Clery Annual Security Report Basics

Here’s a brief breakdown of what is required, as well as common errors your campus should avoid.

The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, or Clery Act, mandates that all Title IV institutions prepare, publish and distribute an annual security and fire safety report (ASR) by Oct. 1. Although more U.S. colleges and universities than ever are doing a better job of putting together their ASRs, there continues to be quite a few compliance gaps.

The issue could be as simple as not having the ASR be one comprehensive document. Instead of the statistics and policy statements being in two or more different locations, they should all be in the same place.

When the ASR is complete, it must be sent out to current students and employees by Oct. 1. Prospective students and employees must also be notified that the report is available upon request. Most colleges and universities post their reports on their institution’s Web site. Notices about the ASR’s availability must also be sent out via mail and/or E-mail with the exact URL of where the report is located. Paper copies of the ASR must be provided to students and employees who request them.

Another challenge that Clery compliance reviewers sometimes see is that policy statements on timely warnings and emergency notification are missing, says Abby Boyer, who is the assistant executive director of programs, outreach and communications for the Clery Center for Security on Campus.

“A campus should make sure there are policy statements for each and that the institution also has the policies to back them up,” she claims. “I know that sounds really obvious, but that has been a place where institutions have been out of compliance.”


Sex offense policy statements are other areas where institutions could improve.

“Make sure all of the different aspects of the Campus Sexual Assault Victims’ Bill of Rights are included,” Boyer adds. “That should include information such as notification about changing [a victim’s] academic and living situation; that the institution will [assist in contacting] law enforcement, as well as connect victims with counseling [and other] resources.”

She also points out that there are some significant benefits for campuses that have complete ASRs.

“When we get calls from parents, students or members of the media asking about a campus’ high crime numbers, I often tell them we need to look further and look at the policies and practices on campus,” Boyer says. “One thing we’ve seen is that if a campus is being proactive, they are actively talking about the resources available [to victims] and how to report [incidents]. If individuals in the campus community know they can come forward and share [what happened to them] and have confidence in the institution and processes they have, a lot of times that could lead to an increase in statistics.”

In other words, a higher number of reported incidents could mean the campus is actually safer because it is doing a better job of addressing sexual assault rather than sweeping it under the rug.

To achieve this, however, stakeholders from a wide variety disciplines on campus must collaborate year-round to create the policies that work not only in the annual report, but also in practice.

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About the Author

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Robin has been covering the security and campus law enforcement industries since 1998 and is a specialist in school, university and hospital security, public safety and emergency management, as well as emerging technologies and systems integration. She joined CS in 2005 and has authored award-winning editorial on campus law enforcement and security funding, officer recruitment and retention, access control, IP video, network integration, event management, crime trends, the Clery Act, Title IX compliance, sexual assault, dating abuse, emergency communications, incident management software and more. Robin has been featured on national and local media outlets and was formerly associate editor for the trade publication Security Sales & Integration. She obtained her undergraduate degree in history from California State University, Long Beach.

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