Campus Security Authorities
The Jeanne Clery Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics Disclosure Act (Clery Act) and what you need to know if you are a Campus Security Authority (CSA) at Northwestern University.
The Clery Act, what’s that? Jeanne Clery, a 19-year-old Lehigh University freshman, was assaulted and murdered in her dorm room in 1986. In 1998 the “Student Right-to-Know and Campus Security Act” was renamed in her memory. The Clery Act was enacted in the belief that crime awareness can prevent campus victimization.
The federal law requires colleges and universities receiving federal funding to prepare, publish, and distribute, by October 1 of each year, campus security / safety policies and crime statistics in the form or an Annual Security Report (ASR). University community members are notified, annually in September, of the availability of and how and where to access the ASR. The Chicago / Evanston Campus ASR also include a Fire Safety Report (which is a requirement for campuses with University controlled residential facilities). The Department of Education is responsible for Clery Act compliance.
What is the role of a CSA?
CSA’s are encouraged to report all crimes reported to them, on a timely basis, to University Police. However, under the Clery Act, CSA’s are only obligated to report Clery Act qualifying crimes which occurred on campus, in public areas bordering campus and in certain non-campus buildings owned or controlled (leased) by the University. CSA’s should only report those crimes that have not been previously reported to University Police or another University CSA. The intent of including non-law enforcement personnel in the CSA role is to acknowledge that some community members and students in particular, may be hesitant about reporting crimes to the police, but may be more inclined to report incidents to other campus-affiliated individuals.
To review information on reportable Clery Act crimes, reportable disciplinary referrals and/or the Clery Act incident occurrence locations that are reportable, please refer to the Clery Act Definitions / Campus Security Authority (CSA) Reporting sheet (PDF).
What makes you a CSA?
The law defines four categories of CSA’s:
1) University Police (UP) Department sworn personnel and department administrators.
2) Non-police people or offices responsible for campus security - community service officers, campus contract security personnel, parking enforcement staff, personnel providing access control and/or security at campus facilities, athletic events or other special events, safety escort staff, residential community assistants and other similar positions.
3) The Officials with significant responsibility for student and campus activities category is defined broadly to ensure complete coverage and thorough reporting of crimes. To determine which individuals or organizations are CSA’s consider job functions that involve relationships with students. Look for Officials (i.e., not support staff) whose functions involve relationships with students. An Official is defined as any person who has the authority and the duty to take action or respond to particular issues on behalf of the University. If someone has significant responsibility for student and campus activities, s/he is a CSA.
Some examples of CSA’s in this category include, but are not limited to: academic deans; student affairs / residential life officials; coordinator of Greek affairs (or related positions); athletic administrators including director, assistant directors and coaches; student activities coordinators and staff; student judicial officials; faculty and staff advisors to student organizations; student center building staff; student peer education advisors; and administrators at branch campuses.
4) Any individual or organization specified in an institution's statement of campus security policy as an individual or organization to which students and employees should report criminal offenses - University Police.
Who is not a CSA?
The following non-CSA positions / functions include but are not limited to: faculty member without responsibility for student and campus activity beyond the classroom; physicians/nurses in Student Health who only provide care for students; clerical or administrative support staff; cafeteria staff; facilities maintenance staff; information technology staff, licensed mental health or pastoral counselors, when acting within the scope of their license or certificate; and other like functions.
CSA Crime Reporting
CSA Crime Reporting - When a crime is reported to a CSA, first ask the person if they would like to report it to University Police. If so, contact University Police at (847) 491-3456. If the CSA has firsthand knowledge / confirmation that the reporting party filed a police report with University Police, then they are not obligated to complete and submit a Campus Security Authority Crime Report Form. However, if the reporting party says they will file a police report with University Police and leaves (no CSA firsthand knowledge / confirmation that a police report was filed), then the CSA must still complete and submit a Campus Security Authority Crime Report Form.
CSA's are encouraged to report all crimes reported to them, on a timely basis, to University Police via a Campus Security Authority Crime Report Form. However, under the Clery Act, only Clery Act qualifying crimes are required to be reported. The CSA Crime Report Form can be submitted to UP online, by fax (847) 491-4931 (via the Report Form (pdf)) or mail (Northwestern University Police, 1819 Hinman Avenue, Evanston, Il. 60208).
If the reported crime is made in good faith, meaning that there is reasonable basis for believing that the information is not rumor or hearsay, then the crime is Clery reportable. CSA’s, when interacting with the crime reporting party, need to gather incident information that would provide sufficient detail to properly classify the incident. This means CSA’s need to document reporting party responses or lack thereof. Reporting party identifying information should only be included in the Report Form if the reporting party is willing to provide same (see Anonymous Reporting section below). CSA’s should not investigate the crime or attempt to determine whether a crime, in fact, took place. When in doubt, a Report Form should be completed and submitted!
The University Police Department, unless otherwise prescribed by law, does not take anonymous police reports. The exception related to anonymous reporting involves Campus Security Authorities. Northwestern University permits victims or witnesses to report crimes to CSA’s on a voluntary, anonymous basis (and includes such anonymous reports in reported Annual Security Report crime totals) but encourages individuals who report crime to provide identifying information.
Sample CSA statement (for use with crime reporting party)
As part of my position on campus I am a federally mandated crime reporter for the University. I am required to report of this incident to University Police for data gathering. If you request confidentiality, the Report Form will not include your name, or that of any other involved individuals. My report will contain only the information you provide. Do you have any questions? Would you like to help me fill it out?
CSA Resources and How to Report a Crime
In addition to this document, for information on qualifying Clery Act crimes and geographical reporting boundaries, visit the CSA Crime Report Form Definitions / Campus Security Authority Reporting Sheet (pdf). To report a qualifying crime reported to them, CSA's should complete and submit the Clery Act CSA Crime Report form online or fax or mail the Report Form (pdf) to University Police. If you have questions, contact the University Clery Act Coordinator at (847) 491-3752.
What is done with CSA Report Forms?
UP reviews Report Forms and makes a determination if an incident warrants timely warning / emergency notification of the University community and whether it is a reportable crime in the Annual Security Report (ASR). The Clery Act Coordinator will consolidate crime data from multiple sources, report qualifying crime data to the federal Department of Education, publish campus ASR’s and inform the campus community when and where ASR’s are available. The Northwestern University ASR’s (Chicago/Evanston, Miami, Qatar and Washington, D.C.) are posted at http://www.northwestern.edu/up//safety/annual-report/index. Hard copies are available from University Police upon request.
Crime / Emergency and Non-Emergency Reporting
Regardless of your status (CSA or non-CSA), all community members are encouraged to promptly report all Chicago and Evanston campus related criminal incidents and other public safety related emergencies to University Police. For incidents requiring immediate attention, dial 911 or use one of the “Blue Light” Police Emergency Phones (call boxes) located throughout both campuses. Non-emergency incidents can be reported by dialing 456 from any campus phone or in person at the Evanston or Chicago campus University Police station (1819 Hinman Avenue in Evanston or 211 E. Superior Street in Chicago).