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Final changes made to federal Clery Act

dylan saake.jpg
Dylan Saake, Chico State’s Title IX coordinator and director of labor and relations and compliance, said Chico State already complies with many of the new requirements from the Clery act. Photo credit: Madison Holmes

New rules created by the U.S. Department of Education will make it easier for colleges to track crimes occurring on campuses across the U.S.

The final rule implementing changes made to the Clery Act was announced by the Obama administration on Friday, according to a media release from the U.S. Department of Education.

The Clery Act requires federally funded universities to comply with certain campus safety measures authorized by Title IX.

Title IX of the Higher Education Act decrees that programs that receive federal financial assistance cannot discriminate against an individual on the basis of gender.

The changes made to the Clery Act, which was formally published in the Federal Register on Monday, must be implemented at universities by July 1 next year.

On June 20, a draft of possible safety provisions was published on the Federal Register, the US governments daily publication that , as a proposed rule, and a 30-day public comment period followed.

Based on the comments from a variety of groups and individuals, the final rule includes additional requirements like providing students with information, better informing and protecting of victims and clarifying the process for collect crime statistics.

According to the media release from the U.S. Department of Education, additional provisions required of universities under the new rule are:

  • Including gender identity and national origin as categories of bias that serve as the basis for a determination of a hate crime.
  • Describing each type of disciplinary proceeding used by the institution in cases of alleged dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.
  • Including in their annual security report a stated policy regarding the institution’s programs to prevent dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking.
  • Affording the accuser and the accused the same opportunities to have others present during the institutional disciplinary proceeding.

Under the current act, universities are required to disclose crime incidents that occur on campus, on public property within or adjacent to the campus, or in non-campus buildings or property owned or operated by the school.

The final rule now requires universities to record incidents of stalking based on the location where the offender stalked the victim or where the victim became aware of the stalking.

The new rules will ensure that students and faculty have important information about crime on campus and that services and protection are offered victims of those crimes, said Arne Duncan, the U.S. Secretary of Education, in a press release.

These rules will be assets in tackling growing problems of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking on college campuses, he said.

“The Department has the responsibility to ensure that all of our students have the opportunity to learn and grow in a safe environment,” Duncan said.

Chico State’s current policy regarding sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking largely follows the measures within the Clery Act, said Dylan Saake, Title IX coordinator at Chico State.

The system policy will just need to be adjusted, said Dylan Saake, Title IX coordinator at Chico State.

“To a large degree, our policy is consistent,” Saake said. “It just needs some tweaking.”

A large aspect of what needs to be done is just informing students and faculty of what to do in the instance of a sexual assault, he said.

“We need to work on letting people know about domestic violence and sexual assault and the laws surrounding those issues,” Saake said.

The technicality of the regulations is not what is most important, it’s the changes that are going to be made by each individual campus, he said.

“A very small percentage of students will actually read these new regulations,” Saake said “It’s more about what we do as a campus to change.”

The Clery act is just one small part of many changes being made to college campuses regarding sexual assault, he said.

“There’s a lot being done to change,” Saake said. “This is just one step.”

Madison Holmes can be reached at [email protected] or @madisonholmes95 on Twitter.

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