Penn State Report Shows Limits of Campus Crime Law

Ann McClure's picture
Monday, July 16, 2012

For more than two decades, colleges and universities have been required to publicly share details of campus crimes and report murders, rapes, robberies, arson and other serious offenses to the federal government.

That requirement was apparently unheeded by former Penn State President Graham Spanier, other top officials and the larger ranks of university employees responsible for student safety, the recently released investigation into the Jerry Sandusky sex-abuse scandal concluded. The report by former FBI director Louis Freeh found that, outside the campus police department in State College, “awareness and interest” in the federal law known as the Clery Act was “significantly lacking.”
 
The 1990 law is named for Jeanne Clery, a Lehigh University freshman who was raped and murdered four years earlier by a fellow student at a campus that's about a three-hour drive from Penn State.
 
National campus safety experts say such problems spread far beyond Penn State, even as the U.S. Department of Education has stepped up enforcement in recent years and teamed up with the FBI on some inquiries.

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