Clery Act Info Packet


Clery Reporting for Cornell Campus Security Authorities
On-Campus Locations

Role of the “On-Campus” Campus Security Authority (CSA)

  • Report to the Cornell University Police Department those allegations of Clery Act crimes that are reported to you and your office. (see crime definitions at the back of the packet)
  • Under Clery, a crime is “reported” when it is brought to the attention of a campus security authority, the Cornell Police, or local law enforcement personnel by the victim, witness, other third party or even the offender.
  • It is not necessary for a crime to have been investigated by police or a CSA, nor must a finding of guilty or responsibility be made for it to be included in the University’s crime statistics (statistics based on reports of alleged criminal incidents).

A campus security authority is not responsible for:

  • Determining authoritatively whether a crime took place,
  • Performing an investigation, or
  • Attempting to apprehend an alleged perpetrator.

All of the above are the function of law enforcement personnel.

It is also not a Campus Security Authority’s responsibility to try to convince a victim to contact law enforcement if the victim chooses not to do so.


While reporting directly to the Cornell University Police Department is preferred (607) 255-1111, CSAs may also meet their Clery Act reporting obligations by using the Incident Report Form ( This is the same form used for reporting sexual misconduct and other forms of misconduct to university officials. If you have used the form to report an incident to the appropriate university office, for example an incident of sexual misconduct to the Title IX Office, there is no need to report it a second time for Clery Act purposes.

CSAs are encouraged to report Clery Act crimes to the Cornell University Police Department as soon as they become aware of any such offense. The Clery Act requires that the University provide timely warnings to all staff, students, and faculty of any crimes that pose an ongoing threat to the campus community. The intent of these warnings is to enable people to protect themselves. This means that a warning should be issued as soon as pertinent information is available. In the event that you are made aware of a Clery Act crime, even if you are not sure whether an ongoing threat exists, immediately contact the Cornell University Police Department directly at (607) 255-1111 so that we may determine whether the Clery Act’s timely warning requirement has been triggered and, if so, promptly issue a “Crime Alert” to our community. Timeliness is essential.

If you have any questions regarding reporting obligations, please contact Peggy Matta, the Clery Compliance Administrator, Cornell University Police Department at 255-4393 or by email ( For your information, please check Cornell’s Annual Security Report for 2017 at

What is the “Clery” Act?

The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (20 USC § 1092(f)) is the landmark federal law, originally known as the Campus Security Act, that requires colleges and universities across the United States to disclose information about crime on and around their campuses. Because the law is tied to participation in federal student financial aid programs it applies to most institutions of higher education both public and private. The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) enforces it.

The "Clery Act" is named in memory of 19-year-old university freshman Jeanne Ann Clery who was raped and murdered while asleep in her residence hall room on April 5, 1986. Jeanne's parents, Connie and Howard, discovered that students had not been told about 38 violent crimes on their daughter's campus in the three years before her murder. They joined with other campus crime victims and persuaded Congress to enact this law, which was originally known as the "Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act of 1990."

The law has been amended many times to add requirements such as affording victims of campus sexual assault certain basic rights, expanding crime reporting requirements, adding provisions dealing with registered sex offender notification and campus emergency response, adding a provision to protect crime victims, "whistleblowers", and others from retaliation, and most recently, incorporating the provisions of the Violence against Women Act, which affords additional rights to campus victims of sexual violence, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking that occur within Clery geography and are reported to the local agencies and campus security authorities.

What are colleges and universities required to do?

To comply with Clery Act regulations, Cornell has several obligations that fall into three main categories: 1) policy disclosure; 2) records collection and retention; and 3) information dissemination.

1. Policy Disclosure
Cornell must provide the campus community and the public with accurate statements of its current policies and practices such as:

  • Procedures for students and others to report criminal actions or other emergencies occurring on campus;
  • Sexual Violence
  • Security of and access to campus facilities; and
  • Campus law enforcement.

2. Records collection and retention

  • Cornell must keep and publish records of crimes reported to campus security authorities.
  • Cornell must make a reasonable good-faith effort to obtain certain crime statistics from appropriate law enforcement agencies to include in an annual security report and the Web-based report to Department of Education.
  • Since it maintains a campus police or security office, Cornell is required to keep a daily crime log that must be open to public inspection.

3. Information dissemination
To provide campus community members with information necessary to make informed decisions about their safety, Cornell must disseminate information in several ways:

  • Provide a “timely warning” of any Clery Act crime that might represent an ongoing threat to the safety of students or employees;
  • Provide access to the crime log during normal business hours;
  • Publish an annual security report and distribute it to all current students and employees, and inform prospective students and employees about the content and availability of the report;
  • Inform the campus community where to obtain information about registered sex offenders; and,
  • Submit crime statistics to Department of Education through the Web-based data collection system.

How often must these things happen?

Compliance with the Clery Act is not a once-a-year event. Some requirements are ongoing, such as policy implementation, timely warnings, and crime log updating, while other requirements are such as the annual security report and the crime statistics report are published on an annual basis.

The U.S. Department of Education is responsible for monitoring compliance. DOE can issue civil fines up to $57,317 per violation for a substantial misrepresentation of the number, location or nature of the crimes required to be reported.

Who must be involved?

The Cornell University Police Department is responsible for collecting, preparing, distributing and reporting the required information to DOE and the campus community. CUPD prepares the text for the policies and practices section with input and additional information from other University departments. CUPD is responsible for collecting statistical information from campus security authorities and local law enforcements agencies.

Crime Definitions

The Clery Act requires higher education institutions to disclose reported crimes. A crime is reported when it is brought to the attention of a campus security authority or the local police by a victim, witness, other third party, or even the offender. An institution must disclose crime reports regardless of whether any of the individuals involved in either the crime itself, or in the reporting of the crime, are associated with the institution. The following crime definitions are taken from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI’s) Uniform Crime Reporting Handbook (UCR) as required by Clery Act regulations.

Criminal Homicide:

  • Murder and Non-Negligent Manslaughter: The willful (non-negligent) killing of one human being by another.
  • Manslaughter by Negligence: The killing of another person through negligence.

Sexual Assault:

  • Rape: 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.
  • Forcible 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 youth or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental incapacity.
  • Incest: Nonforcible sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law.
  • Statutory Rape: Nonforcible sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent.

The taking or attempting to take anything of value under confrontational circumstances from the control, custody, or care of another person by force or threat of force or violence and/or by putting the victim in fear of immediate harm.
Aggravated Assault: An unlawful attack by one person upon another wherein the offender uses a weapon or displays it in a threatening manner, or the victim suffers obvious severe or aggravated bodily injury involving apparent broken bones, loss of teeth, possible internal injury, severe laceration, or loss of consciousness.

The unlawful entry into a building or other structure with the intent to commit a felony or a theft.

Motor Vehicle Theft:
The theft of a motor vehicle.

To unlawfully and intentionally damage or attempt to damage any real or personal property by fire or incendiary device.

VAWA Offenses:

Domestic violence:
Means 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 or family 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. (*Note: Cornell Policy 6.4 definitions)

Dating violence:
Means violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim, where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the reporting party’s statement and with consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of the inter nation between the persons involved in the relationship. 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. (*Note: Cornell Policy 6.4 definitions)

Is engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to (i) fear for his or her safety or the safety of others or (ii) suffer substantial emotional distress. (*Note: Cornell Policy 6.4 definitions)

Bia-related (Hate) Crimes:

The unlawful taking, carrying, leading, or riding away of property from the possession or constructive possession of another.

Simple Assault:
An unlawful physical attack by one person upon another where neither the offender displays a weapon, nor the victim suffers obvious severe or aggravated bodily injury involving apparent broken bones, loss of teeth, possible internal injury, severe laceration, or loss of consciousness.

To unlawfully place another person in reasonable fear of bodily harm through the use of threatening words and/or other conduct, but without displaying a weapon or subjecting the victim to actual physical attack.

Destruction/Damage/Vandalism of Property:
To willfully or maliciously destroy, damage, deface, or otherwise injure real or personal property without consent of the owner or the person having custody or control over it.

Hate Crime Biases:

  • Race: A preformed negative attitude toward a group of persons who possess common physical characteristics (e.g. color of skin, eyes, and/or hair; facial features, etc.) genetically transmitted by descent and heredity which distinguish them as a distinct division of humankind.
  • Gender: A preformed negative opinion or attitude toward a group of persons based on their actual or perceived gender, e.g. male or female.
  • Gender Identity. A preformed negative opinion or attitude toward a person or group of persons based on their actual or perceived gender identity, e.g., bias against transgender or gender non-conforming individuals.
  • Religion: A preformed negative opinion or attitude toward a group of persons who share the same religious beliefs regarding the origin and purpose of the universe and the existence or nonexistence of a supreme being (e.g., Catholics, Jews, Protestants, atheists).
  • Sexual orientation: A preformed negative opinion or attitude toward a group of persons based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation.
  • Ethnicity: A preformed negative opinion or attitude toward a group of people whose members identify with each other, through a common heritage, often consisting of a common language, common culture (often including a shared religion) and/or ideology that stresses common ancestry.
  • National origin: A preformed negative opinion or attitude toward a group of people based on their actual or perceived country of birth.
  • Disability: A preformed negative opinion or attitude toward a group of persons based on their physical or mental impairments/challenges, whether such disability is temporary or permanent, congenital or acquired by heredity, accident, injury, advanced age or illness.

Arrests and Disciplinary Referrals:

Weapon Law Violations 
The violation of laws or ordinances prohibiting the manufacture, sale, purchase, transportation, possession, concealment, or use of firearms, cutting instruments, explosives, incendiary devices, or other deadly weapons.

Drug Abuse Violations 
The violation of laws prohibiting the production, distribution and/or use of certain controlled substances and the equipment or devices utilized in their preparation and/or use.

Liquor Law Violations
The violation of laws or ordinances prohibiting the manufacture, sale, purchase, transportation, possession, or use of alcoholic beverages, not including driving under the influence and drunkenness.