Clery Act Overview

The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act) is the landmark federal law that requires colleges and universities across the United States to disclose information about crime on and around their campuses to assist the public in making decisions which affect their personal safety. 

Because the law is tied to participation in federal student financial aid programs, it applies to most institutions of higher education both public and private. It is enforced by the U.S. Department of Education. 

The Clery Act is named in memory of 19-year-old Lehigh University freshman Jeanne Ann Clery, who was raped and murdered while in her residence hall room on April 5, 1986. Jeanne’s parents discovered that students had not been told about 38 violent crimes on the Lehigh campus in the three years before her murder. They joined with other campus crime victims and persuaded Congress to enact this law, which was originally known as the “Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act of 1990.” 

The law was amended in 1992 to add a requirement that schools afford the victims of campus sexual assault certain basic rights and was amended again in 1998 to expand the reporting requirements. The 1998 amendments also formally named the law in memory of Jeanne Clery.

 In March 2013 the SaVE Act was signed into law updating the Clery Act once again. This new addition added Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Stalking and Title IX Guidelines to the Clery Act.

The Clery Act is a consumer protection law that aims to provide transparency around campus crime, policies and statistics.

Clery Act Requirement

Under the Clery Act, the college must:

  • Identify Campus Security Authorities (CSAs) and collect information from the CSAs about crimes that have been reported to them.
  • Publish an Annual Security Report by October 1st of each year.  The report must be made available to all current and prospective students and employees.
  • Create, maintain, and make available a daily crime log documenting the nature, date and general location of each crime.
  • Disclose statistics for reported Clery crimes that occur on campus, on public property within or immediately adjacent to campus, and in or on non-campus buildings or property that the institution owns or controls.
  • Issue timely warnings about Clery Act crimes which pose a serious or continuing threat to students and employees.
  • Initiate notification procedures for any significant emergency or dangerous situation occurring on the campus that involves an immediate threat to the health or safety of students or employees.
  • Disclose fire safety policies and procedures related to on-campus housing and statistics for fires that occur in those facilities and maintain a fire log.
  • Have missing student notification policies and procedures in place for students who reside in on-campus housing; and
  • Provide programs to prevent dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking and adopt institutional policies for handling such alleged offenses in accordance with the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA) requirements.
  • Disclose policies and procedures regarding the use, sale, or possession of drugs and alcohol, as well as descriptions of any drug or alcohol abuse education program.
  • Devise emergency response and notification policies and procedures and test them.

You can read the full text of the Clery Act at the Federal Register here.

Enforcement of Clery Act

The United States Department of Education is charged with enforcing the Clery Act and may assess civil penalties against institutions of higher education or may suspend them from participating in federal student financial aid programs.  Complaints of violations should be filed with Department of Education regional offices.  Fines are significant and are anticipated to increase annually.  See 34 CFR 668.84(a)(1) for the current fine amount per violation. 

Department of Public Safety
125 South Main St.
Middlebury, VT 05753