The Jeanne Clery Act is named in memory of 19-year-old Lehigh University freshman Jeanne Clery who was brutally raped and murdered by a fellow student in her residence hall room on April 5, 1986. Shortly after Jeanne’s murder, her parents discovered that in the three years prior to her murder, 38 violent crimes had occurred on campus which went largely unannounced. In response to the tragedy of Jeanne’s murder, her parents, Howard and Connie Clery worked relentlessly to champion a bill originally enacted by Congress and signed into law by President George Bush in 1990 as the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act of 1990.
The spirit of the Clery Act is direct, knowledge is power. Schools should inform employees, students, parents, and potential students of the crimes that are occurring on and around their campus so they are able to make an educated decision as to whether this is an institution they would like to attend and if so, what precautions are necessary to stay safe. Choosing a post-secondary institution is a major decision for students and their families. Along with academic, financial and geographic considerations, the issue of campus safety is a vital concern.
Photo provided by the Clery Center
The Clery Act requires colleges and universities to:
- Publish an Annual Security Report (ASR)
- Maintain a daily crime log
- Disclose crime statistics for incidents that occur on campus, in unobstructed public areas immediately adjacent to or running through the campus and at certain non-campus facilities
- Issue campus alerts and timely warning notices
- Devise an emergency response, notification and testing policy
- Compile and report fire data to the federal government and publish an annual fire safety report
- Enact policies and procedures to handle reports of missing students
- Disclose procedures for institutional disciplinary actions
- Provide prevention and awareness programming