Miami University found to violate campus security act

OHIO — The U.S. Department of Education declared this fall that Miami University of Ohio is in violation of federal law requiring accurate reporting of campus crime.The Campus Security Act of 1990 demands colleges receiving federal funds annually publish accurate reports on campus crime and safety procedures.The department issued a letter to the university on Sept. 11 stating there were “several areas where the institution needs to improve its compliance with the requirements of the Act.”The letter cited several areas of noncompliance with the act, including inaccurately disclosed crime statistics, inconsistent data and statistics from branch campuses.The department’s investigation into Miami’s crime reporting, which began in July, found nine discrepancies in the university’s police records. Discrepancies include the inaccurate reporting of the number of forcible rapes, aggravated assaults and liquor and drug law arrests.The letter from the department outlines the requirements the university must fulfill in order to be in compliance of the Campus Security Act. The university must review the requirements of the Act and develop a system for collecting information about all occurrences. It also must describe how it will bring campus security reporting into compliance with the law.Jane Glickman, public affairs official for the department, said it is not the department’s intent to punish universities found in violation.”We want to help these universities find a way to comply with the law,” she said.The university composed a response to the findings of the department saying that some of the figures in their reports were incorrect, but blamed the mistakes on clerical errors. The university disputed the departments most serious findings.Moorhead State University and Virginia Tech University became last July the first universities to be found in violation of the act. The University of Pennsylvania and Clemson University are still under investigation for possible violations.