We have very briefly scratched the surface of issues (in previous posts here and here) regarding ASU’s compliance with the Clery Act. We’ve looked at specific cases where ASUPD allegedly violated the Clery Act, and now we’re shifting our focus from the micro to the macro level. Instead of looking on a case by case level, we are going to illustrate how ASUPD’s crime data collection/analysis are systemically flawed, which leads to a misrepresentation of its crime statistics (and also a misrepresentation of the safety of ASU’s campus).
Before we jump into the meat and potatoes of the discussion, it is important to know WHAT the Clery Act is and WHY it is so important for college/universities to follow.
We will break down this post into several sections: one, discussing Clery’s requirements; and two, how ASUPD isn’t following Clery’s requirements.
What is the Clery Act?
The Clery Act is a federal statute requiring colleges and universities participating in federal financial aid programs to maintain and disclose campus crime statistics and security information.
The law is named for Jeanne Clery, a 19-year-old Lehigh University freshman who was raped and murdered in her campus residence hall in 1986. The backlash against unreported crimes on numerous campuses across the country led to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act.
Why is the Clery Act so important?
Colleges and universities who receive federal financial aid programs must comply with the Clery Act. Failure to do so may result in a civil penalty from the United States Department of Education of up to $27,500 per violation, or may suspend them from participating in federal student financial aid programs.
What are the requirements for colleges and universities under the Clery Act?
- Publish an annual security report by October 1st.
- Have a public crime log accessible to the public.
- 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 (remote classrooms) in seven major areas, including:
- Criminal homicide
- Murder and nonnegligent manslaughter
- Negligent manslaughter
- Criminal homicide
- Sex offenses
- Aggravated assault
- Burglary, where:
- There is evidence of unlawful entry (trespass), which may be either forcible or not involve force.
- Unlawful entry must be of a structure – having four walls, a roof, and a door.
- There is evidence that the entry was made in order to commit a felony or theft.
- Motor vehicle theft
- Schools are also required to report statistics for the following categories of arrests or referrals for campus disciplinary action (if an arrest was not made):
- Liquor Law Violations
- Drug Law Violations
- Illegal Weapons Possession
- Hate crimes must be reported by category of prejudice, including race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, and disability. Stats are required for four additional crime categories (theft, assault, intimidation, destruction of property.
- Issue timely warnings about Clery Act crimes which pose a serious or ongoing threat to students and employees
- Devise an emergency response, notification and testing policy.
- Compile and report fire data to the federal government and publish an annual fire safety report
- Enact policies and procedures to handle reports of missing students.
*The “On-campus” requirement would include ASU’s Tempe, West, Poly, Downtown, AND Lake Havasu City campuses!*
So the Clery Act also requires colleges/universities to disclose crimes that may not have occurred directly on campus?
Yes; the Clery Act requires colleges/universities to include crimes in their statistics that have occurred on non-campus property, and public property.
- Non-Campus property incorporates the following:
- Owned or controlled by a student organization that is officially recognized.
- And any building or property owned or controlled by an institution that is used in direct support of, or in relation to, the institution’s educational purposes, is used by students
- Not within the same reasonably contiguous geographic area of the institution.
- See page 33 of ASU’s Campus Security Report to see the long list of areas ASU is required to publish crime stats for under the “non-campus property” category. This also includes foreign locations (study abroad?).
- Public property incorporates the following:
- All public property, including thoroughfares, streets, sidewalks, and parking facilities, that is within the campus,or immediately adjacent to and accessible from the campus.
- According to the Campus Safety and Security Reporting Hand book, this includes the sidewalk and streets adjacent to campus, any public transits stops adjacent to campus.
Stay tuned for Part Two of this post, where we will dissect the parts of the Clery Act requirements that ASU is failing to do, and thus misrepresenting its crime statistics.
Thanks to our friends at Sun Devils Against Sexual Assault who are taking the initiative to file a complaint with the Department of Education against Arizona State University for their failure to comply with the Clery Act and also Title IX. Check out their site here.