18 May 17
Since the passing of the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (or Clery Act for short) in 1990, college and university campuses across the country have been required to report all crimes and incidents that occur on and around their college campus. This has led to increased transparency on campus safety that helps parents and students stay informed and also provides institutions with standardized information.
One important aspect for reporting crimes under the Clery Act is identifying where every incident takes place. This information helps define where incidents are occurring and can assist in the creation of campus safety plans.
However, due to the intricacies of the Clery Act, correctly classifying incident locations can be confusing. In this blog post, we aim to simplify when to use the various geographic labels and how to do it correctly.
4 geographic classifications for Clery-reportable offenses:
The official Handbook for Campus Safety and Security Reporting asserts that on campus properties include buildings and properties that meet all of the following criteria:
In other words, if an institution rents, leases, or has some form of written agreement for use of a building, property, or part of a building or property, that institution is said to be in control of the property. The phrase “reasonably contiguous to one another” refers to buildings or properties an institution controls or owns nearby the campus (usually within a mile of the campus border) and that students frequently utilize.
Buildings and properties that are owned but not controlled by the institution can also be considered on campus property. The handbook gives examples such as a bookstore or fast-food restaurant that leases space in the student center. The fact that it’s not controlled by the institution doesn’t exclude it from the campus property category. If the property or building (or part of a property or building) is owned by the institution, is on campus, and is frequently used by the student body it, it should be labeled as “on campus property”.
Other examples of on campus property include (if controlled by the institution and reasonably contiguous with the campus):
Under the Clery Act, on campus student housing is considered an extension of the on campus property classification. However, an institution that has on campus student housing must submit two sets of statistics (one for on campus property and another for on campus student housing property).
On campus student housing properties are properties that are owned or controlled by the institution and are reasonably nearby (or in) the geographic area of the campus.
Examples of on campus student housing includes:
Understanding what is considered “on campus” will help immensely when it comes time to determine what would be classified as public property. The official Clery handbook defines public property as “All public property, including thoroughfares, streets, sidewalks, and parking facilities, that is within the campus, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from the campus.”
To determine if the location is best classified as public property it’s important to determine if:
These 2 locations are the only way to classify a location as public property on a Clery report.
An example of public property within the campus would be a public road (or sidewalks) that run directly through campus. An example of public property that borders a campus would be sidewalks that border the campus.
There are two general rules behind when a property should be classified as a non campus property:
An exception to the rule regarding registered student organizations is that fraternity and sorority houses that are located within the geographical area in or reasonably near campus ground will be considered an on campus property. Another exception would be for repeated use of a location for school-sponsored trips. For example, if a class visits Washington D.C. every year and uses the same hotel every year, that hotel would be classified as non campus property during the students’ stay.
For a full rundown of Clery geographic locations including in depth examples, we recommend you check out the official Handbook for Campus Safety and Security Reporting.