Lawmakers Reintroduce Bipartisan Campus Safety Bill to Honor Student Killed in Pedestrian Accident

The bill would require colleges and universities to disclose accidents and other incidents that result in serious injury or death in their annual security report.

Lawmakers Reintroduce Bipartisan Campus Safety Bill to Honor Student Killed in Pedestrian Accident

Photo: nd700, Adobe Stock

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Tuesday, Rep. Joe Courtney (CT-02), Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Rep. Jim Himes (CT-04), and Rep. Nancy Mace (SC-01) reintroduced a bill to help prevent tragic student deaths and serious injuries on college campuses.

The College Operational Reporting of Emergencies Involving Teens and Young Adults (COREY) Safety Act would amend the CLERY Act of 1990—which requires colleges and universities participating in federal financial aid programs to maintain and disclose campus crime statistics—by requiring them to also disclose accidents and other incidents that result in serious injury or death in their annual security report. The COREY Safety Act is inspired by Corey Hausman, a student from Westport, Conn., who passed away on September 12, 2018, following a pedestrian accident on his college campus.

Accidents are the leading cause of student fatality on college campuses, accounting for 10.8% of deaths according to a study by the American College Health Association. In comparison, homicides—which are required to be disclosed under the CLERY Act—account for only 0.53% of on-campus deaths. Improving transparency by reporting these serious accidents will better allow for informed decision-making and will encourage colleges and universities to make campuses safer for students, says a press release from Rep. Joe Courtney’s office.

Part of the bill would rename the yearly report from the “annual security report” to the “annual campus safety report” and would require that it be written and organized in a manner that is easily digestible for students and families.

“Students go off to college and university with the goal of gaining experiences, skills, and accreditation for opportunities later in life. It’s one of greatest things a parent gets to witness—to see our kids work hard and achieve these opportunities—and while not every tragedy can be prevented, we need to know that schools are taking meaningful steps to keep students safe on campus,” said Courtney, a senior member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. “Thanks to our partnership with the Hausman Family from Westport, Connecticut, we are addressing this important issue. Improving the quality of data we have on fatal accidents on school campuses, as well as increasing transparency surrounding these tragic incidents, will ultimately make for better strategies to keep students safe.”

“Schools need to be accountable for student deaths or injuries—a goal that begins with accurate disclosure and reporting. Knowing about past campus tragedies can help prevent them in the future, deterring school negligence or recklessness,” said Senator Blumenthal. “Our bill in Corey Hausman’s brave memory will help save lives. I’m proud to join my colleagues in championing this cause and honoring Corey’s mother’s courageous advocacy.”

“Corey Hausman losing his life a mere three weeks into his freshman year of college was a true tragedy. Sadly, accidents like Corey’s are common on school campuses, and yet colleges aren’t required to collect and report data. By requiring more transparency from schools, the COREY Safety Act will make colleges safer and ensure that incidents like Corey’s are publicly reported,” said Rep. Jim Himes. “I am continuously inspired by my constituents, the Hausman family, especially the late Nanette Hausman. Nanette left an indelible legacy as a tireless advocate for this legislation, even in the wake of unimaginable loss, so that other parents would not suffer the same. I’ll continue working alongside Representative Courtney and Senator Blumenthal to ensure this commonsense bill is enacted into law.”

“Just under five years ago, my wife and I dropped off our youngest son, Corey to start his college experience. We booked our reservation to come back for parents’ weekend 30 days later, so anxious to hear the beginning stories of this new exciting chapter. Sadly, parents’ weekend never came for us. We did, however, return to his campus just 15 days after drop-off to pick up his ashes. Think about that for a second, while I express these words, the reality of this loss transcends any adjective or quote,” said Joel Hausman, College911. “Corey died from a preventable accident on his campus less than three weeks into his freshman year. Paralyzed by grief, I could do nothing. My wife, however, decided to start an initiative that has led to this extremely important legislation. So simple yet so powerful. Reporting metrics around serious accidents and deaths on college campuses. Currently and surprisingly, there is a data desert related to on-campus accidents and serious injuries. When tracked and reported, changes will be made to save lives and spare parents along with loved ones, the devastation of losing a child and family member. My wife and hero Nanette who tirelessly spearheaded this extremely important grassroot initiative has recently passed away. Her vision to make college campuses safer is incontrovertible. As she always expressed, this is not a political or partisan issue. It is plainly a common-sense effort.”

“The federal Jeanne Clery Act’s crime and fire safety data disclosure requirements have profoundly improved the campus safety landscape over the last three decades. Higher education informed by this data has made targeted improvements to campus police and security agencies as well as residence hall access and fire safety,” said S. Daniel Carter, President, Safety Advisors for Educational Campuses, LLC. “The COREY Safety Act can usher in the same type of lifesaving improvements to prevent serious bodily injury and death from accidents.”

Click here for more information on the COREY Safety Act.

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