The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act requires all postsecondary institutions receiving federal aid to publish and distribute Annual Security Reports (ASRs) by October 1 each year that include specific campus crime statistics and policies. In addition to making the data available to current students and employees, colleges and universities must submit crime statistics to the U.S. Department of Education and notify prospective students and employees that the report is available, along with a description of the contents and the opportunity to request a copy.
Official language regarding prospective students:
“…the institution must provide a notice to prospective students and prospective employees that includes a statement of the report’s availability, a description of its contents, and an opportunity to request a copy. An institution must provide its annual security report and annual fire safety report, upon request, to a prospective student or prospective employee. If the institution chooses to provide either its annual security report or annual fire safety report to prospective students and prospective employees by posting the disclosure on an Internet Web site, the notice described in this paragraph must include the exact electronic address at which the report is posted, a brief description of the report, and a statement that the institution will provide a paper copy of the report upon request.”
In 2013, Congress reauthorized the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) (Public Law 113-4), which among other things amended the Clery Act to require institutions to include statistics on domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking in their ASRs, as well as include plans for certain policies and procedures around the issue. After concluding negotiated rulemaking on the issue in the Spring of 2014, the U.S. Department of Education published final rules October 20, 2014. As stated in guidance from the Department, institutions were asked to make a good-faith effort to comply with the statutory provisions by October 1, 2014, while final regulations will become effective July 1, 2015.
Coronavirus Clery Requirements
According to guidance from the Department of Education, institutions are not required to give regular, on-going updates on COVID-19 or to proactively identify positive COVID-19 cases within the campus community.
An institution may satisfy the emergency notification requirements of the Clery Act and § 668.46 as follows: (1) provide students and employees a single notification through the regular means of communicating emergency notifications informing them about COVID-19 and necessary health and safety precautions, as well as encouraging them to obtain information from health care providers, state health authorities, and the CDC’s COVID-19 website; or (2) create a banner at the top of the institution’s homepage containing that same information, including a statement about the global pandemic and a link to the CDC’s website.
Helpful Guidance for Admission Offices in Complying with the Clery Act
- The U.S. Department of Education compiled a list of suggested resources to help support the sharing of resources postsecondary institutions may use to inform and tailor their campus sexual assault training and prevention efforts.
- The White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault released its first report in April 2014 and continues to update guidance and model policies for schools to use in working to comply with the Clery Act.
- The Clery Center for Security On Campus assists colleges and universities in Clery Act compliance. The website includes resources that can aid institutions as they work to meet the campus safety and security requirements.
- U.S. Department of Education Campus Security webpage. This resource includes links to the Handbook for Campus Safety and Security Reporting, training resources, information on the statute, regulations, and data on campus crime.
- The Higher Education Compliance Alliance resource also includes a wealth of information on the Clery Act within its’ campus safety webpage.
- Occasionally in response to complaints, media incidents, or internal audits, the U.S. Department of Education conducts reviews to determine if institutions are in compliance with the Clery Act requirements. On this page you can access these reports (by year or by school), as well as, accompanying documentation which may include the complaint, school response, or fine action that resulted from the program review.