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Clery and Violence Against Women Act

Originally known as the Campus Security Act, the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (20 USC § 1092(f)) is the landmark federal law that requires colleges and universities across the United States to disclose information about crime on and around their campuses. The law is tied to an institution's participation in federal student financial aid programs and it applies to most institutions of higher education both public and private. The Clery Act is enforced by the United States Department of Education.

Grayson College adheres to the Clery Act by the following activities:

  • Publish an Annual Security Report (ASR) by October 1, documenting three calendar years of select campus crime statistics including security policies and procedures and information on the basic rights guaranteed victims of sexual assault. The law requires schools make the report available to all current students and employees, and prospective students and employees must be notified of its existence and given a copy upon request. Schools may comply with this requirement via the internet if required recipients are notified and provided exact information regarding the on-line location of the report. Paper copies of the ASR should be available upon request. All crime statistics must be provided to the U.S. Department of Education. The current ASR can be found on the crime log page.
  •  To have a public crime log. Institutions with a police or security department are required to maintain a public crime log documenting the "nature, date, time, and general location of each crime" and its disposition, if known. Incidents must be entered into the log within two business days. The log should be accessible to the public during normal business hours; remain open for 60 days and, subsequently, made available within two business days upon request.
  • Disclose crime statistics for incidents that occur on campus, in unobstructed public areas immediately adjacent to or running through the campus and at certain non-campus facilities including Greek housing and remote classrooms. The statistics must be gathered from campus police or security, local law enforcement and other school officials who have "significant responsibility for student and campus activities.” The Clery Act requires reporting of crimes in seven major categories, some with significant sub-categories and conditions:
  1. Criminal Homicide
  2. Murder & Non-negligent manslaughter
  3. Negligent manslaughter
  • Issue timely warnings about Clery Act crimes which pose a serious or ongoing threat to students and employees.  Institutions must provide timely warnings in a manner likely to reach all members of the campus community. This mandate has been part of the Clery Act since its inception in 1990. Timely warnings are limited to those crimes an institution is required to report and include in its ASR. There are differences between what constitutes a timely warning and an emergency notification; however, both systems are in place to safeguard students and campus employees.
  • Devise an emergency response, notification and testing policy. Institutions are required to inform the campus community about a “significant emergency or dangerous situation involving an immediate threat to the health or safety of students or employees occurring on the campus." An emergency response expands the definition of timely warning as it includes both Clery Act crimes and other types of emergencies (i.e., a fire or infectious disease outbreak). Colleges and universities with and without on-campus residential facilities must have emergency response and evacuation procedures in place. Institutions are mandated to disclose a summary of these procedures in their ASR. Additionally, compliance requires one test of the emergency response procedures annually and policies for publicizing those procedures in conjunction with the annual test.
  • Compile and report fire data to the federal government and publish an annual fire safety report. Similar to the ASR and the current crime log, institutions with on-campus housing must report fires that occur in on-campus housing, generate both an annual fire report and maintain a fire log that is accessible to the public.
  • Enact policies and procedures to handle reports of missing students. This requirement is intended to minimize delays and confusion during the initial stages of a missing student investigation. Institutions must designate one or more positions or organizations to which reports of a student living in on-campus housing can be filed if it’s believed that student has been missing for 24 hours.  

On March 7, 2013, President Obama signed the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA). Those final regulations went into effect July 1, 2015. The changes made to the Clery Act by VAWA do not affect in any way Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX), its implementing regulations, or associated guidance issued by the Department’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR). Nothing in the Clery Act, as amended by VAWA, alters or changes an institution’s obligations or duties under Title IX as interpreted by OCR.

The final regulations of the VAWA--  

  • Require institutions to collect and report information regarding incidents of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking that occur on an institution’s Clery Geography and are reported to a Campus Security Authority or to local law enforcement agencies;
  • Require institutions to disclose statistics of such incidents in their Annual Security Reports (ASRs) and the Campus Safety and Security Survey and to maintain credible documentation that substantiates the institution’s crime statistics;
  • Require institutions to have policies and procedures for victims or witnesses to report crimes on a voluntary, confidential basis for inclusion in the institution’s crime statistics;
  • Clarify the very limited circumstances in which an institution may remove reports of crimes that have been “unfounded” by law enforcement officials and require institutions to report to the Department and disclose in the ASR the number of crimes that were “unfounded” and subsequently withheld from their crime statistics;
  • Revise the definition of “rape” to reflect the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) updated definition in the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Summary Reporting System, which encompasses the categories of rape, sodomy, and sexual assault with an object that are used in the UCR National Incident-Based Reporting System;
  • Revise the categories of bias for the purposes of Clery Act hate crime reporting to add gender identity and to separate ethnicity and national origin into different categories;
  • Require institutions to provide information on culturally relevant, inclusive prevention awareness programs to incoming students and new employees, as well as describe these programs in their ASRs. These programs must include: a statement that the institution prohibits the crimes of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking; the definitions of these terms in the applicable jurisdiction; the definition of “consent,” in reference to sexual activity, in the applicable jurisdiction; a description of safe and positive options for bystander intervention; information on risk reduction; and information on the institution's policies and procedures after a sex offense occurs;
  • Require institutions to provide, and describe in their ASRs, ongoing prevention and awareness campaigns for students and employees. These campaigns must include the same information as the institution's primary prevention and awareness program;
  • Define the terms “awareness programs,” “bystander intervention,” “ongoing prevention and awareness campaigns,” “primary prevention programs,” and “risk reduction”;
  • Require institutions to describe each type of disciplinary proceeding used by the institution in cases of alleged dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking; the steps, anticipated timelines, and decision-making process for each type of disciplinary proceeding; how to file a disciplinary complaint; how the institution determines which type of proceeding to use based on the circumstances of an allegation of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking; and the standard of evidence that will be used during the disciplinary proceeding;
  • Require institutions to list all of the possible sanctions that the institution may impose following the results of any institutional disciplinary proceedings for an allegation of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking;
  • Require institutions to describe the range of protective measures that the institution may offer following an allegation of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking;
  • Require institutions to provide students or employees who report being victims of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking with a written explanation of their rights and options, regardless of whether the offense occurred on campus, including written notification of counseling, health, mental health, victim advocacy, legal assistance, visa and immigration assistance, student financial aid, and other services available for victims both within the institution and in the community, and the availability of changes to academic, living, transportation, and working situations, or protective measures regardless of whether the victim reports to law enforcement;
  • Require institutions to provide for a prompt, fair, and impartial disciplinary proceeding in cases of alleged dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking in which: (1) officials are appropriately trained and do not have a conflict of interest or bias for or against the accuser or the accused; (2) the accuser and the accused have equal opportunities to have others present, including an advisor of their choice; (3) the accuser and the accused receive simultaneous notification, in writing, of the result of the proceeding and any available appeal procedures; (4) the proceeding is completed in a reasonably prompt time frame; (5) the accuser and accused are given timely notice of meetings at which one or the other or both may be present; and (6) the accuser, the accused, and appropriate officials are given timely and equal access to information that will be used during informal and formal disciplinary meetings and hearings;
  • Define the terms “proceeding” and “result”; and
  • Specify that compliance with these provisions does not constitute a violation of section 444 of the General Education Provisions Act (20 U.S.C. 1232g), commonly known as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA).

View the "Awareness: What students should know about sexual violence" brochure