The Clery Act Is Creating Safer Campuses: Is Your Institution Complying with It?

The Clery Act Is Creating Safer Campuses: Is Your Institution Complying with It?
Campus safety is a real concern for students: 1 in 5 women and 1 in 16 men are sexually assaulted while in college (National Sexual Violence Resource Center). The Clery Act requires all public and private institutions of postsecondary education participating in Federal student financial assistance programs to disclose campus crime statistics and security information to the public. This Act is in memory of Jeanne Clery, a 19-year-old woman who was raped and murdered in her residence hall on April 5, 1986. Following the murder of their daughter, Connie and Howard Clery founded the Clery Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to safer campuses for college and university students. Clery Center works with college and university communities to create safer campuses. To that end, Clery Center has campaigned tirelessly to introduce legislation and to raise campus safety awareness.  

How Does the Clery Act Affect Your Institution?

Your postsecondary institution must do the following to comply with the Clery Act:
  1. Collect crime reports. These reports are collected from campus security authorities (CSAs) within your institution on an ongoing basis. Your institution must:
  • Request crime statistics from local law enforcement in the jurisdiction where the institution owns or controls property.
  • Submit crime and fire statistics each fall to the Department of Education via a Web-based data collection system.
  • Publish and distribute an Annual Security Report (ASR) containing crime statistics for the three most recent years, as well as safety- and security-related policy statements.
  • Issue campus alerts, which include timely warnings for any Clery Act crime that represents a serious or ongoing threat to the safety of students, employees or minors on campus, or emergency notifications upon confirmation of significant immediate threat to the health or safety of the campus community.
  1. Keep a daily crime log of alleged criminal incidents (if your institution maintains a campus police or security department).
  • It is open for public inspection.
  1. If your institution has on-campus student housing facilities, it must:
  • Disclose missing student notification procedures in the ASR for students residing in those facilities.
  • Disclose fire safety information, which includes keeping a public fire log and publishing an Annual Fire Safety Report for each on-campus student housing facility.
To learn more, visit the Clery Center’s website and have a look at our pocket guide, written to help ensure your college understands and complies with the Clery Act.

What About Title IX?

Sexual harassment of students, which includes acts of sexual violence, is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Once a school knows or reasonably should know of possible sexual violence, it must:
  • Take immediate and appropriate action to investigate or otherwise determine what occurred.
  • Follow prompt and effective steps to end the sexual violence, prevent its recurrence and address its effects, whether or not the sexual violence is the subject of a criminal investigation.
  • Apply measures to protect the complainant as necessary, including interim steps taken prior to the final outcome of the investigation.
  • Provide grievance procedures for students to file complaints of sex discrimination.
  • Notify both parties of the outcome of the complaint.
Other resources worth exploring include The Handbook for Campus Safety and Security Reporting and the Action Guide for Emergency Management at Institutions of Higher Education.
  For more information on the products available to purchase for your students and institutional officials, browse the QuickSeries® library of guides, including The Clery Act – Creating Safer CampusesCampus Safety and Spot It. Stop It. Be an Active Bystander.