The Clery Act was named after Jeanne Clery, who was raped and murdered in her dorm room by a fellow student on April 5, 1986. Her parents championed the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act) in her memory. This Act is a federal law that requires colleges to report crimes that occur “on campus” and school safety policies. This information is available each year in an Annual Security Report (ASR), which can be found at the Colorado State University Police Department. The Clery Act also requires schools to have timely warning when there are known risks to public safety on campus.
The Clery Act also contains the Campus Sexual Assault Victim’s Bill of Rights, which requires colleges to disclose educational programming, campus disciplinary process, and victim rights regarding sexual violence complaints. The Clery Act was expanded in 2013 by the Campus SaVE Act, which broadened Clery requirements to address all incidents of sexual violence (sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking.) For a more detailed explanation of survivors’ rights and universities’ obligations under Clery, check out The Clery Act in Detail.
What is a “Timely Warning”?
Under the Clery Act, any time a crime has or is occurring that poses a serious or ongoing threat to the rest of the campus, the college must provide timely warnings in a way that is likely to reach every member of the campus community. This requires schools to assess the risk to public safety after an incident of sexual assault, stalking, or domestic or dating violence is reported. Often times, a stranger perpetrated sexual assault will trigger a timely warning. A school’s decision not to issue a timely warning is reviewable under the Clery Act by the U.S. Department of Education. At CSU these timely warnings can be delivered by emails, text messages, social media outlets, etc.
How Does the Clery Act Help Me?
The Clery Act requires schools to explain their policies and procedures on campus in the wake of sexual assault, stalking, and dating or domestic violence. This should include who you may report such an incident to and what possible sanctions may be imposed as a result. It should also list available resources (such as available medical care, mental health resources and other support options either on campus or within the local community) to victims on or around campus, as well as inform you of your right to request reasonable accommodations on campus in the wake of sexual violence. Such an accommodation could include changing housing or an academic schedule to avoid seeing the accused student. To better understand the options at CSU click here, and scroll to the middle of the page. You also have several rights during campus disciplinary proceedings, such as being informed at every stage of the process, having the same rights as the accused to have an advisor present, to appeal a final decision, and to receive a final decision in writing at the same time as the accused. The advocates at the WGAC can provide support for navigating the various options available to you here at CSU.
Finally, the Act protects against retaliation, as does Title IX. Colleges cannot intimidate, threaten, coerce or discriminate against you for reporting either explicitly or implicitly. For example, no college employee may urge you not to file charges with police or a formal complaint with the school, your good academic standing or ability to graduate cannot be threatened, nor are you required to sign a non-disclosure agreement to get the results of a disciplinary hearing after you have made a formal report to the school. If you feel like you are being retaliated against at CSU you can work with the confidential advocates at the WGAC, or talk to the Office of Support and Safety Assessment.
This page has been adapted from Know Your IX’s website. For more information about the Clery Act and your rights go to Know Your IX.