September 19, 2013
Rumor has it that students who are looking to report a sexual assault or rape crime may be required to give their name under the latest revisions to the Clery Act.
Paul Altieri, chief of police, said this is simply not true.
The only change made to the Clery Act was the addition of four crimes to the list of reported crimes that college campuses must make public. Those crimes are date rape, stalking, dating and domestic violence.
Title IX, on the other hand, does require complainants to give their name. Title IX and LHU’s Title IX coordinator, Albert Jones, deal solely with sexual crimes. Rape, sexual assault, stalking and dating violence are a few of the crimes included in that category, Altieri said.
When a student opens up about being the victim of a sexual crime, he or she may be required to give his or her name for the purposes of investigation. If the student does not want to be involved in the investigation, he or she has the right to opt out of reporting to law enforcement. Although, any university faculty with knowledge of a crime involving a minor is required to file a report.
However, the Title IX coordinator is still required to investigate as thoroughly as possible with the information given. Likewise, all university staff members are required by law to report any sexual crime admitted to them by students, Altieri said.
“Universities that receive federal funds are legally required to investigate these crimes and to enact measures designed to prevent their reoccurrence. That means that nearly all university employees must report to Public Safety if they have knowledge that a crime of this type occurred,” Lisette Schillig, a professor in the English department, said in an email interview.
“In addition to reporting the crime to Public Safety, which can be anonymously reported under the Clery Act, the designated Title IX coordinator on campus must be informed of the crime, and provided the name of the person who experienced the crime. The Title IX coordinator will then follow up with the person who experienced the crime,” she added.
Information learned by LHU’s Title IX coordinator, currently Albert Jones, cannot be shared with Public Safety. Any investigations Public Safety performs must stay separate from the coordinator’s investigation, according to Altieri.
“The Title IX coordinator is responsible for working with the victim and informing the victim of possible resources,” Altieri said. “The coordinator can also rearrange schedules or student housing.”
The Clery Act, to clarify, requires the university to make information on campus crime statistics to be fully public. The addition of dating and sexual violence, date rape and stalking allow a fuller view of campus crimes.
“[Covering more crimes] will help get more people the help they need and deserve,” Tyler Grainey, a freshman, said.
In the past year, Altieri said there has been an increase in crime disclosures.
“This makes the university safer,” Altieri said. “We know what’s going on. The main purpose of the Clery Act is for college-bound kids to be able to make an informed decision about where to go to school.”
Other requirements of the Clery Act include timely notices and emergency warnings. Timely notices go out when there is an ongoing threat to the entire campus, such as the armed robber incident that occurred Sept. 12 and 13.
Emergency warnings are issued when events such as severe weather or gas leaks occur, and are mainly meant to warn specific areas on campus. These notifications are made via telephone: the officer issuing an emergency warning can set off all of the telephones in the effected building and make the emergency announcement.
“It’s good for us to know what’s going on around us so we’re aware of any problems we might encounter,” freshman Kiona Robbins said.
Further requirements of Clery and Title IX will also include all new students and staff to undergo training programs on how to report crimes. Though the details are still being worked out, the first program will occur at the beginning of the spring 2014 semester.
“I think the intentions behind these new regulations are positive,” Schillig said. “They reflect a desire to change campus cultures across the country—cultures that give rise to the kinds of violence we too often see and that too often goes unreported.”