PORTLAND -- Portland State University has seen an increase in the number of sex offenses on campus over the past few years.
In 2011, the university reported 8 sexual assaults. That's a jump from 4 in 2010 and 2 in 2009.
"With those kind of numbers, I don't think you can come up with any type of trend or definitive answer," said Chief Phil Zerzan of Campus Public Safety. "We believe that sexual assaults are under-reported, so if we are seeing an increase it could mean a lot of things and not all of them bad. It could mean that people are more comfortable reporting those crimes."
Students recognize that PSU is an urban campus in the heart of downtown Portland, which may also contribute to the numbers. City crime statistics show, so far this year, there have been 54 sex offenses within a half-mile of the university.
Portland State has 19 security officers. They are not armed. They work closely with the Portland Police Bureau.
Recently, students and administrators have discussed the idea of forming a sworn police force for PSU.