A Look Into the Jeanne Clery Act


Olivier Douliery

Jeanne Clery was raped and murdered in her freshman dorm in 1986. (Courtesy Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press via MCT)


Jeanne Clery was raped and murdered in her freshman dorm in 1986. (Courtesy Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press via MCT)
Jeanne Clery was raped and murdered in her freshman dorm in 1986. (Courtesy Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press via MCT)

With campus sexual assault’s prevalence in the media, most people have been hearing of the Jeanne Clery Act, also known as Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Reporting. So what is it?

The Jeanne Clery Act was named after Jeanne Anne Clery. On April 5, 1986, she was raped and killed by a fellow student in her Lehigh University dorm in Bethlehem, Pa.  Her parents, Constance and Howard K. Clery Jr. subsequently made it their lives’ work to establish transparency for all crimes committed on college campuses nationwide.

“The Clery Act ensures that everyone in the University is accurately reporting crime,” John Carroll, associate vice president for Public Safety, said.

All statistics are released annually and include crimes in nine categories:

The Clery Act requires the University to disclose the following crime statistics:

•  Murder / non-negligent manslaughter; negligent manslaughter

•Sexual offenses, forcible and non-forcible

• Robbery; aggravated assault; burglary; motor vehicle theft; and arson

•Hate crimes, simple assault, intimidation, or destruction/damage/vandalism of property, motivated by the offender’s bias and based on a person’s race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, disability, gender identity or national origin

• Dating violence, domestic violence and stalking

• Arrests and referrals for disciplinary action for carrying or possessing weapons; drug abuse violations and liquor law violations.

“There’s a lot of reasons to select a college or university … and looking at the kind of place you’re going to live is a part of it,” he said.

Carroll said the important question is, “Is everyone being totally candid?”

Then answered, “Well, they are very foolish if they’re not because the fines for not being honest with these reports are astronomical.” In May of 2013, Yale University faced $165,000 in fines from the U.S. Department of Education for “serious and numerous” Clery Act violations, including failing to report forcible sex offenses.

Carroll encourages everyone to report any crimes on campus. “When we report crimes to our students, faculty, staff—our community—and to the Department of Education, we want them to be accurate,” he said.

“Just like not every crime is reported to the police, not every crime is reported to us,”   Carroll said.

According to Carroll, there have been seven total sexual assault incidents reported in this 2014 year to date—four at Fordham College at Rosehill (FCRH) and three at Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC).

“Sometimes, people may want a confidential conversation. If you come to the University, and say you were the victim of a sexual assault, a robbery, you can’t have a confidential conversation. It has to be reported. We need to know that so we can most importantly investigate it and find whatever student was responsible to take whatever action necessary.”

According to Carroll, the two University personnel exempt from mandated reporting to the Department of Public Safety are pastoral counselors acting in their official capacity and professional mental health counselors acting in their official capacity.

“The public safety department at Fordham works very hard to have a totally transparent operation, so that our students feel comfortable to come and report. We are here to serve, we are not here to judge anybody. We encourage everyone to report everything to us,” Carroll said.

To report a crime, students can call 718-817-2222, anytime, to speak with the Public Safety Duty Supervisor on duty.