Campus Security Act of 1990, as amended by the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008

20 U.S.C. § 1092(f)
34 C.F.R. § 668.46 and § 668.41 (latter link is to reporting and disclosure of information)

The Campus Security Act requires colleges to report campus crime statistics and security measures to all students and employees by October 1 of each year. Applicants must receive either a report or a notice of its availability and a brief summary of the report. Timely warnings must go out whenever a threat to students and employees is present for the crimes (listed below) which are reported to local police or campus security authorities. Procedures must be in place on how to issue these notices. Crime statistics must also be given to the U.S. Secretary of Education. Enforcement procedures and policies, as well as crime prevention and education programs must be described in the annual report. The 1992 Higher Education Amendments require a campus sexual assault prevention program.

Changes made by the HEOA in 2008

Institutions are required to disclose emergency response policies and evacuation procedures. The first annual security report in which a statement of policy would need to be included would be the report due for distribution by October 1, 2010. The policy should include a description of how text messaging or any other electronic system will be used. The school would be required to document each test of the emergency response system, including data on exercise, time date and announced or unannounced. The emergency response policy must include procedures to implement the following:

  • Immediate notice to the campus community upon confirmation of a significant emergency or dangerous situation involving an immediate threat to the health or safety of students or staff occurring on the campus, unless issuing a notification will compromise efforts to contain the emergency
  • Annual publication of emergency response and evacuation procedures to students and staff
  • Annual test of emergency response and evacuation procedures. (20 USC 1092 (f)(1)(J))
  • Determine the appropriate campus community segment or segments to notify
  • Determine the content of the notification
  • Initiate the notification system

Two additional changes made by HEOA are the following:

Institutions must report whether they have agreements (i.e. written memoranda of understanding) with state or local police agencies for the investigation of alleged criminal offenses. (20 USC 1092 (f)(1)(C)(ii))

The list of hate crimes that must be reported has been modified to include the following crimes: larceny-theft, simple assault; intimidation, and property destruction, theft or vandalism. (20 USC 1092 (f)(1)(F)(ii))

See the NAICU HEA 101 Quick Guide to Campus Crime Reporting for more information and a link to the text of the new law.

Summary of the New Campus Safety Disclosure Responsibilities:

Institutions of postsecondary education that participate in the Federal student financial assistance programs have been required by Section 485(a) and (f) of the Higher Education Act (HEA) to provide the Secretary with campus crime statistics since 1990. The Higher Education Opportunity Act (Public Law 110-315) (HEOA) was enacted on August 14, 2008 and reauthorizes the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended. The HEOA made a number of additions to campus security reporting requirements. This spring, representatives from many postsecondary communities participated in meetings held by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to discuss regulatory language (negotiated rulemaking) and ED expects that language to be issued as a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) later this summer. Final rules will be published by November 1, 2009 and will be effective on July 1, 2010. The link above provides a summary of these rules for planning purposes. DOE anticipates that further guidance will be provided once the final rules have been published. However, institutions must make a good-faith effort to comply with the statute in the absence of regulations and should therefore be gathering this information in preparation for the 2010 report.

What Kinds of Reports Need To Be Made Public?

  1. Annual Security Report

    • The report or summary must be given to all enrolled students and current employees by October 1 of each school year. Distribution of the annual security report to enrolled students and current employees may be accomplished by
      • direct mailing (U.S. Post Office, campus mail, or e-mail)
      • direct provision of report to all students (hand out)
      • posting on a Web site, and giving notice to all students on where to find it
    • The notice must be by U.S. Postal Service, campus mail, or e-mail, and the notice must give the Web address and advise that a paper copy is available on request. Notice on the Web page or a campus kiosk of the availability of the report would not suffice. Prospective students and employees also need to receive notice of the availability of the report.
      • According to the final regulations, the following items must be included in the annual security report:
        • the crime statistics (described below)
        • a statement of current campus policies regarding procedures for students and others to report criminal actions or other emergencies occurring on campus, including
          • policies for making timely warning reports to members of the campus community and for preparing the annual disclosure of crime statistics
          • a list of the titles of each person or organization to whom students and employees should report the criminal offenses (described below)
          • whether the institution has any policies or procedures (and a description of same) that allow disclosure by victims or witnesses of crimes on a voluntary, confidential basis for inclusion in the annual disclosure of crime statistics
        • a statement of current policies concerning security of an access to campus facilities, including campus residences, and security considerations used in the maintenance of campus facilities
        • a statement of current policies concerning campus law enforcement that
          • addresses the enforcement authority of security personnel, including their relationship with State and local police agencies and whether those security personnel have the authority to arrest individuals
          • encourages accurate and prompt reporting of all crimes
          • describes procedures, if any, that encourage professional or pastoral counselors to inform persons being counseled of voluntary disclosure procedures referenced above
        • a description of the type and frequency of programs designed to inform students and employees about campus security procedures and practices and to encourage students and employees to be responsible for their own security and the security of others
        • a description of programs designed to inform students and employees about the prevention of crimes
        • a statement of the institution's policy concerning monitoring of student criminal activity at off-campus locations of officially recognized student organizations
        • a statement of policy regarding the possession, use, and sale of alcoholic beverages and enforcement of State underage drinking laws
        • a statement of policy regarding the possession, use, and sale of illegal drugs and enforcement of federal and state drug laws
        • a description of any drug or alcohol-abuse education programs, as required under Section 120(a) – (d) of the Higher Education Act
        • a statement of policy regarding the institution’s campus sexual assault programs to prevent sex offenses, and procedures to follow when a sex offense occurs. (Details of this requirement can be found at 34 C.F.R. § 668.46(b)(11) and here)
    • Record-keeping Requirements: Institutions must retain the records on crime statistics for three years following the last year the information was included in the annual report. For example, October 1, 1997 campus security records would be kept until October 1, 2003. If the institution is found to have "substantially misrepresented" the number, nature or location of crimes, civil penalties may result in a $27,500* fine per violation.
  2. Notice of Availability of Report

    Prospective students and prospective employees must receive notice of the availability of the report.

  3. Campus Crime Alerts

    A timely warning to the campus community must go out regarding any of the below listed crimes which are deemed to represent a threat to the students and employees, and which are reported to campus security authorities or to local police agencies. The campus crime alert must be issued in a manner that is timely and will aid in the prevention of similar crimes. Campus security may decide to issue an alert about a crime occurring off-campus but in a location frequented by students, even though such a crime would not be included in the annual report.

  4. Campus Crime Log

    Institutional law enforcement units must keep a daily log that records crimes by their nature, date, time, general location, and disposition of the complaint. The log must be made available to the public within two business days of a request unless disclosure of such information would:

    • be prohibited by law
    • jeopardize the confidentiality of the victim
    • jeopardize an ongoing criminal investigation
    • jeopardize the safety of an individual
    • cause a suspect to flee or evade detection
    • result in the destruction of evidence
  5. Filing of Report with Secretary of Education

    The institution must submit the statistics over the Internet to the Secretary of Education, on an annual basis, and on the date specified by the Secretary. In recent years the reporting deadline has been October 15th. The Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE) Campus Security Statistics Website, provides a searchable database of statistics reported by colleges and universities.

What Crimes and Campus Offenses Must Be Reported?

Statistics on the following crimes and offenses are to be reported in the annual security report, which is also to be made available to all students:

  • Criminal Homicide: Murder, non-negligent, and negligent manslaughter. Non-negligent manslaughter is the killing of a person through gross negligence.
  • Sex Offenses, Forcible or Non-forcible: A forcible sex offense is any sexual act directed against another person, forcibly and/or against that person's will; or not forcibly or against that person's will where the victim is incapable of giving consent, i.e., intoxicated. Non-forcible sex offenses are acts of "unlawful, non-forcible sexual intercourse," e.g., incest or statutory rape.
  • Robbery: The taking, or attempting to take anything of value from the control, custody, or care of a person or persons by force or threat of force or violence and/or by putting the victim in fear.
  • Aggravated Assault: An unlawful attack by one person upon another for the purpose of inflicting severe or aggravated bodily injury. This offense is usually accompanied by the use of a weapon or by means likely to produce death or great bodily harm.
  • Burglary: The unlawful entry (breaking and entering) into a building or other structure with the intent to commit a felony or theft.
  • Arson: Willful or malicious burning or an attempt to burn a dwelling house, public building, motor vehicle or aircraft, or personal property.
  • Motor Vehicle Theft: The theft or attempted theft of a motor vehicle.
  • On-campus Arrests for Alcohol, Drug and Illegal Weapon Violations
  • The number of students referred for Campus Disciplinary Actions1 for alcohol, drug or illegal weapon violations. (If included in the report as an arrest, a referral does not need to be reported under this category.)
  • Hate Crimes falling into the above list, involving bodily injury, or reported to the campus security office or local police. (Hate crimes are to be reported by category of prejudice: race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity or disability.) Note that HEOA of 2008 modified (effective August 14, 2008) the list of hate crimes that must be reported to include the following crimes: larceny-theft, simple assault; intimidation, and property destruction, damage or vandalism. (20 USC 1092 (f)(1)(F)(ii))

When Must the Crime Be Reported?

Crimes must be included in the annual security report for the calendar year in which the crime was reported to the campus security authority. This may not always match the date of occurrence of the crime. See 34 C.F.R. § 668.46(c)(2).

Does It Matter Where the Crime Occurred -- On or Off Campus?

The institution must provide a geographic breakdown of the crime statistics by four categories:

  • on campus
  • on campus and in a dormitory or other residential facility for students on campus
  • in or on a non-campus building or property
  • on public property

Public property is defined in the regulations to include thoroughfares, streets, sidewalks, or parking facilities that are within the campus, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from the campus. A map may be used in complying with the statistical reporting requirements.

Who on Campus Is Responsible for Reporting Crimes and Campus Offenses?

  • Persons who receive referrals for discipline involving alcohol, drug or weapon violations which are also a violation of the law, and for which a sanction may be imposed, must report those cases to the campus security office.
  • Anyone who is a "campus security authority" who receives a report of or is aware of a crime must report it to the campus security office.

Campus security authorities are defined in the final regulations as:

  • Members of a campus police department or a campus security department of an institution.
  • An individual who has responsibility for campus security, but is not a part of a campus police department or a campus security department, such as an individual who is responsible for monitoring entrance into institutional property.
  • Any individual or organization specified in an institution's statement of campus security policy as someone to whom students and employees should report criminal offenses.
  • Any official of the institution who has significant responsibility for student and campus activities, such as student housing, student discipline, and campus judicial proceedings, but who is not acting as a pastoral or professional counselor.3 Examples of those with significant responsibility may include the dean of students or other official(s) who oversee student housing, a student center, or student extra-curricular activities; an athletic director; team coach; or faculty advisor to a student group.

Crime Statistics that Do Not Require Reporting

Under the final regulations, the institution does not need to report crimes reported to a pastoral or professional counselor. A pastoral counselor is a person who is associated with a religious order or denomination that recognizes him/her as someone who provides confidential counseling, and is functioning within the scope of that recognition as a pastoral counselor. A professional counselor is a person whose official responsibilities include providing mental health counseling to members of the institution's community and is functioning within the scope of his/her license or certification. Under the regulations, priests or clerics at a university, and counselors in a counseling center (including supervised students), would not need to report criminal offenses to the campus security office about which they are informed while working in their pastoral or counseling capacity.

Note that this exemption from the reporting requirements under the Campus Security Act does not relieve counselors of the duty to exercise reasonable care to protect a foreseeable victim from danger posed by the person being counseled.4 If someone indicates to their counselor an intent to commit a violent crime against another, and the counselor determines that the patient poses a serious danger of violence, then steps must be taken by the counselor to protect the intended victim.