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Safety

10/12/2017

Campus safety has become increasingly complex. Higher ed leaders face the threat of serious safety incidents on their campuses every day, while changing legislative mandates only add to the complexity. Ensuring that safety training and processes are up-to-date can be challenging. As a result, many institutions are adopting more efficient processes and individualized technology solutions that improve campus safety while saving time and money.

The Jeanne Clery Act, passed in 1990, requires all colleges and universities that receive federal funding to share information about crime on campus and their efforts to improve campus safety, as well as to inform the public of crime in or around campus. Revised and amended several times since its inception, compliance with the Clery Act requires careful and deliberate coordination among various campus officials and entities. The U.S.

1/10/2017

The Jeanne Clery Act, passed in 1990, requires all colleges and universities who receive federal funding to share information about crime on campus and their efforts to improve campus safety, as well as inform the public of crime in or around campus. Revised and amended several times since its inception, compliance with the Clery Act requires careful and deliberate coordination among various campus officials and entities.  

More than 40 years after it was established, Title IX continues to pose compliance challenges for higher education institutions struggling with sexual assault investigations. Some say the federal government doesn’t provide enough guidance.

Source: Association of American Universities Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault, Spring 2015; 150,072 students at 27 institutions participated

With sexual assault, awareness efforts may well lead to higher incident reporting—and even assumptions that initiatives aren’t working. But there are still ways to measure program effectiveness.

It starts with identifying prevention goals, says Jane Stapleton, executive director of practice for the Prevention Innovations Research Center at the University of New Hampshire.

Body check: Initiatives at Connecticut College include an annual Green Dot hockey game, now in its fifth year. Facts and materials about sexual assault and bystander intervention get posted around the rink, and the team wears special jerseys. It has been the team’s most attended game of the season.

With headline after tragic headline, and demands from angry constituents and stakeholders to do more, colleges and universities are facing the harsh reality that just complying with the minimum requirements of the Campus SaVE (Sexual Violence Elimination) Act isn’t enough to prevent sexual assault.

Pending decisions in Georgia and Tennessee decisions, eight states currently allow concealed carry on college campuses. Twenty-three states leave the decision to each individual college or university, while 16 states and the District of Columbia prohibit concealed handguns on campus.

An Association of American Universities study found that 12 percent of students across 27 universities had experienced sexual assault by force or incapacitation since enrollment, and that 17 percent of seniors had experienced this type of sexual assault while at college. Doctoral candidate and researcher Sara Carrigan Wooten says the report comes as no surprise.

Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri says the Clery Act, signed into law in 1990, has outlived its usefulness.

Speaking in June to a national conference hosted by Campus Safety magazine, McCaskill said the current law “doesn’t accomplish squat.” If McCaskill gets her wish, Clery would be replaced with a law that requires more effective reporting. “To be honest with you, I am OK removing the Clery Act completely,” she said.

Today's RAs receive enhanced training on a range of issues, from sex assault to homesickness. (Click to enlarge)

Even if an incident doesn’t happen in a residence hall, RAs must know what to expect during a potential crisis on campus, and how to better help their students, says David L. Perry, president of the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators.

Just as campus officials across the nation are engaged in active shooter response training because of tragedies like at Virginia Tech, RAs need to master the proper response procedures, including building lockdowns. They might be the only authority figures in the residence halls during a potential threat.

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