CALIFORNIA — Securityon Campus, a national campus security watchdog organization, has askedthe Department of Educationto initiate a review of University of California campuses’ compliance withcampus security regulations, following the publication of a series of articlesby The Sacramento Beethat accuse the UC system of failingto accurately report campus crime.
In addition, Security on Campus has asked Congress to create a separateoffice to monitor and enforce campus crime reporting in schools acrossthe country.
The Sept. 24-25 Sacramento Beearticlesaccused many of the system schools of violating the CleryAct, a law that requires schools to publish annual crime statistics,by omitting sexual assaults reported to university sources other than police,as well as crimes that took place off campus. The Beereported thatsome of the campuses miscategorized crimes, putting sexual assaults underthe broad heading of “physical abuse.” The Beealso said severalUC schools compiled statistics using the broader FBI standards, ratherthan the categories required by the Clery Act.
“This situation is especially serious because other schools in Californiaand across the country will be closely watching,” said Daniel Carter, vicepresident of Security on Campus, in an individual complaintfiled against the UC Davis campus on the same day as the request for investigationof the UC system — Oct. 2. “If [UC campuses are] permitted to excludeincidents based on the criteria they have established, other schools willlikely follow suit, thus weakening this critically important law.”
In a letter to U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., Howard and Connie Clery,co-founders of Security on Campus, requested the creation of a Clery Actoffice within the Education Department. The letter criticized the DOE’scontinued failure to enforce the law.
“A campus security compliance office must be established and fundedto educate the schools about their obligations, perform random audits,enforce the Act through fines, and collect annual crime statistics forpublic dissemination,” said the Clerys in their letterto Specter.
For more information:
The Sacramento Bee articles about the violations of the Clery Act bythe UC system are available online at: http://www.sacbee.com/news/projects/ucrape.
Security on Campus’ formal Clery Act complaint against the UC systemis available online at: http://campussafety.org/publicpolicy/cleryact/ucalif/index.html.
Security on Campus’ letter to the DOE requesting the creation of a CleryAct office is available online at: http://campussafety.org/soc/correspondence/100500.html.