The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act was signed into law in 1990 and requires the university (since we participate in federal student aid programs) to publically disclose campus safety information. The Act imposes basic requirements for handling incidents of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. If a student or employee feels the university did not provide a proper investigation, a complaint may be filed with the U.S. Department of Education (ED) or the U.S. Department of Justice asking the agency to investigate the university for violations, which can result in possible sanctions.
The Clery Act was named after Jeanne Clery, who was raped and murdered in her dorm room by a fellow student on April 5, 1986. Her parents championed the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act) in her memory. This Act is a federal law that requires the university to report crimes that occur “on campus” and to publish school safety policies. This information is available each year in our Annual Security Report (ASR). The Clery Act also requires a timely warning be given to our campus community when there are known risks to public safety on campus.
Within the Clery Act is the Campus Sexual Assault Victim’s Bill of Rights, which requires disclosure of educational programs, the campus disciplinary process, and a statement of victim rights regarding sexual violence complaints. The Clery Act was expanded and strengthened in 2013 by the Campus SaVE Act, which broadened Clery requirements to address all incidents of sexual violence (to include, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking).
When is a Crime Considered “On Campus”?
Crimes that occur on campus and within university owned buildings are to be reported under the Clery Act. The university is required to record crimes at university non-campus facilities, like remote classrooms and offices. Which locations qualify for reporting is very specific to our school; if you are unsure if a location qualifies, you should contact campus law enforcement or the director of Title IX and Clery Compliance.
What is a “Timely Warning”?
Under the Clery Act, any time a crime has or is occurring that poses a serious or ongoing threat to the campus community, the university must provide timely warnings in a way that is likely to reach every member of the campus community (students and employees). After receiving notice of an incident of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking, the university is required to assess the risk to public safety and determine the necessity of issuing a timely warning to the campus community. A decision not to issue a timely warning is reviewable under the Clery Act by the U.S. Department of Education.
To comply with the Clery Act, the university is required to explain policies and procedures regarding the handling and adjudication of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking cases. This includes to whom a student or employee may report such an incident and what possible sanctions may be imposed as a result. The university must also provide a list of available resources (such as available medical care, mental health resources, and other support options either on campus or within the local community) to victims. We also must provide information regarding a student’s or employee’s right to request reasonable accommodations on campus in the wake of sexual violence. Such an accommodation includes changing housing or an academic or work schedule to avoid seeing the accused. Students also have several rights during campus disciplinary proceedings, such as being informed at every stage of the process, having the same rights as the accused to have an advisor present, to appeal a final decision, and to receive a final decision in writing at the same time as the accused.
The Clery Act requires reported crime statistics to protect a student and employee’s confidentiality while alerting the public to possible safety risks or incidents on campus. We have an obligation to inform victims about rights regarding to whom they can formally report sexual misconduct if they wish a criminal prosecution, to facilitate that process if desired, and to let them know they have a right not to file a criminal report and yet still receive support from the university.
Finally, both Title IX and the Clery Act protects against retaliation. The university cannot intimidate, threaten, coerce, or discriminate against a student or employee for filing a complaint or participating in the investigation and/or adjudication process.