Mandatory Federal Reporting and Campus Crime Statistics
In 1990, Congress enacted the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act of 1990 (Title II of Public Law 101-542), a landmark federal law which amended the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA). The act was amended in 1998 and renamed the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, or more commonly known today as the Clery Act. The Clery Act requires all postsecondary educational institutions participating in HEA’s Title IV student financial assistance programs to disclose campus crime statistics and security information. The requirements of the Clery Act are complex and require significant coordination and organization among campus officials, but can be condensed into three primary categories: 1) Policy disclosure statements; 2) Records collection and retention; and 3) Information dissemination.
The policy disclosure mandate requires postsecondary educational institutions receiving federal financial aid to create and publish policy and information disclosure statements, which must be contained in a single document entitled the Annual Security Report (ASR). The University of Southern California publishes its Annual Security Report on the Department of Public Safety website under the Clery Compliance sub-heading at http://capsnet.usc.edu/department/department-public-safety/clery-compliance.
The records collection and retention mandate requires postsecondary educational institutions to collect information concerning certain crimes reported to campus police or individuals identified in the law as “campus security authorities” for crimes occurring on Clery geography defined as: 1) on-campus; 2) non-campus locations; or 3) or on certain public property within or near campus. USC is also required under this mandate to maintain a daily crime log and to make it accessible to the public during normal business hours. USC’s daily crime log can be accessed on the Department of Public Safety’s website.
The information dissemination mandate requires postsecondary educational institutions annually publish by October 1st campus crime statistics and policy disclosure statements in one document entitled the Annual Security Report. The Annual Security Report includes Clery crime statistics for the three year period prior to the report and is disseminated to current and prospective students and employees. Data identical to that contained in the Annual Security Report must be entered on the Department of Postsecondary Education’s survey website prior to October 1 of each year. The Department of Education is charged under the Clery Act with monitoring compliance with the Act and for enforcement.
The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (“VAWA”), signed into law by President Obama March 7, 2013, imposes new obligations on colleges and universities under its Campus Sexual Violence Act (“SaVE Act”) provision. There are three new crime categories for which statistics must be collected under the VAWA amendments to the Clery Act: 1) domestic violence; 2) dating violence; and 3) stalking. For further information on the definitions of the VAWA crimes which must be reported for the Clery Act refer to the Annual Security Report posted on the Department of Public Safety’s website.
Campus Security Authorities
A Campus Security Authority (CSA) is a Clery-specific term that encompasses four groups of individuals and organizations associated with an institution: 1) A campus police department or a campus security department of an institution; 2) Any individual or individuals who have responsibility for campus security but who do not constitute a campus police department or a campus security department (e.g., an individual who is responsible for monitoring the entrance into institutional property); 3) Any individual or organization specified in an institution’s statement of campus security policy as an individual or organization to which students and employees should report criminal offenses; and 4) An official of an institution who has significant responsibility for student and campus activities, including, but not limited to, student housing, student discipline and campus judicial proceedings.
Students, faculty and staff can contact a Campus Security Authority to report a crime. Campus Security Authorities who are not employees of the Department of Public Safety complete an online CSA Crime Report form when they receive a report of a Clery defined crime. The CSA online crime report form can be found on the Department of Public Safety’s website. The CSA Crime Report form is not a criminal report or police agency related report and does not need to contain information identifying complainant, perpetrator, or a third party reporter unless the reporting party wants to disclose that information. The intent of the CSA Crime Report form is to assist the University of Southern California in its efforts to gather mandatory statistical data and information required to comply with the Clery Act.
Housing and Residential Education
Resident Advisers (RAs), Resident Coordinators (RCs), as well as their supervisors, are trained CSAs and are instructed to complete the online CSA Crime Report form when a Clery crime is reported to them. As with previously mentioned CSA crime reports, the reports completed by housing and residential staff are for statistical purposes only and do not require disclosure of personal information unless such disclosure is requested and provided by the reporting party.
For more information on the Clery Act refer to the U.S. Department of Education Handbook for Campus Safety and Security Reporting (2011) which can be accessed at http://www2.ed.gov/admins/lead/safety/handbook.pdf or contact Mardi Walters, Ed.D. Clery Compliance officer at (213) 309-7569 or by email at: MWalters@caps.usc.edu.