Clery Act Frequently Asked Questions

The Director of Public Safety is responsible for preparing, publishing, and distributing the Annual Security and Fire Safety Report, gathering and tracking crime and disciplinary referral data from internal and external sources such as the Office of Student Conduct, The Office of Title IX, and local law enforcement agencies.

  • What is the Jeanne Clery Act?
    The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Police and Campus Crime Statistics Act (commonly known as the Clery Act; formerly the Campus Security Act) is a federal law that requires institutions of higher education (colleges and universities) in the United States to disclose campus security information including crime statistics for the campus and surrounding areas. It was first enacted by Congress in 1990 and most recently amended in 2013 by the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act.
  • Who is Jeanne Clery?
    In 1986 Jeanne Clery, a freshman at Pennsylvania's Lehigh University, was murdered and sexually assaulted in her campus residence hall room by another student she didn't know. Her school hadn't informed students about 38 violent crimes on campus in the three years preceding her murder. Clery's parents, Connie & Howard, led the crusade to enact the original Campus Security Act. In 1998, Congress formally named the law in memory of Jeanne Clery.
  • Which schools must comply with the Clery Act?
    All institutions of postsecondary education, both public and private, that participate in federal student aid programs must publish and disseminate an annual campus security report as well as make timely warnings of any ongoing threats to the campus community.
  • What does Holy Cross have to disclose under the Clery Act?
    Holy Cross must disclose the most recent three years of Clery crime statistics and security policies in the Annual Security Report that must be published by October 1st of each year.
  • Who is entitled to receive information under the Clery Act?
    Currently enrolled students and employees are notified of the availability of the Annual Security Report. Prospective students and employees are eligible to receive the Annual Security Report and are provided information on how to request a copy. The general public has access to the Annual Security Report available on the Holy Cross Department of Public Safety webpage. The Daily Crime Log is available for review at the Holy Cross Department of Public Safety located at 3 City View St., Worcester, MA. Printed copies of the Annual Security Report are available at Holy Cross Public Safety Office located at 3 City View St., Worcester, MA during normal business hours or by emailing Cindy Price at
  • What is the Daily Crime Log?
    The purpose of the daily crime log is to record criminal incidents and alleged criminal incidents defined under the Clery Act that are reported to the Department of Public Safety or Campus Security Authority (CSA). A crime must be entered into the crime log within two business days of the reporting to DPS.
  • Do school officials other than law enforcement have reporting obligations under the Clery Act?
    Yes, they do. All institutional officials with significant responsibility for campus and student activities are referred to in the Clery Act as a Campus Security Authority (CSA).  All CSA’s have reporting obligations under the Clery Act. Faculty who serve as advisors to student groups, Title IX staff, coaches, and staff involved in student affairs are all included in this group. Only professional mental health and pastoral counselors are exempt from reporting when acting in these roles.
  • If a student reports an incident to a Campus Security Authority (CSA) in confidence, is the incident still reported to DPS?
    Yes.  According to the Clery Act, any incident that falls in the Clery crime categories, as shown below, must be recorded in the Daily Crime Log and the statistic reported in the Annual Security Report.  So even if the incident is reported to DPS anonymously (without revealing the identity of the victim) through a Campus Security Authority (CSA), DPS is required to record the nature of the incident, the approximate time and location to ensure accurate statistics.
  • Are third party reports of crimes counted?
    Crimes that meet certain criteria and are reported to a Campus Security Authority by a victim, a witness, or any third party, even if they did not witness the reported crime are included in the Annual Security Report. For example, a student reports to another student that he was the victim of a Clery crime, even if only that second student (the non-victim) reports to a CSA such as the Title IX office, there is a responsibility to report the crime in the Annual Security Report.
  • Does someone have to be convicted of a crime before it is reportable under the Clery Act?
    No. Crimes are counted when they are reported, regardless of prosecution.
  • What criteria is used to determine how crimes are reported?
    The Clery Act requires Holy Cross to report statistics on Clery crimes in the annual security report. The criteria for reporting these crimes are as follows:
    • All Clery crimes reported to DPS, a Campus Security Authority (CSA) or other law enforcement
    • Location within the Clery Geography
    • Crimes must be disclosed in the year reported
  • What is Clery Geography?
    The Clery Act requires institutions to report crimes based on the following geographical specifications.

On Campus

    • Includes buildings and properties that are owned or controlled by the institution; that are reasonably contiguous to one another; and directly supports or relates to Holy Cross’ educational purposes.
    • Includes buildings and properties within Holy Cross’ campus, or reasonably contiguous to it, that Holy Cross owns but does not control; are frequently used by students; and are used to support the institution’s educational purposes.

Residential Facilities are a subset of the On Campus category that must be separately disclosed and counted. It includes the following types of housing:Undergraduate housing.

  • Single family houses that are used for student housing.
  • Buildings that are used for student housing but also have faculty, staff or any other individuals living there.
  • Buildings that are owned by a third party that has a written agreement with the institution to provide student housing. It doesn’t matter whether the rent is paid to the third party by the institution on behalf of the students or paid directly by the students.
  • Housing for officially and not officially recognized student groups that are owned or controlled by Holy Cross or are located on property that Holy Cross owns or controls. Examples at other institutions are fraternity and sorority houses.

Public Property refers to property owned by a public entity, such as a state or city government. It includes thoroughfares, streets, sidewalks, and parking facilities, that is within the campus, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from the campus. 

Non Campus

    • Any building or property owned or controlled by a student organization that is officially recognized by the institution; or
    • Any building or property owned or controlled by the institution that is used in direct support of, or in relation to, the institution’s educational purposes, is frequently used by students, and is not within the same reasonably contiguous geographic area of the institution.


  • How are crimes counted?
    All crimes are counted by the date reported to a Campus Security Authority (CSA) or to DPS. This date is often different from the date the incident occurred.
  • What are the categories and definitions of the Primary Clery crimes that must be disclosed?
    • Murder & Non-negligent Manslaughter - the willful (non-negligent) killing of one human being by another.
    • Negligent Manslaughter - the killing of another person through gross negligence.
    • Sex Offenses
      • Rape - The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim. (Note: The Rape definition also includes crimes of sodomy and sexual assaults with an object)
      • Fondling - The touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her age or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental incapacity.
      • Incest - Non-forcible sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law.
      • Statutory Rape - Non-forcible sexual intercourse with a person who is under the age of consent.
    • Robbery - the taking or attempting to take anything of value from the care, custody, or control 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 type of assault usually is accompanied by the use of a weapon or by means likely to produce death or great bodily harm.
    • Burglary - the unlawful entry of a structure to commit a felony or a theft.
    • Motor Vehicle Theft - the theft or attempted theft of a motor vehicle.
    • Arson - any willful or malicious burning or attempt to burn, with or without intent to defraud, a dwelling house, public building, motor vehicle or aircraft, personal property of another, etc.


  • What is a Hate Crime?
    A criminal offense committed against a person or property which is motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender’s bias. Bias is a preformed negative opinion or attitude toward a group of persons based on their race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity, national origin or gender identity. The perception of the offender determines if a hate crime is classified. There must be evidence that shows the offender was motivated by a bias to commit the crime. Categories of hate crime offenses include all Primary Clery crimes, as well as, Larceny-theft, Simple Assault, Intimidation, and Destruction/damage/vandalism of property.

    The following are examples from The Handbook on Campus Safety and Security Authority

    Scenario 5: Several students call the campus security office to report swastikas spraypainted on the walls in a hallway of an on-campus student housing facility. Campus security personnel investigate but cannot find conclusive evidence that the markings were bias-motivated. Do not include this incident as a Hate Crime in your Clery Act statistics.

    Scenario 6: Several students call the campus security office to report swastikas spraypainted on the hallway walls of an on-campus student housing facility on the floor where members of a Jewish student group live. The spray-painting follows a week of escalating tension between some Jewish and non-Jewish students over news about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Campus security personnel investigate and, based on the evidence, conclude that a Hate Crime was committed. Include this as one on-campus Intimidation characterized by religious bias and one on-campus student housing facility Intimidation characterized by religious bias.
  • How does the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA) affect the Clery Act?
    The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act amended the Clery Act by requiring institutions of higher education to compile statistics for incidents of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking and to include policies, procedures and programs regarding these incidents in the institution’s annual security report.
  • How are the VAWA offenses defined?
    • Sex Offenses
    • Domestic Violence - A felony or misdemeanor crime of violence committed: By a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim; By a person with whom the victim shares a child in common; By a person who is cohabitating with, or has cohabitated with, the victim as a spouse or intimate partner; By a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred, or; By any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred.
    • Dating Violence - Violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. For the purpose of this definition, dating violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse. Dating violence does not include acts covered under the definition of domestic violence.
    • Stalking - Engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to: Fear for the person’s safety or the safety of others; or Suffer substantial emotional distress.
    • Course of Conduct -Two or more acts, including but not limited to, acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveys, threatens, or communicates to or about a person or interferes with a person’s property.
    • Substantial Emotional Distress - Significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.
  • Are there other violations that must be included in the Annual Security Report?
    The Clery Act requires that schools provide statistics for the following categories of arrests or, if an arrest was not made, referrals for campus disciplinary action:
    • Liquor Law Violations
    • Drug Law Violations
    • Illegal Weapons Possession
  • If more than one crime occurs in the same incident, which offense is reported?
    The Clery Act follows a hierarchy rule where only the most serious offense is reported in the annual Clery statistics. The hierarchy rule does not apply to the crime log, so all offenses related to the incident would be recorded in the crime log. For example: An incident that includes an aggravated assault and a burglary, would only be reported as an aggravated assault in the annual crime statistics; but both the aggravated assault and burglary would be recorded on the crime log.
  • Are there exceptions to the hierarchy rule?
    Yes. Arson is always reported. But, when multiple offenses occur during an Arson offense, the most serious offense is reported along with the Arson. The new VAWA regulations removes the hierarchy rule in crimes that include a homicide with a sexual assault.
  • Who enforces the Jeanne Clery Act and what are the penalties for noncompliance?
    The United States Department of Education is charged with enforcing the Jeanne Clery Act and may level civil penalties against institutions of higher education up to $57,317 per violation or may suspend them from participating in federal student financial aid programs.