The Clery Act is a federal act that requires universities and colleges to expose any information related to campus crime, on or near their institution fields. Before the law was enacted most of the colleges and universities in the United States had been able to keep the crime secret. This federal law applies to every higher learning institution, both private and public within the United State of America and which take part in federal students' aid programs. The Clery Act was named after Jeanne Ann Clery, a 19 year old freshman in Lehigh University, who was attacked and murdered on April 5, 1986 by another student while she was asleep in her campus residence hall. This Act was originally called the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act and was signed in 1990 (Fisher & Sloan, 2007). This federal Act has got its own substantive requirements and purposes.
The requirements of the Clery Act include publication of annual security report, disclosure of campus safety policies, compilation and disclosure of campus crime statistics, timely warning requirements, and disclosure of crime log information (James, 2008). Publication of annual security report requires all campuses to publish a security report showing the statistics about those crimes that have been committed on campus as well as near the campus for the past three years, and depicting specified policies, programs, and procedures regarding security and safety. The compiled statistics are broken down by the types of campus disciplinary referrals and crime that are specified, and this must indicate whether the crime is a hate one.
Disclosure of campus safety policies include: reporting the criminal activities taking place on the campus; maintenance of, security, and access to the facilities on campus; and alcohol and drugs (Dowdall, 2009). Compilation and disclosure of campus crime statistics requirement is concerned with gathering and reporting of yearly crime statistics depicting reports of crimes that are specified and that have occurred on, or close to campus and particular properties related to the campus. Timely warning requirements are concerned with reporting to the crime that threatens employees or students on campus, in a way that is timely and will assist to prevent subsequent crimes. Disclosure of crime log information is concerned with maintenance of day-to-day crime log containing specified information regarding all crimes that take place in the patrol jurisdiction. In any campus fails to comply with the Clery Act, in can be penalized with big fines and may be given a suspension from taking part in the federal financial aid program (Fisher & Sloan, 2007).
According to James (2008), the Clery Act is meant to increase student's consciousness regarding the crimes that occur on university and college campuses. By analyzing the student perspectives associated with crime, the professionals concerned with student affairs can better comprehend the impact of the Clery Act.