Summary of Federal Laws
Miscellaneous Laws Affecting Students
|Associate Dean - Student Conduct & Ethical Development|
|Director of Housing Services|
|DPS Administrative Assistant|
|Crime Prevention Officer|
|Dean of Students|
|Director of Public Safety|
Campus Security Act of 1990, as amended by the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008
The Campus Security Act requires colleges to report campus crime statistics and security measures to all students and employees by October 1 of each year. Applicants must receive either a report or a notice of its availability and a brief summary of the report. Timely warnings must go out whenever a threat to students and employees is present for the crimes (listed below) which are reported to local police or campus security authorities. Procedures must be in place on how to issue these notices. Crime statistics must also be given to the U.S. Secretary of Education. Enforcement procedures and policies, as well as crime prevention and education programs must be described in the annual report. The 1992 Higher Education Amendments require a campus sexual assault prevention program.
Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2004 (VAWA) (SB 47) Codified at 42 USC 14045b. Signed by President on March 7, 2013.
Section 303 of the VAWA provides grant money of $12,000,000 (not more than $300,000 per IHE or $1M for consortia, on a competitive basis for a period of three years) for each of fiscal years 2014-2018 for use by institutions or consortia consisting of campus personnel, student organizations, campus administrators, security personnel, and regional crisis centers affiliated with the institution to develop and strengthen prevention education and awareness programs as well as security and investigation strategies to combat domestic violence, dating violence, sexual violence and stalking, and strengthen victim services in cases involving such crimes against women on campuses, which may include partnerships with local criminal justice authorities and community-based victim services agencies.
Section 304 of the VAWA makes changes to the Clery Act. It is effective one year after the date of the enactment of the bill. The legislation contains new definitions for dating violence, domestic violence and stalking for purposes of the law. Hate Crimes are redefined for reporting purposes
• Reportable hate crimes now include domestic violence, dating violence and stalking.
• Categories of prejudice under hate crimes now include national origin and gender identity.
Annual Security Report
Must include a statement of institution’s programs to prevent domestic violence, dating violence and stalking (along with sexual assault) and
Procedures institution will follow once an institution will follow once an incident of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking has been reported, including a statement of the standard of evidence that will be used by any institutional conduct proceeding. (nb: DCL of April 4, 2011 suggested preponderance of evidence)
Policy statement must address:
Education programs to promote the awareness of rape, acquaintance rape, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking, which shall include—
I) primary prevention and awareness programs for all incoming students and new employees, which shall include—(aa) a statement that the institution of higher education prohibits the offenses of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking; (bb) the definition of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking in the applicable jurisdiction; (cc) the definition of consent, in reference to sexual activity, in the applicable jurisdiction; (dd) safe and positive options for bystander intervention that may be carried out by an individual to prevent harm or intervene when there is a risk of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking against a person other than such individual; (ee) information on risk reduction to recognize warning signs of abusive behavior and how to avoid potential attacks; and (ff) the information described in clauses (ii) through (vii); and
(II) ongoing prevention and awareness campaigns for students and faculty.
(ii) Possible sanctions or protective measures that such institution may impose following a final determination of an institutional disciplinary procedure regarding rape, acquaintance rape, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
(iii) Procedures victims should follow if a sex offense, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking has occurred, including information in writing about—
(I) the importance of preserving evidence as may be necessary to the proof of criminal domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking, or in obtaining a protection order;
(II) to whom the alleged offense should be reported;
(III) options regarding law enforcement and campus authorities, including notification of the victim’s option to (aa) notify proper law enforcement authorities, including on-campus and local police; (bb) be assisted by campus authorities in notifying law enforcement authorities if the victim so chooses; and (cc) decline to notify such authorities; and
(IV) where applicable, the rights of victims and the institution’s responsibilities regarding orders of protection, no contact orders, restraining orders, or similar lawful orders issued by a criminal, civil, or tribal court.
(iv) Procedures for institutional disciplinary action in cases of alleged domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking, which shall include a clear statement that—
(I) such proceedings shall—(aa) provide a prompt, fair, and impartial investigation and resolution; and (bb) be conducted by officials who receive annual training on the issues related to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking and how to conduct an investigation and hearing process that protects the safety of victims and promotes accountability;
(II) the accuser and the accused are entitled to the same opportunities to have others present during an institutional disciplinary proceeding, including the opportunity to be accompanied to any related meeting or proceeding by an advisor of their choice; and
(III) both the accuser and the accused shall be simultaneously informed, in writing, of-(aa) of the outcome of any institutional disciplinary proceeding that arises from an allegation of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking;
(bb) The institution’s procedures for the accused and the victim to appeal the results of the institutional disciplinary proceeding; (cc) of any change to the results that occurs prior to the time that such results become final; and (dd) when such results become final.
(v) Information about how the institution will protect the confidentiality of victims, including how publicly-available recordkeeping will be accomplished without the inclusion of identifying information about the victim, to the extent permissible by law. (vi) Written notification of students and employees about existing counseling, health, mental health, victim advocacy, legal assistance, and other services available for victims, both on- campus and in the community.
(vii) Written notification of victims about options for, and available assistance in, changing academic, living, transportation, and working situations, if so requested by the victim and if such accommodations are reasonably available, regardless of whether the victim chooses to report the crime to campus police or local law enforcement.
Notification of student or employee rights/options must be given to anyone who reports being a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking, whether the offense occurred on or off campus.
Timely warnings must withhold name of victim. The Government is to provide guidance/ best practices on how to implement this new law.
Changes made by the HEOA in 2008
Institutions are required to disclose emergency response policies and evacuation procedures. The first annual security report in which a statement of policy would need to be included would be the report due for distribution by October 1, 2010. The policy should include a description of how text messaging or any other electronic system will be used. The school would be required to document each test of the emergency response system, including data on exercise, time date and announced or unannounced. The emergency response policy must include procedures to implement the following:
Immediate notice to the campus community upon confirmation of a significant emergency or dangerous situation involving an immediate threat to the health or safety of students or staff occurring on the campus, unless issuing a notification will compromise efforts to contain the emergency;
- Annual publication of emergency response and evacuation procedures to students and staff;
- Annual test of emergency response and evacuation procedures. (20 USC 1092 (f)(1)(J));
- Determine the appropriate campus community segment or segments to notify;
- Determine the content of the notification; and
- Initiate the notification system.
Two additional changes made by HEOA are the following:
Institutions must report whether they have agreements (i.e. written memoranda of understanding) with state or local police agencies for the investigation of alleged criminal offenses. (20 USC 1092 (f)(1)(C)(ii))
The list of hate crimes that must be reported has been modified to include the following crimes: larceny-theft, simple assault; intimidation, and property destruction, theft or vandalism. (20 USC 1092 (f)(1)(F)(ii))
See the NAICU HEA 101 Quick Guide to Campus Crime Reporting for more information and a link to the text of the new law.
Summary of the New Campus Safety Disclosure Responsibilities: Institutions of postsecondary education that participate in the Federal student financial assistance programs have been required by Section 485(a) and (f) of the Higher Education Act (HEA) to provide the Secretary with campus crime statistics since 1990. The Higher Education Opportunity Act (Public Law 110-315) (HEOA) was enacted on August 14, 2008 and reauthorizes the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended. The HEOA made a number of additions to campus security reporting requirements. This spring, representatives from many postsecondary communities participated in meetings held by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to discuss regulatory language (negotiated rulemaking) and ED expects that language to be issued as a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) later this summer. Final rules will be published by November 1, 2009 and will be effective on July 1, 2010. The link above provides a summary of these rules for planning purposes. DOE anticipates that further guidance will be provided once the final rules have been published. However, institutions must make a good-faith effort to comply with the statute in the absence of regulations and should therefore be gathering this information in preparation for the 2010 report.
What Kinds of Reports Need To Be Made Public?
1. Annual Security Report
The report or summary must be given to all enrolled students and current employees by October 1 of each school year. Distribution of the annual security report to enrolled students and current employees may be accomplished by
direct mailing (U.S. Post Office, campus mail, or e-mail);
direct provision of report to all students (hand out); or
posting on a Web site, and giving notice to all students on where to find it.
The notice must be by U.S. Postal Service, campus mail, or e-mail, and the notice must give the Web address and advise that a paper copy is available on request. Notice on the Web page or a campus kiosk of the availability of the report would not suffice.
Prospective students and employees also need to receive notice of the availability of the report.
According to the final regulations, the following items must be included in the annual security report:
the crime statistics (described below);
a statement of current campus policies regarding procedures for students and others to report criminal actions or other emergencies occurring on campus, including
policies for making timely warning reports to members of the campus community and for preparing the annual disclosure of crime statistics,
a list of the titles of each person or organization to whom students and employees should report the criminal offenses (described below), and
whether the institution has any policies or procedures (and a description of same) that allow disclosure by victims or witnesses of crimes on a voluntary, confidential basis for inclusion in the annual disclosure of crime statistics;
a statement of current policies concerning security of an access to campus facilities, including campus residences, and security considerations used in the maintenance of campus facilities;
a statement of current policies concerning campus law enforcement that
addresses the enforcement authority of security personnel, including their relationship with State and local police agencies and whether those security personnel have the authority to arrest individuals,
encourages accurate and prompt reporting of all crimes, and
describes procedures, if any, that encourage professional or pastoral counselors to inform persons being counseled of voluntary disclosure procedures referenced above;
a description of the type and frequency of programs designed to inform students and employees about campus security procedures and practices and to encourage students and employees to be responsible for their own security and the security of others;
a description of programs designed to inform students and employees about the prevention of crimes;
a statement of the institution's policy concerning monitoring of student criminal activity at off-campus locations of officially recognized student organizations;
a statement of policy regarding the possession, use, and sale of alcoholic beverages and enforcement of State underage drinking laws;
a statement of policy regarding the possession, use, and sale of illegal drugs and enforcement of federal and state drug laws;
a description of any drug or alcohol-abuse education programs, as required under Section 120(a) - (d) of the Higher Education Act;
a statement of policy regarding the institution's campus sexual assault programs to prevent sex offenses, and procedures to follow when a sex offense occurs. (Details of this requirement can be found at 34 C.F.R. § 668.46(b)(11) and here)
Record-keeping Requirements: Institutions must retain the records on crime statistics for three years following the last year the information was included in the annual report. For example, October 1, 1997 campus security records would be kept until October 1, 2003.
If the institution is found to have "substantially misrepresented" the number, nature or location of crimes, civil penalties may result in a $27,500* fine per violation.
2. Notice of Availability of Report
Prospective students and prospective employees must receive notice of the availability of the report.
3. Campus Crime Alerts
A timely warning to the campus community must go out regarding any of the below listed crimes which are deemed to represent a threat to the students and employees, and which are reported to campus security authorities or to local police agencies. The campus crime alert must be issued in a manner that is timely and will aid in the prevention of similar crimes. Campus security may decide to issue an alert about a crime occurring off-campus but in a location frequented by students, even though such a crime would not be included in the annual report.
4. Campus Crime Log
Institutional law enforcement units must keep a daily log that records crimes by their nature, date, time, general location, and disposition of the complaint. The log must be made available to the public within two business days of a request unless disclosure of such information would:
be prohibited by law;
jeopardize the confidentiality of the victim;
jeopardize an ongoing criminal investigation;
jeopardize the safety of an individual;
cause a suspect to flee or evade detection;
result in the destruction of evidence.
5. Filing of Report with Secretary of Education
The institution must submit the statistics over the Internet to the Secretary of Education, on an annual basis, and on the date specified by the Secretary. In recent years the reporting deadline has been October 15th.
The Department of Education's Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE) Campus Security Statistics Website, provides a searchable database of statistics reported by colleges and universities.
What Crimes and Campus Offenses Must Be Reported?
Statistics on the following crimes and offenses are to be reported in the annual security report, which is also to be made available to all students:
Criminal Homicide: Murder, non-negligent, and negligent manslaughter. Non-negligent manslaughter is the killing of a person through gross negligence.
Sex Offenses, Forcible or Non-forcible: A forcible sex offense is any sexual act directed against another person, forcibly and/or against that person's will; or not forcibly or against that person's will where the victim is incapable of giving consent, i.e., intoxicated. Non-forcible sex offenses are acts of "unlawful, non-forcible sexual intercourse," e.g., incest or statutory rape.
Robbery: The taking, or attempting to take anything of value from the control, custody, or care of a person or persons by force or threat of force or violence and/or by putting the victim in fear.
Aggravated Assault: An unlawful attack by one person upon another for the purpose of inflicting severe or aggravated bodily injury. This offense is usually accompanied by the use of a weapon or by means likely to produce death or great bodily harm.
Burglary: The unlawful entry (breaking and entering) into a building or other structure with the intent to commit a felony or theft.
Arson: Willful or malicious burning or an attempt to burn a dwelling house, public building, motor vehicle or aircraft, or personal property.
Motor Vehicle Theft: The theft or attempted theft of a motor vehicle.
On-campus Arrests for Alcohol, Drug and Illegal Weapon Violations
The number of students referred for Campus Disciplinary Actions1 for alcohol, drug or illegal weapon violations. (If included in the report as an arrest, a referral does not need to be reported under this category.)
Hate Crimes falling into the above list, involving bodily injury, or reported to the campus security office or local police. (Hate crimes are to be reported by category of prejudice: race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity or disability.) Note that HEOA of 2008 modified (effective August 14, 2008) the list of hate crimes that must be reported to include the following crimes: larceny-theft, simple assault; intimidation, and property destruction, damage or vandalism. (20 USC 1092 (f)(1)(F)(ii))
When Must the Crime Be Reported?
Crimes must be included in the annual security report for the calendar year in which the crime was reported to the campus security authority. This may not always match the date of occurrence of the crime. See 34 C.F.R. § 668.46(c)(2).
Does It Matter Where the Crime Occurred -- On or Off Campus?
The institution must provide a geographic breakdown of the crime statistics by four categories:
on campus and in a dormitory or other residential facility for students on campus;
in or on a non-campus building or property;
on public property.
Public property is defined in the regulations to include thoroughfares, streets, sidewalks, or parking facilities that are within the campus, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from the campus. A map may be used in complying with the statistical reporting requirements. The 2011 Handbook For Campus Safety and Security Reporting contains this statement as what constitutes public property:
Public property consists of a public sidewalk that borders the campus, the public street along the sidewalk and the public sidewalk on the other side of the street (i.e., sidewalk, street, sidewalk). Again, only the portions of the sidewalk, street and sidewalk that are adjacent to the campus are included in public property.
Non-Campus Building or Property is defined in the regulations (34 CFR 668.46) as
(1) Any building or property owned or controlled by a student organization that is officially recognized by the institution; or (2) Any building or property owned or controlled by an institution that is used in direct support of, or in relation to, the institution's educational purposes, is frequently used by students, and is not within the same reasonably contiguous geographic area of the institution.
Who on Campus Is Responsible for Reporting Crimes and Campus Offenses?
Persons who receive referrals for discipline involving alcohol, drug or weapon violations which are also a violation of the law, and for which a sanction may be imposed, must report those cases to the campus security office.
Anyone who is a "campus security authority" who receives a report of or is aware of a crime must report it to the campus security office.
Campus security authorities are defined in the final regulations as:
Members of a campus police department or a campus security department of an institution.
An individual who has responsibility for campus security, but is not a part of a campus police department or a campus security department, such as an individual who is responsible for monitoring entrance into institutional property.
Any individual or organization specified in an institution's statement of campus security policy as someone to whom students and employees should report criminal offenses.
Any official of the institution who has significant responsibility for student and campus activities, such as student housing, student discipline, and campus judicial proceedings, but who is not acting as a pastoral or professional counselor. Examples of those with significant responsibility may include the dean of students or other official(s) who oversee student housing, a student center, or student extra-curricular activities; an athletic director; team coach; or faculty advisor to a student group.
Examples of individuals who meet crieria for campus security authority as stated in The DOE 2011 Handbook for Campus Safety and Security Reporting, at page 75:
- A dean of students who oversees student housing, a student center or student extracurricular activities.
• A director of athletics, a team coach or a faculty advisor to a student group.
• A student resident advisor or assistant or a student who monitors access to dormitories.
• A coordinator of Greek affairs.
• A physician in a campus health center, a counselor in a campus counseling center or a victim advocate or sexual assault response team in a campus rape crisis center if they are identified by your school as someone to whom crimes should be reported or if they have significant responsibility for student and campus activities. However, if these individuals are not identified as people to whom crimes should be reported or do not have significant responsibility for student and campus activities, they would not be considered CSAs.
Examples of individuals who would not meet the criteria for Campus Security Authorities:
• A faculty member who does not have any responsibility for student and campus activity beyond the classroom.
• Clerical or cafeteria staff.
Crime Statistics that Do Not Require Reporting
Under the final regulations, the institution does not need to report crimes reported to a pastoral or professional counselor. A pastoral counselor is a person who is associated with a religious order or denomination that recognizes him/her as someone who provides confidential counseling, and is functioning within the scope of that recognition as a pastoral counselor. A professional counselor is a person whose official responsibilities include providing mental health counseling to members of the institution's community and is functioning within the scope of his/her license or certification. Under the regulations, priests or clerics at a university, and counselors in a counseling center (including supervised students), would not need to report criminal offenses to the campus security office about which they are informed while working in their pastoral or counseling capacity.
Note that this exemption from the reporting requirements under the Campus Security Act does not relieve counselors of the duty to exercise reasonable care to protect a foreseeable victim from danger posed by the person being counseled.3 If someone indicates to their counselor an intent to commit a violent crime against another, and the counselor determines that the patient poses a serious danger of violence, then steps must be taken by the counselor to protect the intended victim.
Resources and other Documents
April 2, 2013 letter to University of Texas at Arlington from U.S. Department of Education, assessing fines for failure to properly categorize crimes and drug and liquour law violations.
August 30, 2012 Decision by Secretary of Education by Arne Duncan reversing the decision of the Administrative Law Judge and finding that Virginia Tech University failed to issue a timely warning to its campus community on the morning of April 16, 2007, when a gunman shot and killed 32 individuals on campus. The decision reinstates the $27,500 fine and remands for a finding on what the fine should be having inconsistent policies on timely warnings.
In the Matter of Tarleton State University, Decision of the Secretary of Education, June 1st. 2012In the course of upholding $27,500 fines for failure to report each of four unreported violent offenses, the decision discusses the appropriate method for calculating fines for Clery Act reporting violations, and remands to FSA for recalculation of fines for 70 additional reporting violations.
May 4, 2012 Letter and brief to Secretary Duncan by the Attorney for Federal Student Aid, appealing the DOE ruling, that Virginia Tech University did not fail to provide a timely warning to its campus community on the morning of April 16, 2007, when a gunman shot and killed 32 individuals on campus; and that a technical deviation from its stated policy on the means of issuing timely warnings did not warrant a financial penalty.
March 26, 2012 Department of Education *Approved* Clarifications to Clery Act
Note to Counsel: Is this document actually the law or is it law by stationery, i.e. an interpretation by someone at the Department of Education regarding the law?
American Council on Education: A President's Guide to the Clery Act: This concise document includes 11 pages of text explaining the law as well as a copy of the text of the law on campus security and crime statistics, missing persons, and fire safety, as well as law on sexual assault prevention programs. Good suggestions include creating a comprehensive list of all campus security authorities and publishing a map in annual security report with reporting boundaries clearly identified.
March 29, 2012 Letter from U.S. Department of Education Office of Hearings and Appeals ruling in favor of Virginia Tech in its appeal of a $50,000 fine levied by the Department due to the alleged failure of Virginia Tech to issue a timely warning on the morning of the April 2007 shootings.
August 2011 letter from US Dept. of Education to Washington State University setting forth a fine of $82,500 for alleged violations of the Campus Security Act. Specfically, the letter claims WSU failed to report two sex crimes and that the Annual Campus Security Report did not have the required policy statements. WSU intends to appeal the fine.
Letter from US Dept. of Education to Virginia Tech, dated March 2011, announcing fine of $55,000 for violations of the Campus Security Act in connection with the April 16, 2007 shootings.
2011 The Handbook For Campus Safety and Security Reporting
304 page updated U.S. Department of Education handbook.
December 9, 2010 Department of Education Final Program Review of Virginia Tech on failure to comply with Timely Warning requirement of CSA in regard to the April 16, 2007 murder of students by an armed student. See also the University Statement on the DOE findings issued on Dec. 9, 2010.
Program Review Report issued January 2010 by US Dept. of Education with Finding that Virginia Tech violated the timely warning requirement on April 16, 2007. See also the University's 80 page response issued April 20, 2010.
Key HEOA Compliance Obligations and Emergency Procedures: 11-1-09 Paper by Margaret O'Donnell prepared for NACUA Fall 2009 Compliance Conference
Key HEOA Compliance Obligations and Campus Crime Reporting 10-30-09 paper by Margaret O'Donnell prepared for NACUA Fall 2009 Compliance Conference.
Oct. 1, 2008 Hogan Hartson memo on Campus Safety and HEOA by Stephanie Gold and Ruby Shellaway (not available online)
Uniform Crime Reporting Handbook
Contains definitions of crimes to be reported
A very valuable guide to the intricacies of complying with the Campus Security Act of 1990.
Havlik v. Johnson & Wales, (1st Cir. 2007). The Campus Security Act requires that universities notify students and faculty when certain crimes take place on campus. A student who was alleged to have brandished a knife in connection with an assault was identified by name in the campus crime report, and he sued for defamation. The First Circuit upheld the District Court's finding that under the Campus Security Act school officials who issue crime alerts must have only a "reasonable belief" that there is a duty to report (even if later shown to be incorrect) in order for the qualified privilege against defamation to attach.
1 Defined as the referral of any student to any campus official who initiates a disciplinary action of which a record is kept and which may result in the imposition of a sanction. The commentary on the final regulations clarifies that the requirement to report statistics for referrals for campus disciplinary actions for alcohol, drug and weapon violations refers to violations of laws only. The referral of a student of legal drinking age on a dry campus for campus disciplinary action would not be included as a statistic under the regulations.
3 See Tarasoff v. Regents of University of California, 551 P. 2d 334 (1976). See also Tarasoff at Twenty-Five. J Am Acad Psychiatry law 30:275-81, 2002.
"The public policy favoring protection of the confidential character of patient-psychotherapist communications must yield to the extent to which disclosure is essential to avert danger to others. The protective privilege ends where the public peril begins.)
updated 7/25/05 to add 2005 Campus Security Handbook.
* adjusted for inflation from the statutory amount of $25,000 pursuant to a notice at 67 Fed. Reg. 69653, Nov. 18, 2002
Updated 2/14/13 CCR
updated 3/19/13 to add Violence Against Women Act
updated 5/16/13 to add fines assessed at UT Arlington