Would These People Classify as Campus Security Authorities?

Take this quiz to practice classifying CSAs according to their function rather than their title or position alone.

Would These People Classify as Campus Security Authorities?

(Photo: AA Studios, Adobe Stock)

Many of us are familiar with some version of the infamous line from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet that reads, “That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet.” Over the years, this has been interpreted to mean that what someone or something is called does not change their innate characteristics or qualities—therefore what matters is what something is, not what it is called.

While Shakespeare may not be a natural association when discussing Clery Act compliance, it may be advantageous to apply this famous adage when identifying and designating campus security authorities at your institution. Because titles and roles vary greatly across campuses, it is important for institutions to consider the function of an individual’s role to determine whether they align with one of four groups of individuals/organizations associated with an institution that must report Clery Act crimes, known as Campus Security Authorities (CSAs).

CSAs generally fall into one of the following four categories as defined in the federal regulations:

  • Campus police/security department
  • Individuals responsible for security
  • Individual or offices designated to receive crime reports
  • Officials with significant responsibility for student and campus activities
    • (Note: Under the Clery Act, if such an official is a pastoral or professional counselor functioning within the scope of their religious order/denomination and/or license or certification, the individual is not considered a campus security authority when acting as a pastoral or professional counselor.)

Institutions should clearly document within their own policies and procedures factors considered when evaluating if a role’s function aligns with one of the four categories. As a reminder, a CSA’s primary responsibility is to report Clery Act crimes reported to them to the reporting structure established by their institution.

If you’d like to test your own ability to evaluate functional roles of CSAs, we encourage you to take this quiz which contains five role descriptions that can be evaluated for designation as a CSA.

Take the Quiz Now

Factors such as the size of your school, financial and human-capital resources, and organizational buy-in can all influence an institution’s ability to identify positions that meet the functional criteria of a CSA. Therefore, designating an individual or office to oversee CSA identification, designation, and training CSAs is imperative.

By prioritizing processes and procedures for documenting efforts related to the identification and designation of CSAs, your campus will undoubtedly help support crime survivors and your institutional Clery Act compliance obligations.

To learn more about the resources available to help campuses identify, designate, and train CSAs, visit clerycenter.org.


Sara Barrett is director of training and education for the Clery Center.

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