Your Right to Know
The Clery Act
In the early morning of April 5, 1986, Jeanne Clery, a 19-year-old freshman at Lehigh University was beaten, raped, and murdered in her dormitory room. Her killer was a Lehigh student unknown to her....and a drug and alcohol abuser. He entered the building by proceeding, unopposed, through three propped-open doors, and made it to her room, even though such a disaster was preventable had the doors each been locked.
The aftermath of this crime became a learning experience for her parents that changed their lives. They learned that crime on college campus was one of the best-kept secrets in the country, thus they began efforts to inact laws requiring colleges and universities nationwide to make available complete information about violent campus crimes, drug and alcohol offenses and to provide information about current security procedures.
In 1990, President George Bush signed the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act of 1990, which has become the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act.
Annual Security and Fire Safety Report
Clery Act Summary
- Schools must publish an annual report disclosing campus security policies and three years worth of selected crime statistics.
- Schools must make timely warnings to the campus community about crimes that pose an ongoing threat to students and employees.
- Each institution with a police or security department must have a public crime log.
- The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) centrally collects and disseminates the crime statistics.
- Campus sexual assault victims are assured of certain basic rights.
- Schools that fail to comply can be fined by the DOE.
FBI Definitions of Crime Categories
The following definitions are those outlined in the Federal Bureau of Investigation's National Incident-Based Reporting System, which colleges and universities are required to use in reporting crime statistics:
- Murder: The willful killing of one human being by another.
- Sex Offenses, Forcible: Any sexual act directed against another person, forcibly or against that person's will. Includes forcible rape, forcible sodomy, sexual assault with an object and forcible fondling.
- Robbery: The taking, or attempted taking, of anything of value from one person by another in which the offender uses force or the threat of violence.
- Aggravated Assault: An attack by one person upon another in which the offender uses or displays a weapon in a threatening manner or the victim suffers severe injury involving apparent broken bones, loss of teeth, possible internal injury, severe laceration, or loss of consciousness.
- Burglary: The unlawful entry into a building or other structure with the intent to commit a felony or a theft.
- Arson: Any willful or malicious burning or attempt to burn, with or without intent to defraud, a dwelling house, public building, motor vehicle or aircraft, personal property of another, etc.