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Understanding the Clery Act

What Is the Clery Act?

Under the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, or simply the “Clery Act,” all colleges and universities are required to supply timely warnings to students, faculty, and staff. Anytime a crime has occurred 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. At WPI, this is accomplished with email announcements, text messages, or other appropriate means.

Under the Clery Act, colleges and universities are required to publish an Annual Safety Report (ASR). The ASR must report all crimes and offenses that occurred by type of crime or offense and by the general location where the crime or offense occurred. The general location categories are 1) on-campus, 2) non-campus, and 3) public property. 

The Clery Act also requires colleges to separately report crimes and offenses that occurred in residential housing, as a subset of the on-campus category. The Clery Act is enforced by the United States Department of Education.

The Title IX Act is a civil rights law that focuses on prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender in education programs and activities of educational institutions. The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) clarifies that sexual violence is a form of sex discrimination; therefore, colleges and universities have specific responsibilities for addressing sexual harassment, sexual assault, and other gender-based forms of violence.

History of the Clery Act

The Clery Act was signed into law in 1990 after the 1986 rape and murder of Jeanne Clery, a 19-year-old college student. 

The Clery Act requires colleges and universities that participate in federal financial aid programs (known as Title IX schools) to disclose information about crimes occurring on their campuses as well as to have specific campus safety and security-related policies and procedures in place.

The 2013 Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA) amended the Clery Act to expand the rights of campus survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. These amendments also created new requirements related to institutions’ prevention and response efforts to VAWA-related crimes.

How the Jeanne Clery Act and Title IX Act Intersect with One Another

Colleges and universities must comply with the Clery Act and the Title IX Act, both of which address sexual violence incidents.

Clery Crimes and Title IX - Criminal Offenses, Hate Crimes, and VAWA Offenses

The Campus Save Act was part of the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which includes domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. The VAWA crimes are included in both the Clery Act and the Title IX Act.

  • Both acts require colleges and universities to provide victims of sexual violence with information in writing about options for and available assistance in—and how to request changes to academic, living, transportation, and working accommodations, as well as other supportive and protective measures.
  • Both acts guide disciplinary procedures for sexual violence incidents.
  • Both acts require colleges and universities to explain the types of proceedings, steps involved, and timelines for such proceedings within their policies.
  • Both acts require training for individuals involved in disciplinary proceedings.
  • Both acts state that certain individuals have reporting responsibilities when they become aware that sexual violence has occurred.
    • Those responsible for reporting under Title IX are referred to as “Responsible Employees” and those required to report under the Clery Act are “Campus Security Authorities (CSA).”

For additional information about the Clery Act and/or the Title IX Act and how they apply to WPI, contact the Title IX Coordinator/Clery Compliance Administrator.

John Stewart, Title IX Coordinator/Clery Compliance Administrator

Office: Room 234 Campus Center
Office Phone: 508-831-6514