The Clery Act
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 colleges to report crimes that occur “on campus” and school safety policies. This information is available each year in an Annual Security Report (ASR), which can be found on your school’s website. The Clery Act also requires schools to send timely warnings to the school community when there are known risks to public safety on campus.
The Clery Act also contains the Campus Sexual Assault Victim’s Bill of Rights, which requires colleges to disclose educational programming, campus disciplinary process, and victim rights regarding sexual violence complaints. The Clery Act was expanded in 2013 by the Campus SaVE Act, which broadened Clery requirements to address all incidents of sexual violence (sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking.
Crimes that occur on school grounds and within school owned buildings qualify for reporting under the Clery Act. Some schools may also be required to record crimes at certain non-campus facilities, like Greek houses or public property adjacent to the institution. Also some off campus properties qualifies as “on campus” under this Act, like remote classrooms and buildings owned by campus groups. Which locations qualify for reporting is very school specific, so if you are unsure if a location qualifies you should contact a lawyer or expert organization, like the Clery Center.
Under the Clery Act, schools are required to:
RECORD CAMPUS CRIME STATISTICS
All reported campus crimes are recorded in a Daily Crime Log and an Annual Security Report, whose location may be found on your school’s website. Daily Crime Logs must be updated within 2 days of a report (unless it would jeopardize an ongoing police investigation). An Annual Security Report is released each October and contains the last 3 years worth of reported crimes occurring on campus. Several crimes must be listed, which include:
- Stalking: ongoing conduct that could cause a reasonable person to fear for the safety of themselves or others, or suffer emotional distress (e.g., following, monitoring, threatening, communicating to or about the victim, or interfering with a victim’s property)
- Intimidation: words or conduct that places the victim in reasonable fear of bodily harm (does not include use of a weapon, which is a different crime under Clery)
- Dating Violence: threats or actual sexual or physical abuse in a dating relationship
- Domestic Violence: crime of violence committed by former spouse, cohabiting partner, or someone with whom you share a child
- Sexual Assault: rape (oral, anal or vaginal), fondling, incest, or statutory rape
- Hate Crimes: any crime motivated by perpetrator bias against the victim based on race, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, national origin, and disability (whether actual or perceived)
The Clery Act does not require a college or university that receives a report of a campus crime to initiate an investigation, nor does it permit a university to release identifying information about a victim. Clery Act crime reports include only the date of the report, the date of the crime, and the general location.
ISSUE TIMELY WARNINGS WHEN A CRIME HAS BEEN COMMITTED
Any time a crime has or is occurring that poses a serious or ongoing threat to the rest of the campus, the college must provide timely warnings in a way that is likely to reach every member of the campus community. This requires schools to assess the risk to public safety after an incident of sexual assault, stalking, or domestic or dating violence is reported. Often times, a stranger perpetrated sexual assault will trigger a timely warning. A school’s decision not to issue a timely warning is reviewable under the Clery Act by the U.S. Department of Education.
This information is found on the website for the Clery Act.
Clery Act. (n.d.). Retrieved August 30, 2017, from https://www.knowyourix.org/college-resources/Clery-act/