Get educated on Clery Act and timely warnings

What is the Clery Act?

The Clery Act was named after Jeanne Clery, a young woman who was raped and murdered in her dorm room by fellow students on April 5, 1986. Her parents championed the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act) in her memory. This Act is a federal law that requires colleges to report crimes that occur “on campus” and school safety policies. The Clery Act also requires schools to evaluate if there is a serious or ongoing threat to the campus community to determine if a timely warning needs to be issued to all staff and students. Each year, Cal Poly issues an Annual Security Report.

To gain a deeper understanding of the Clery Act visit here.

Annual Security Reporting

The Clery Act requires colleges and universities that receive federal funding to disseminate a public annual security report (ASR) to employees and students every October 1st. This ASR must include statistics of campus crime for the preceding 3 calendar years, plus details about efforts taken to improve campus safety.

ASRs must also include policy statements regarding (but not limited to) crime reporting, campus facility security and access, law enforcement authority, incidence of alcohol and drug use, and the prevention of/response to sexual assault, domestic or dating violence, and stalking.

Visit here for more information on safety reports. View the annual reports here.

Crime Categories Covered

Institutions of higher education must include four distinct categories of crime in their Annual Security Report crime data.

Criminal Offenses:

Criminal homicide: murder and non-negligent manslaughter, manslaughter by negligence
Sexual assault: rape, fondling, incest, statutory rape
Aggravated assault
Motor vehicle theft

Hate Crimes (any of the above mentioned offenses, and any incidents of)

Simple assault
Destruction/damage/vandalism of property

VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) Offenses

Domestic Violence
Dating Violence

Arrests and Referrals for Disciplinary Action

Weapons law violation
Drug abuse violations
Liquor law violations

Crime Reporting Geography and Availability

Clery Act crime reporting is not strictly limited to events that occur on campus or within campus buildings and residences. Institutions must include statistics for crime that occur in any of these geographic areas:

  • On-campus (anywhere)
  • On-campus student housing
  • Public property within campus bounds
  • Public property immediately adjacent to the campus
  • Non-campus buildings and property owned of controlled by the organization that are used for educational purposes and frequently used by students, but not a part of the core campus, or those owned or controlled by a student organization officially recognized by the institution

Wherever crime occurs, campus police and public safety departments must maintain a daily crime log of all reported crimes that fall within their jurisdiction. This crime log must be made available to the public during daily business hours.

To view the University Police Department’s crime log, visit here.

Who is a Campus Security Authority?

  • A campus police department or a campus security department of an institution
  • Any individual or individuals who have responsibility for campus security, but who do not constitute a campus police department or a campus security department
  • 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 offense
  • An official of an institution who has significant responsibility for student and campus activities, including, but not limited to, student housing, student discipline, and campus judicial proceedings. An official is defined as any person who has authority and the duty to take action or respond to particular issues on behalf of the institution.


  • A dean of students who oversees student housing, a student center, or student extracurricular activities
  • A director of athletics, a team coach, or a faculty advisor to a student group
  • A student resident advisor or assistant or a student who monitors access to dormitories
  • A coordinator of Greek Affairs

What is a Timely Warning?

When a crime covered by the Clery Act occurs, campus officials are required to evaluate if there is a serious or ongoing threat to the campus community to determine if a timely warning needs to be issued to all staff and students.

The University Police Department will send a timely warning notice in a mass email and to students signed up with the Poly Alert text message system. Information about a suspect is only included if there is a sufficient amount of detail to describe the individual. These warnings will generally specify the type of crime reported, the time and location, and any advice for the campus community on steps to ensure safety. No personally identifying information about the victim/survivor will be disclosed.

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