm where the most crimes were reported in 2012.
Residence halls experienced a combined total of 257 crimes in 2012, with 67 percent being alcohol and drug violations, according to information gathered from the University Police Department’s daily crime log. Theft was 19 percent of the total, and violent crimes accounted for just two percent. The other 12 percent of crimes reported at dorms consisted of cases like criminal mischief, graffiti and damage to university property.
San Marcos Hall had the most crimes per capita, followed by Bexar, Jackson and Smith Halls, according to the data. Brogdon, San Saba and Burleson Halls had the fewest crimes per capita in 2012. Minor in possession offenses were the most frequently reported crime. Possession of marijuana was second.
San Marcos Hall had both the highest total crime rate and highest per capita rate on campus. About 64 percent of crimes reported at San Marcos Hall in 2012 were related to illegal substances, reflecting a trend across campus.
After alcohol and drug violations, theft and burglary are the second most commonly reported crimes at residence halls. The 33 total crimes reported at San Marcos Hall in 2012 include nine theft and burglary related incidents. The only crimes reported at Brogdon and San Saba Halls in 2012 were thefts and burglaries.
Alyssa Kunz, San Marcos Hall resident and nutrition junior, said she is not surprised her dorm had the highest amount of crimes in 2012. Resident assistants held a meeting at the beginning of the year to address theft in the dorm.
“Most people that I know of who have gotten things stolen just don’t lock their door,” Kunz said. “They covered that in the meeting, but people still forget to do it.”
Sgt. Chris Cost said campus police have computer systems to track big-ticket items such as stolen laptops. However, many thefts are never resolved because of the high-traffic nature of residence halls.
Kunz said alcohol and marijuana possessions are the most common occurrences of crime in San Marcos Hall.
“People will punch holes in the walls and break things,” Kunz said. “In the morning, we’ll all see them and just know that it was from someone being drunk the night before.”
Bexar Hall had the second highest crime per capita rate in 2012. Anthony Monroe, Bexar Hall Resident Assistant, said student-reported incidents are rare. Most crimes are discovered by resident assistants, who immediately notify UPD. Resident assistants will stand by the offender’s door while waiting for an officer to arrive so the student won’t be able to hide the crime.
UPD takes over the case once a crime is reported. Cost said officers assess the situation and take action as needed, and it is up to their discretion whether a citation will be issued. A student will be ticketed more often than not, Cost said.
Cali Littlejohn, undecided freshman and San Marcos Hall resident, was issued a minor in consumption citation this semester for having alcohol in her mini-fridge.
Littlejohn said the resident assistant and police officers who responded to the call told her a photo of the alcohol was posted to a social media website by an unnamed person.
“I don’t know who would do that to me,” Littlejohn said. “But at the end of the day, I did have alcohol in my room. So, I understand why I got a ticket.”
Kunz and Littlejohn said they believe San Marcos Hall had the highest crime rate in 2012 because the dorm’s living room area is large enough to accommodate several people. It gives the illusion of privacy.
Littlejohn said dorm parties and drinking beforehand are common occurrences in every residence hall.
“They’re just popular (at San Marcos Hall) because you can fit so many people in here, unlike somewhere where it’s just two people in a small room,” Littlejohn said.