Campus Security Authorities
A federal law, known as the Clery Act, was first enacted as the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act of 1990. The law was amended in 1998 becoming the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime. The law requires postsecondary institutions that participate in Title IV student financial assistance programs to report and make available crime statistics to current and prospective students and employees. The law was named after Jeanne Clery, a student who attended Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, who in 1986, was slain in her dorm room by another student. After learning that the administration at Lehigh University failed to notify the college community about violent crimes that had occurred on the campus, Jeanne Clery's parents fought for and won to have the federal government enact a law requiring postsecondary institutions to report violent crimes that occur on their campuses. As a result, all postsecondary institutions are mandated to report incidences of violent crimes. To satisfy this mandate, postsecondary institutions have tasked specific college employees as Campus Security Authorities. As part of their duties, Campus Security Authorities gather and report to the college's Campus Security/Public Safety departments any crimes and/or incidences of crimes they become aware of. In addition, each college tasks an employee (normally an employee of the campus security/police department) as the college's Clery Compliance Officer. It is the college's Clery Compliance Officer's responsibiltiy to coordinate and oversee Campus Security Authorities and to obtain information pertaining to reported incidences of crimes that occur on the campus or its properties. The purpose of these reports are to collect information and statistical data about crimes, arrests and disciplinary referrals that occurr within the geographical boundaries of the college and/or any properties leased, rented, controlled or maintained by the college. Once obtained, crime reports and statistics reported to Campus Security/Public Safety along with crime statistics obtained from local law enforcement agencies are disseminated to the college community to ensure members are made aware of any dangers in and around its campus and/or in any of its properties. This information is then reported to the Department of Education by the institution's Clery Compliance Officer via an annual security report which provides prospective students and employees with specific information about crimes that occurr on or near college controlled properties.
Employees Tasked as Campus Security Authorities
College employees who have significant responsibility for students and campus activites and who are likely to receive complainants from a victim of a crime are tasked as Campus Security Authorities. These include:
- Campus Public Safety Departments
- Individuals with campus security responsibilities
- Individuals designated by the campus
- Officials with significant responsibility for student and campus activities
All officers of the Public Safety Department and all non-commissioned security guards employed by The City University of New York are responsible for campus security and are tasked as Campus Security Authorities.
Individuals who have a responsibility for campus security but do not constitute a campus police/security department are tasked as Campus Security Authorities. They are:
- Persons responsible of monitoring or controlling entrance to campus property
- Special events security staff
- Campus Public Safety personnel and community assistants who routinely monitor entrances to buildings and secured areas
Persons or groups responsible for campus security are individuals designated by the campus or its institution. These are:
- Chancellor's Office and staff
- President's Office and staff
- Director of Student Affairs
- Officials with significant responsibility for student and campus activities.
Identifying Campus Security Authorities - Employee Function Rather than Title
Official responsibilties and job titles vary. To determine which individuals or organizations fit the classification of a Campus Security Authority, institutions must focus on the function of the official or office whose function involve relationships with students not the title of the official or office.
These individuals or offices:
- Have significant contact with students
- Have line responsibility
- May include officials not specifically employed as faculty or staff
Campus Security Authorities - Significant Responsibility for Campus/Student Activities
Examples of Campus Security Authorities with significant responsibility for student and campus activities are:
- Dean of Students
- Provost and staff
- Representatives of housing and resident life
- Student judicial programs/other discipline officials
- Directors or managers of student service centers
- Officials that oversee extracurricular activities
- Directors of Athletics, coaches, trainers, and staff
- Student health directors and campus health center physicians
- Faculty advisors and advisors to student groups
- Title IX coordinator
- Victim advocates or others who are responsible for providing victims with advocacy services
If directed by the instituiton, students and employees who report crimes to other individuals, those individuals are tasked as Campus Security Authorities. These individuals could include:
- Physicians in a campus health center
- Counselors, including peer counselors (except for professional or pastoral counnselors)
- Health educators , including peer health educators
Campus Security Authorities - Exempted Employees
Pastoral or professional counselors are exempt as Campus Security Authorities, under the Clery Act, to ensure they can provide appropriate counseling services and to protect the counselor-client relationship when acting in the role of a pastoral or professional counselor.
Employees that do not fit the criteria of a Campus Security Authority are:
- Faculty members who do not have any responsibility for student/campus activities beyond the classroom
- Faculty member who are not advisors to student groups
- Support staff
- Clerical staff
- Cafeteria staff
- Non-professional and contract staff
If an individual is employed by the college as a professional counselor and an academic counselor and he or she learns of a criminal incident while engaged in academic counseling, he or she is not exempt from reporting that incident. Also, if an individual of the institution has a dual role, one as a professional or pastoral counselor and the other as an official who qualifies as a Campus Security Authority and the a roles can not be separated, that individual is considered a Campus Security Authority and is obligated to report Clery Act crimes of which they are aware.
Function of a Campus Security Authority
The function of a Campus Security Authority is to report to the official or office designated by the institution to collect crime report information, such as the campus police or security department, allegations of crimes classified as Clery Act crimes that they receive. Campus Security Authorities are responsible for reporting allegations of Clery Act crimes that are reported to them in their capacity as Campus Security Authorities. However, Campus Security Authorities are not responsible for investigating or reporting incidents they overhear students talking about in a hallway conversation, during an in-class discussion by a student or classmate; that a victim mentions during a speech, workshop or any form of group presentation; or that the Campus Security Authority learns about in any indirect manner.
Campus Security Authorities, however, are not responsible for determining authoritatively whether a crime took place or try to apprehend an alleged perpetrator of a crime or try to convince a victim to contact law enforcement if the victim chooses not to do so. This is the function and responsibility of law enforcement personnel.
It is possible for Campus Security Authorities to fullfil their responsibilties while still maintaining victim confidentiality. A Campus Security Authority report does not need to automatically result in the initiation of a police or disciplinary investigation if the victim chooses not to pursue this action. Campus Security Reports are used by the institution to compile statistics for Clery Act reporting and to help determine if there is a serious or continuing threat to the safety of the campus community that would require an alert such as a timely warning or an emergency notification.
The Office of Public Safety at Lehman College has been designated as the department for collecting crime report information. All designated Lehman College Campus Security Authorities are notified annually, via email, of their assignment as a Campus Security Authority. This notification also provides requests to provide Public Safety with any information on any Clery Act crimes Campus Security Authorities become aware of.
Training for Campus Security Authorities is provided through training manuals, video and PowerPoint presentations offered by the Offic of Public Safety. These training aids provides information on:
- the description of the role of a Campus Security Authority
- providing reporting materials for recordkeeping
- discussion of the importance of documentation
- emphasis on the need of timely report submission
Clery Act Crimes
The Clery Act requires institutions to include four general categories of crime statistics. They are:
- Criminal Offenses
- Hate Crimes
- Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) crimes
- Arrests and Referrals for Disciplinary Action
These crimes, under the Clery Act, are based on defininitions provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI's) Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, the FBI's National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) Data Guidlines edition of the UCR, the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting Hate Crime Data Collection Guildlines and Training Manual and the Violence Against Women's Act of 1994.
The following are crimes that must be reported by Campus Security Authorities once they become aware of such incidents:
- Criminal Offenses:
- Criminal Homicide
- Murder and Non-Negligent Manslaughter
- Manslaughter by Negligence
- Criminal Homicide
- Sex Offenses - Forcible and Non-Forcible
- Statutory Rape
- Aggravated Assault
- Motor Vehicle Theft
- Arrest and Disciplinary Referrals for Violations of Liquor, Drug and Weapons laws
- Hate Crimes, based on:
- Sexual Orientation
- Gender Identity
- National Origin
- Violence Against Women - Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act enacted in 2013 by President Barack Obama which includes:
- Dating Violence
- Domestic Violence
Definintions of these crimes are provided to all Campus Security Authorities during the calendar year and can be obtained through the Office of Public Safety. All of the above mentioned information is also provided by the Office of Public Safety through the publication of its Annual Security Report.The report is published in document form and is posted on the Public Safety website.
The task of a Campus Security Authority is a great responsibility. If you have been tasked with this duty and have any questions, please contact the Office of Public Safety. We can be reached at extension 8594. Our office is located in the Apex Building, room 109. When classes are in session during the fall and spring semesters, our hours of operation are Monday - Thursday, 9AM - 7PM and Fridays 9AM - 5PM. When classes are in session during the summer semester, our hours of operation are Monday - Thursday 9AM - 6:30PM.
Our office is closed during the campus summer eight week Free Friday work schedule. When the office is closed, assistance can be obtained at the Gate 5 Command Center located near Shuster Hall which operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Command Center can be reached at extension 8228 or 7777 (if an emergency).
*All information pertaining to Campus Security Authorities is taken from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education, The Handbook for Campus Safety and Security Reporting, 2016 Edition, Washinton, D.C., 2016.