(GENERAL-24-78) Reminder – Institution Responsibilities under the Clery Act

Federal Student Aid
Electronic Announcement ID
Reminder – Institution Responsibilities under the Clery Act

The U.S. Department of Education (the Department) understands that students need a safe and supportive learning environment if they are to achieve their educational goals and full potential. Institutions and the Department have a shared responsibility to support campus safety initiatives. A key part of the Department’s role is ensuring compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act) requirements. This is an opportune time to remind institutions about some of the key provisions of the Clery Act. Specifically, in light of recent events on some campuses, this Electronic Announcement reminds institutions of the Clery Act provisions that relate to the effective management of protests, demonstrations, and other events, whether approved or unapproved by your institution, that may affect overall campus safety. In addition, the Department has taken note of media reports about incidents of arson, aggravated assaults, and other crimes reportable under the Clery Act occurring adjacent to recent campus protests and demonstrations. The Department is also aware that many institutions annually review and update their campus safety policies and procedures after the conclusion of their spring academic term and in time for implementation at the start of the next academic year.

The Clery Act is first and foremost a campus safety, crime prevention, and consumer protection law designed to ensure that students, employees, parents, and other stakeholders can access accurate, complete, and timely safety information. This information empowers campus community members and their families to make informed decisions about where to study and work and allows them to play an active role in their safety and assist others. At the center of the Clery Act is a commitment to transparency and accessibility.

Under this law, institutions are required to develop and implement a system of campus safety policies, procedures, and programs. Detailed information about an institution’s campus safety initiatives must be included in its Annual Security Report (ASR). The ASR must also include crime statistics for the last three calendar years. We remind institutions they must advise their campus communities if they revise any of their campus safety policies, procedures, and programs before the next annual distribution of the ASR.

Disclosure of Crime Statistics

Under the Clery Act, institutions must compile and disclose crime statistics for the following primary offenses‒criminal homicide: murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, negligent manslaughter, rape, fondling, incest, statutory rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, motor vehicle theft, and arson as well as the Violence Against Women Act offenses of dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking. For hate crimes, institutions must disclose incidents of the above offense categories plus cases of larceny-theft, simple assault, intimidation, and destruction/damage/vandalism of property where the incident manifests evidence that a person or group was targeted for their actual or perceived membership in one or more of eight bias categories: race, gender, gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, national origin, and disability.

 Daily Crime Log

Institutions that have a campus law enforcement or public safety presence on their campuses must maintain a daily crime log. The log must include information about all crimes that are reported to campus public safety officials. The log must be presented in a format that can be easily understood by and accessible to campus community members and the general public. Log entries must include the offense type, date/time reported, date/time of the occurrence, general location, and the current disposition of the matter.

Timely Warnings and Emergency Notifications

The Clery Act requires institutions to issue two types of safety alerts that can provide essential information in an emergency known as timely warnings and emergency notifications. A timely warning must be issued in response to any of the Clery-reportable crimes identified above that may pose a significant or ongoing threat to any part of the institution’s Clery Geography. An emergency notification must be issued upon confirmation of a significant emergency or dangerous condition that may pose an immediate threat to the health or safety of persons on the campus.

Emergency Evacuation and Response

The Clery Act also requires institutions to integrate specific emergency evacuation and response protocols into their overall emergency management plans. Among other requirements, institutions must include specific information about emergency management in their ASRs and other publications. These disclosures include:

  • A clear explanation of the methods that the institution will use to immediately notify the campus community about any immediate threat to the health or safety of students or employees occurring on the campus;

  • A description of the process the institution will use to confirm the presence of such a condition;

  • An explanation of the processes the institution will use to identify the segment(s) of the campus community that need to be notified, draft the notice(s), and initiate the notification system;

  • A list of the titles of the person(s) or organization(s) responsible for carrying out the notification process;

  • The process that will be used to disseminate emergency information to the larger community; and,

  • Procedures for testing the effectiveness of the emergency evacuation and response processes and systems on at least an annual basis.

Institutions must also disseminate information about each test that clearly states whether it was announced or unannounced and include a description of the nature of the test and the date, time, and outcomes of the exercise.

Emergency Management Plans

The Department encourages institutions to review and update their emergency management plans regularly to ensure compliance with legal requirements and alignment with institutional policies, procedures, and publications. It is also important to assess all the most likely threats, risks, and other vulnerabilities facing each institution, considering the institution’s programs and activities, its geographical location and available community support resources as well as its mission and institutional values. No matter the institution, the basic steps in developing and implementing a flexible and sound emergency management plan are the same.

These steps are:

  1. Get Organized

  2. Identify Hazards

  3. Conduct a Risk Assessment

  4. Develop/Update the Emergency Management Plan

  5. Implement the Emergency Management Plan

The Department reminds institutions to ensure that their plans address the range of important safety concerns facing campus communities.

For more information, please see the “Action Guide for Emergency Management at Institutions of Higher Education.” The Department’s 2022 Clery Act training also provides information related to Emergency Management.

If you have any questions about this Electronic Announcement, you may email the Clery Group at Clery@ed.gov.