Every college campus has security challenges to overcome. It doesn’t matter what size of school they are or where they are located. This is part of where Annual Security Reports or ASRs, come into the picture. Every school that receives federal funding is obligated to release these reports, which give an overview of the past three years in terms of crime statistics. It also has to show what the campuses are doing to prioritize student safety and campus security.
The Clery Act
The Department of Education reviews program findings in accordance with what is known as the Clery Act. Many institutions struggle to stay in compliance with this act. However, the Clery Center is a valuable resource for help in this regard. The Center is a nationally recognized nonprofit organization that provides education and training in regards to the Clery Act. one of the biggest challenges many schools face is a gap in the administration of each school in regard to the act; they should have structures in place but for many schools, it’s just not there, even with a Clery Act coordinator on campus to help review security data.
Information Collection Challenges
Another massive challenge comes in the form of information collection. Many of the issues (listed below) are not reflected in the reports organized by the public safety office or department. The DoE wants more collaboration between school departments and that hasn’t yet been clearly achieved. In short, it’s all rather murky. After all, the ASR is meant to be an annual security report connected with campus safety, and unfortunately, that isn’t only provided through the campus police.
The issues are as follows:
- Drugs and alcohol
- Dating violence
- Domestic violence
- Sexual assault
Campus Security Authorities
There happens to be much confusion over who qualifies as a campus security authority or CSA. The law defines who this person is, and it is not chosen by individual schools. Anyone responsible for campus and student activities can be an authority.
Law Change Challenges
Yet another unfortunate reality is that the changes in the law (especially for the Clery Act) poses another challenge. The most recent changes were made in 2013 but weren’t implemented until 2015. Five years simply isn’t long enough for the Annual Security Reports to be amended or for the CSAs to adjust what they know and the security apparatuses that they have in place.
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