Jeane Clery

The Clery Act was named in memory of Jeanne Clery, a freshman attending Lehigh University. On April 5, 1986, Jeanne was murdered by Josoph Henry, a fellow student that she did not know. Henry entered the building through propped open doors. Students often used boxes to prop open doors so they could easily come and go. That night, Jeanne left her door unlocked for her roommate who had misplaced her key and in the middle of the night, she was awakened by Henry burglarizing her room. Jeanne caught him off guard and he stabbed, raped, and strangled her. It was later revealed that Henry had been out all-night drinking after losing a student election and was out looking to steal; the crime was random.

Jeanne’s parents, Connie and Howard Clery, were unaware of the dangers that lurked around the campus. They were shocked to learned there had been thirty-eight violent crimes on the campus in the three years preceding Jeanne’s death. This vital information was not provided to them and could have aided in their decision to send their daughter somewhere else – somewhere safer. In 1987, the Clery’s founded Security On Campus, Inc. and began lobbying state legislatures and Congress to require colleges to report campus crimes. Their devotion paid off and in 1990, Congress enacted the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act. It was later renamed the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, but today it is commonly known as the Clery Act.

The Clery Act requires colleges and universities participating in federal student aid to disclose information about campus crime statistics occurring on Clery geography along with their campus security and safety policies (20 USC§1092f). The Annual Security Report includes the university’s policies concerning campus safety and crime prevention, sexual assault, alcohol and drugs, access to the campus, as well as other important policies and safety information. Compliance with the provisions set forth in this document and specified by the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 does not constitute a violation of section 444 of the General Education Provisions Act (20 USC § 1232g), commonly known as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA). 

Each year, by October 1st, institutions must publish and distribute their Annual Security and Fire Safety Report (if applicable) to current and prospective employees and students. This data is also submitted to the U.S. Department of Education - Campus Safety and Security. It contains the three most recent years of campus crime statistics and security policy statements.