Most college police agencies in Texas do not have guidelines for stalking cases, report shows

The study also published survey results of 56 police officers from Texas colleges responding to questions related to their understanding of stalking and official procedures to address it. The answers from respondents — most of them identified as police chiefs — show that seven out of 10 did not have specific guidelines at their institution for dealing with stalking cases, and that few of them work with off-campus organizations that help victims of stalking.

New federal regulations on campus crime increase transparency

New rules that change what colleges have to do under the Clery Act were published today. The new regulations — the result of months of discussions and negotiations following the 2013 passage of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act — are designed to lend greater transparency to the process by which colleges respond to crimes of sexual violence affecting students.

Grant will help Otterbein student journalists challenge limited access to campus police records

A year ago, Jordan Bradley detailed in the SPLC Report how student journalists at Otterbein University have had difficulty gaining access to campus police reports.The troubles started in 2011, when the Ohio school's security team was converted into a commissioned police force, said Hillary Warren, who advises The Tan & Cardinal. Then, campus police began responding to incidents that city police once handled. At first, campus police didn't release any records, even those required under the Jeanne Clery Act, Warren told us.

Penn State’s silence on Clery report shows need for public records reform

Last week, the Department of Education issued its preliminary report, part of its investigation into whether Pennsylvania State University violated the Clery Act in its handling of allegations of sexual abuse by former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky. It will likely be years, though, before the public learns what the department uncovered in its far-reaching review of campus safety practices at the school since 1998 — one of the largest and most high-profile investigations ever.The reason for the secrecy is two-fold. A federal law requires the Department of Education to maintain the confidentiality of any program reviews until the final program report is issued.

Join SPLC’s Sunshine Week campus safety audit

In just a little over a month, journalists across the country will celebrate open government in action. Held annually in March, Sunshine Week is a chance for journalists to demonstrate to lawmakers and the public the importance of open government and easy access to public records.In the past, the Student Press Law Center has teamed up with student journalists across the country on public records projects.

Oklahoma State’s FERPA fig leaf just got a lot smaller

There's nowhere left for Oklahoma State University to hide.The man in charge of interpreting the federal student privacy law for more than two decades, LeRoy Rooker, told the Tulsa World in an interview this week that Oklahoma State was under no legal requirement to withhold information about campus sexual assaults from the police.Rooker's interpretation flatly contradicts Oklahoma State legal counsel Gary Clark's insistence that the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act ("FERPA") forbade the university from alerting campus police about a string of reported sex crimes by a 22-year-old OSU senior.The student, Nathan Cochran, was charged Dec.

Oklahoma State demonstrates why universities shouldn’t handle sexual assault claims

Pop quiz: should you tell the police if you think someone is responsible for a pattern of sexual assaults?Well, that ain't how they do things down Oklahoma State way.In the past, I've made the point that universities shouldn't be adjudicating sexual assault claims. Both because they're bad at it and because they can't actually take these people off the streets.Now, Oklahoma State has provided an object lesson, by showing how much can go wrong when you let a bunch of amateur investigators pretend to do the jobs of police and courts.Consider what happened at Oklahoma State after five different students reported sexual assaults by the same alleged perpetrator.You would assume that a disciplinary committee at an institution faced with multiple reports of sexual assault by one person might say to themselves, "Gee, the training video we watched didn't really prepare us to do the proper investigation of sexual assault at this scale, so maybe we ought to call police."Surely a bunch of amateurs, with no authority to subpoena, no ability to collect or test forensics--certainly they wouldn't attempt to identify and punish a possible serial attacker, would they?