The Handbook for Campus Safety and Security Reporting
U.S. Department of Education
Office of Postsecondary Education
This report was prepared in part under Contract Nos. ED-04-CO-0059/0004 and ED-99-CO-0109 with Westat and ED-OPE-15-C-0031 and ED-IES-10-C-0016 with INOVAS. Amy Wilson served as the contracting officer’s representative. No official endorsement by the U.S. Department of Education of any product, commodity, service or enterprise mentioned in this publication is intended or should be inferred.
U.S. Department of Education
John B. King, Jr.
Office of Postsecondary Education
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy, Planning, and Innovation, delegated the authority to perform the functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education
Policy Development, Analysis and Accreditation Service
This report is in the public domain. Authorization to reproduce it in whole or in part is granted. While permission to reprint this publication is not necessary, the citation should be U.S. Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education, The Handbook for Campus Safety and Security Reporting, 2016 Edition, Washington, D.C., 2016.
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Content contact: HandbookQuestions@ed.gov
AD: Athletics director
Clery Act: Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act
Clery Act geography: Buildings or property that meet the definition of On Campus, Public Property, or Noncampus buildings or property as defined by the Clery Act and discussed in Chapter 2 of this handbook
CSA: Campus Security Authority
DUI: Driving under the influence
DWI: Driving while intoxicated
FERPA: Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
FBI: Federal Bureau of Investigation
FSEOGs: Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants GO: General order
HEA: Higher Education Act of 1965
LEAP: Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership
MOU: Memorandum of Understanding
NIBRS: Uniform Crime Reporting National Incident-Based Reporting System
PPA: Program Participation Agreement
RA: Resident assistant
SOP: Standard operating procedure
The Department: U.S. Department of Education
UCR: Uniform Crime Reporting
VAWA: Violence Against Women Act
An Overview of Campus Safety And Security Reporting
Choosing a postsecondary institution is a major decision for students and their families. Along with academic, financial and geographic considerations, the issue of campus safety is a vital concern. In 1990, Congress enacted the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act of 1990 (Title II of Public Law 101-542), which amended the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA). This act required all postsecondary institutions participating in HEA’s Title IV student financial assistance programs to disclose campus crime statistics and security information. The act was amended in 1992, 1998, 2000 and 2008. The 1998 amendments renamed the law the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act in memory of a student who was slain in her dorm room in 1986. It is generally referred to as the Clery Act and is in section 485(f) of the HEA.
On March 7, 2013, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA) (Public Law 113-14) was signed into law. VAWA includes amendments to the Clery Act. These changes require institutions to disclose statistics, policies and programs related to dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking, among other changes. Specifically, these changes added or modified requirements related to
- disclosure of statistics of the number of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking incidents;
- disclosure of statistics of new categories of Hate Crimes;
- implementation by institutions and disclosure of programs to prevent dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking, including
- primary prevention and awareness programs for incoming students and employees; and
- ongoing prevention and awareness campaigns for students and employees;
- disclosure of procedures victims should follow if a crime of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking has occurred; and
- implementation by institutions and disclosure of procedures for institutional disciplinary action in cases of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking, including
- descriptions of each disciplinary proceeding used by the institution, the standard of evidence used during each disciplinary proceeding, possible sanctions imposed following the results of disciplinary proceedings, and the range of protective measures that the institution may offer a victim;
- provisions to ensure that proceedings will be prompt, fair and impartial;
- provisions that state that proceedings will be conducted by officials who receive annual training; and
- ensuring equal opportunities for the accuser and accused to have others present during proceedings, including an advisor of their choice.
Although the HEA is the law that governs the administration of all federal higher education programs, as used in this handbook, HEA refers only to the Clery Act and other safety- and security-related requirements applicable to institutions under the HEA.
How to Determine If Your Institution Must Comply With the HEA
Does your institution participate in federal Title IV student financial assistance programs? All public and private postsecondary institutions that participate in any of the Title IV programs must comply with the HEA. Title IV institutions have signed Program Participation Agreements (PPAs) with the U.S. Department of Education (the Department) to administer these financial assistance programs. The programs include Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOGs), the Federal Work-Study Program, Federal Perkins Loans, the Federal Direct Loan Program, and the Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership (LEAP). If you are not sure whether your institution participates in the Title IV programs, contact your institution’s financial aid officer or chief executive officer.
- Your institution must comply with the HEA’s requirements beginning on the date your PPA goes into effect (i.e., the date it is signed by the secretary of education). If your institution is Title IV eligible, but has a location or locations that serve students who are not receiving Title IV student aid, you must still comply with the Clery Act and other safety- and security-related HEA requirements for all locations. These requirements apply based on institutional eligibility, not location eligibility.
- If your institution primarily serves secondary school students, but enrolls even one postsecondary school student and participates in the Title IV programs, you must comply.
- If your institution does not participate in the Title IV programs or has a “deferment only” status (i.e., it does not provide student loans or grants through Title IV programs but does have students who are eligible to defer federal student loans while they are enrolled in your school), you are not required to comply with the requirements described in this handbook.
Title IV institutions that are exempt from compliance:
- If your institution is a distance education-only school and your students are never present on a physical campus, you do not have to comply with the requirements discussed in this handbook. This means that students do not go to a physical location to enroll, seek guidance, study, work, intern, etc. The only exception to this rule is an annual graduation ceremony. If the only time students are present on a physical campus is to attend a graduation ceremony at a location that your institution owns or controls, your institution is still exempt from compliance.
- Foreign institutions are exempt from the requirements; however, foreign campuses of U.S. institutions are not exempt and must comply with the Clery Act and other safety- and security-related requirements discussed in this handbook.
If you have determined that your institution is a Title IV institution and must comply, read on.
Purpose of the Handbook
This handbook reflects the Department’s interpretations and guidance, as of the date of publication, and was written to assist you, in a step-by-step and readable manner, in understanding and meeting the various HEA requirements. It is intended for use by the Department’s program reviewers who are responsible for evaluating an institution’s compliance with the requirements as well as postsecondary institutions and outside reviewers.
This revised handbook replaces the previous versions of the handbook. It does not supplant or replace the HEA. The HEA and its regulations take precedence if there are any differences between them and the handbook. Your institution is responsible for ensuring that it complies with any changes made to them.
Chapter 2 assists you in laying the proper foundation for complying with the Clery Act and other HEA safety- and security-related reporting requirements by explaining the important role geography has in complying with the law and its regulations. We discuss in detail how to identify which buildings and property owned or controlled by your institution fall into the various HEA-related geographic categories. Getting this foundation right is key to knowing
- what crimes and fires to report and in which reporting categories to include them;
- from whom to collect crime and fire reports;
- whether a campus alert must be issued;
- whether a crime or a fire report must be entered into a log;
- what policy statements your institution must have on record;
- what training programs your institution must provide for your students and employees; and
- what annual reports your institution must publish.
Subsequent chapters describe and discuss the various requirements by topic. We suggest reading the chapters in order because some chapters contain information that builds upon previous topics. For example, Chapter 3 provides definitions of crimes and discusses how to count those that occur on your Clery Act geography for inclusion in your statistics. Chapter 4 helps you determine from whom within your institution and from which local law enforcement agencies you must obtain such crime information. There are also cross-references throughout the handbook for the times you just want to research a particular regulation or issue.
The handbook also contains citations for the applicable laws and regulations, highlights important information in side notes, provides examples of crime and fire scenarios, and suggests helpful practices to assist you in determining if your policies and procedures are compliant. There are a number of appendices at the back of the handbook, which are referenced throughout the chapters, along with an index to help you locate specific terms and topics, and a list of abbreviations used frequently throughout the handbook. And, because no handbook could cover every situation, help desk contact information is provided if you need further assistance.
The HEA contains specific campus safety- and security- related requirements, but allows institutions a great deal of flexibility in complying with them. This flexibility acknowledges the myriad differences in types, locations and configurations of postsecondary schools. Although all institutions have immediate, ongoing and annual requirements, compliance might differ in some respects from one institution to another. For example, compliance for an institution with on-campus student housing facilities differs from compliance for a small commuter school located in a strip mall. A single institution might have some different compliance requirements for each of its campuses. In any case, whatever the requirements are for your specific institution, they must be met completely and on time. As discussed throughout the handbook, remember to maintain detailed documentation of your compliance with each requirement. Institutions are routinely required to provide this documentation to Department officials during the conduct of program reviews.
The requirements fall into three categories based on the configuration of an institution: (1) Clery Act crime statistics and security-related policy requirements that must be met by every institution; (2) an additional Clery Act crime log requirement for institutions that have a campus police or security department; and (3) HEA missing student notification and fire safety requirements for institutions that have at least one on-campus student housing facility. Following is a list of the requirements by category along with the number of the applicable handbook chapter or chapters.
- Every institution must do the following:
- Collect, classify and count crime reports and crime statistics.
The regulatory requirements for classifying and counting crimes are discussed in Chapter 3. The regulatory requirements for collecting crime reports and statistics are discussed in Chapter 4.
- Issue campus alerts. To provide the campus community with information necessary to make informed decisions about their health and safety, you must
- issue a timely warning for any Clery Act crime that represents an ongoing threat to the safety of students or employees; and
- issue an emergency notification upon the confirmation of a significant emergency or dangerous situation involving an immediate threat to the health or safety of students or employees occurring on the campus.
- Provide educational programs and campaigns. To promote the awareness of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking, you must
- provide primary prevention and awareness programs to all incoming students and new employees; and
- provide ongoing prevention and awareness campaigns for students and employees.
- Have procedures for institutional disciplinary action in cases of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking. Disclose your policy and procedures in the annual security report. The regulatory requirements regarding these topics are also discussed in detail in Chapter 8.
- Publish an annual security report containing safety- and security-related policy statements and crime statistics and distribute it to all current students and employees. Schools also must inform prospective students and employees about the availability of the report.
The regulatory requirements regarding crime statistics are discussed in Chapter 3 and the regulatory requirements for the annual security report are discussed in Chapters 7–9.
- Submit crime statistics to the Department. Each year in the fall you must participate in a Web-based data collection to disclose crime statistics by type, location and year.
The regulatory requirements for the data collection are discussed in Chapter 9. The comprehensive user’s guide for the survey is located online at https://surveys.ope.ed.gov/campussafety.
The regulatory requirements regarding these topics are discussed in detail in Chapter 6.
The regulatory requirements regarding these topics are discussed in detail in Chapter 8.
The regulatory requirements regarding the daily crime log are discussed in Chapter 5.
- disclose missing student notification procedures that pertain to students residing in those facilities; and
- disclose fire safety information related to those facilities. Specifically, you must
- keep a fire log that is open to public inspection;
- publish an annual fire safety report containing policy statements as well as fire statistics associated with each on-campus student housing facility, including the number of fires, cause of fires, injuries, deaths and property damage, and inform prospective students and employees about the availability of the report; and
- submit fire statistics to the Department each fall in the Web-based data collection.
The regulatory requirements regarding missing student notification are discussed in Chapter 10 and the regulatory requirements regarding fire safety are discussed in Chapters 11–14.