United States: Tips For Gathering Clery Statistics For This Year’s Report

Managing compliance with Title IX and the Jean Clery Act has been on many an administrator's mind of late, and rightly so. In recent months, the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights (OCR) has through administrative action and announcement issued volumes of new guidance that to many in the regulated community appear to incorporate extensive new requirements.

Meanwhile, subsequent to last year's signing of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA), the Department's Clery Act Compliance Division (Clery Division) has been leading a negotiated rulemaking for the purpose of promulgating a host of new regulations designed to carry out VAWA, and to enhance and clarify the existing law. The proposed regulations were released in mid-June, with the final version anticipated in September.

Accompanying this onslaught of guidance and regulation has been increased attention from regulators, policymakers, and even the mainstream media. The Department has significantly increased its review of Clery Act compliance during program reviews and other onsite audits, and demonstrated a ready willingness to levy significant fines. The activity of the Office of Civil Rights, in turn, has been so significant as to push campus management of sexual violence to the top of the news cycle, and even onto the cover of Time Magazine. Any postsecondary administrator feeling a bit overwhelmed or anxious is in good company.

Adding to existing frustration, and in some cases confusion, is the fact that these two laws are overseen and enforced by separate divisions of the Department, despite the fact that the concentric circles representing each body of law now overlap more than a little. The Department, rather than offer integrated guidance, has elected to approach each law separately, noting in recent guidance documents that while the two laws "overlap in some areas relating to requirements for an institution's response to reported incidents of sexual violence, the two statutes and their implementing regulations and interpretations are separate and distinct."

From a regulatory standpoint, this stance is defensible. An agency department tasked with enforcing a particular law is acting appropriately when it respects the limitations of its authority and expertise. Nonetheless, for a postsecondary administrator tasked with absorbing and integrating these laws into a unified set of campus policies and procedures — amidst intense political and media scrutiny, no less — it is the kind of statement that leads to nervous tics and early retirement.

Because the breadth and detail of the requirements flowing from Title IX and the Clery Act is so significant, we cannot offer a comprehensive analysis in the context of this site. At least not all at once. But we believe we can offer some digestible bits of guidance and advice that will assist institutions to bring the new requirements into focus, put them into order, and ultimately steer their campus into compliance. Accordingly, over the coming weeks and months, REGucation will examine certain of the new requirements flowing from these two laws, with an aim toward offering practical advice for compliance and management.

Tips for gathering Clery statistics

With the remainder of this post, we thought we would focus on the process for gathering Clery statistics for this year's Annual Security Report, and in particular, to the request letter your institution sends to law enforcement agencies, which should be sent out soon, if it has not gone already. In March 2013, VAWA amended the Clery Act to require institutions, among other things, to gather and report statistics for incidents of domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. The act required that institutions include this new statistical data in the Report that they issue on or before October 1, 2014.

In mid-July, the U.S. Department of Education issued a Dear Colleague letter in which it indicated that institutions will not be required to report the new statistics to the Department during this year's web-based data collection. Institutions will, however, be expected to make a good-faith effort to gather and publish the new statistics in this year's Annual Security Report, and will be required to report the new statistics for calendar years 2013 and 2014 in next year's Report.

The starting point for making sure you get the right data is the request letter your institution sends to law enforcement agencies or any other external entity from which you gather information regarding reported crimes. We recommend that you use as your basic template the sample letter included in Appendix B to the Department's "Handbook for Campus Safety and Security Reporting." But take note, the handbook was published in 2011, before VAWA become law, so you should consider the following possible changes:

  • First, update the letter to ensure that you request statistics for incidents of domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking for calendar year 2013. You do not need to add "sexual assault" to your request letter. While the term "sexual assault" is introduced in VAWA, it does not come into play in the 2013 data collection. The "sex offenses" data you already gather is sufficient. Because we love graphics around here (worth a thousand words after all), we've put together the following chart, which may help to keep things straight: "Clery Reportable Crimes Chart."
  • Second, revise and expand the letter to reflect the new categories of bias for hate crimes. Specifically, VAWA added "national origin" and "gender identity" to the categories previously listed in the law. Thus, the new, complete lineup includes the following eight categories of bias: race, gender, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity, or disability.
  • Third, specify the applicable definitions of domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. Historically, the crime statistics gathered in connection with the Clery Act all have been compiled in accordance with the definitions used in the Federal Bureau of Investigation's uniform crime reporting system. However, the definitions of domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking are drawn from section 40002(a) of VAWA. Conveniently, these definitions are set out in the Dear Colleague letter referenced above.

Finally, make sure that you keep a copy of any letter you send to local law enforcement, or any other party, requesting statistics, and be sure to pair the request with the reply in your records. As anyone who has administered this process knows, the data received back from law enforcement can vary greatly in form and quality. We have seen responses as brief as an email simply stating "nothing to report." Should you ever be subject to a Department of Education Program Review, or any other form of Clery audit, you will greatly enhance your ability to demonstrate compliance if you can show that you requested the correct data. Indeed, it may be the only way you can provide meaningful context for the response you received in reply. 

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
 
In association with
Related Topics
 
Related Articles
 
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions