On Monday, U.S. Department of Education announced its final set of amendments to the Clery Act, which requires universities receiving federal funding to report crimes on and around campus.
The amendments to the Clery Act are part of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013, which aims to increase transparency and accountability for sexual misconduct on college campuses nationwide. The final changes, published today in the Federal Register, mandate that universities disclose crime statistics not only for acts that were investigated and prosecuted, but also for reported crimes that turned out to be unfounded. Failure to comply could result in loss of federal money.
“That’s the biggest change we’ve made,” Lynn Mahaffie, acting assistant secretary for postsecondary education, said during a press conference on Friday. “It allows us to better monitor what crimes are being reported, see the extent that reporting is being abused, and provide technical assistance.”
The rules also place more emphasis on stalking and dating violence. Reports of stalking must now include detailed information about the location where the stalking first began. These changes are intended to better equip colleges to enforce campus safety, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said during the press conference.
These rules complete a series of amendments that have come out over the past year. A batch of amendments published in June added crimes committed based on the victim’s gender identity or national origin to the Clery Act’s list of bases for hate crimes.
The law will go into effect on July 1, 2015.