Crime reporting policy changes
The White House announced changes to the Clery Act, requiring colleges to report stalking, among other crimes.The White House officially announced the publication of the final changes to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, which requires colleges and universities to publish specific crime reports, last Friday. Under these changes, colleges and universities are required to report crime statistics on stalking, dating violence and domestic violence in addition to previously required crime statistics.
The Clery Act requires colleges and universities to report crimes that occur on campus, on public property within or adjacent to the campus or in buildings off-campus that are owned or operated by universities.
The changes were required by the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013.
“That law and the new rule strengthen the Clery Act to more effectively address, and ultimately reduce, sexual violence on college campuses, including, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking,” an Oct. 17 White House statement reads.
The changes require that colleges and universities describe each type of disciplinary proceeding used in cases of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking in public reports.
Steps, anticipated timelines and the decision-making process for each offense must be addressed in the report. The Clery Act also mandates that colleges and universities include a statement of policy regarding their institution’s programs to prevent dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking in their annual security reports.
Institutions must also ensure that both accused and accusing students have equitable opportunities and rights during the decision-making process, which includes, but is not limited to the opportunity to be accompanied by an advisor during proceedings.
In addition to clarifications and requirements for reporting, the new act requires institutions to add gender identity and national origin as categories of bias that may constitute a hate crime, both in practice and in policy.
Brandeis will continue to “fully comply with all reporting requirements,” wrote University Police Lt. Bette Reilly in an email to the Justice.
“Our software allows for tracking the relevant statistics and we will make these new required Clery adjustments by 2015 consistent with the mandates of the Act,” she continued.
These amendments to the Clery Act will go into effect on July 1, 2015, according to the release.
However, “the Department reminded institutions that the VAWA statutory provisions are in effect now and institutions are expected to make a good faith effort to comply with those requirements,” it reads.
As the receipt of federal funding is contingent upon following federal acts like this one, higher education institutions that do not comply with the Clery Act risk losing access to federal student financial aid.