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Campus Security Authority Guidelines

WTAMU Clery Act & Crime Reporting – Guidelines for Campus Security Authorities

Overview of the Clery Act

Jeanne Clery, a Lehigh University freshman, was assaulted and murdered in her dorm room in April of 1986. The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, hereafter referred to as the Clery Act, was enacted in the hope that awareness of criminal activity can help to reduce the likelihood of victimization. The Clery Act requires colleges and universities receiving federal funding (including West Texas A&M University) to prepare, publish, and distribute campus security policies and crime statistics.

The crime statistics reported in compliance with the Clery Act are obtained from reports to the West Texas A&M University Police Department, local law enforcement agencies, and "Campus Security Authorities." Reports made to Campus Security Authorities may also provide the basis for the issuance of Timely Warnings or emergency notifications through Buff Alert and the BRG Emergency Mass Notification System.

The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (the “Clery Act”), found at 20 U.S.C. 1092(f), imposes reporting obligations on certain institutions of higher education with respect to certain crime statistics, arrests, and campus disciplinary actions. Requirements of the Clery Act include policy disclosures, records collection and retention (e.g. daily crime log), and information dissemination (e.g. timely warnings, annual security report).

Who is a Campus Security Authority? 

A Campus security authority (CSA) is a Clery-specific term  that encompasses four groups of individuals and organizations associated with an institution. The four groups are listed, below.  


A campus police department or a campus security department of an institution.

If you have a police or security department, it is obvious that the department meets this requirement. However, have all employees in the department been trained about the fact that they are CSAs?


Consider: Campus police officers, front line supervisors, and administrators, such as a Lieutenant, Captain, Assistant Chief, Victim Services Coordinator, etc. Basically, all of the employees in the department, except office support staff, are campus security authorities. Keep in mind that this includes student employees (other than office staff) who handle tasks like patrolling, monitoring access, providing a driving or walking safety escort, etc.


Any individual or individuals who have responsibility for campus security but who do not constitute a campus police department or a campus security department (e.g., an individual who is responsible for monitoring the entrance into institutional property).


Consider: All individuals who provide security or monitor access to campus parking facilities, or monitor access into a campus facility, such as the library, student union, or athletic facility. The University should assess the duties of people in these roles on campus. Do they actually monitor access, such as checking IDs or allowing people to enter? If so, they are CSAs. Are they working at an information desk or booth, but are not monitoring access into the facility? If they are not acting as security or monitoring access, they are not a CSA. Individuals functioning in the role of event security are campus security authorities and this includes professional staff members, student employees and contract event security staff. Safety escort service for members of your campus community and/or visitors are campus security authorities (even if they are volunteers).




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 offenses.


WTAMU publishes the annual Campus Security and Fire Safety Report (by Oct. 1 of each year). The link for the document is www.wtamu.edu/security and provides the following specified WTAMU Reporting and Disclosure Procedures:  Members of the West Texas A&M University community are encouraged and all faculty and staff members who have significant student- and campus-activity responsibilities are required to report violations of federal, state and local laws and University guidelines. These violations as well as any public safety related incidents should be promptly reported to the University Police Department. Reporting responsibilities also extend to WTAMU mental health counselors, who may encourage their clients to consider voluntarily and confidentially reporting crimes, when applicable. These and all such reports are compiled and coordinated through the University Police Department and the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs. Each violation, whether or not a formal police report is filed or an investigation ensues, counts as one offense and is reflected on the University’s annual crime statistics report.


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 the authority and the duty to take action or respond to particular issues on behalf of the institution.

Consider: This is the most challenging CSA identification area because the concept of “significant responsibility for student and campus activities” is quite broad. Official responsibilities and job titles vary significantly at each campus, which is why Education Department doesn’t provide an all-inclusive list of specific titles in the regulations. The handbook states, “To determine specifically which individuals or organizations are campus security authorities for your institution, consider the function of that individual or office. Look for officials (i.e., not support staff) whose functions involve relationships with students. If someone has significant responsibility for student and campus activities, he or she is a campus security authority.” Examples of individuals whose positions should be assessed because they probably meet the criteria for being campus security authorities include (this list is expanded from the list in the new ED Handbook, to provide more context):


·         University Administrators (Vice Presidents, Deans, Associate Deans, Department Heads)

·         Individuals that oversee disciplinary procedures.

·         Member in an office or of a committee to whom students are instructed and informed to report or discuss crimes, allegations of crimes, and other troubling situations.

·         Professional staff in a Dean of Students office, including leaders in Student Affairs and Housing.

·         Staff in the Student Center or Student Union Building

·         Staff in the Student Activities Office (handling extracurricular activities)

·         Faculty or Staff Advisors to Student Organizations, extracurricular activities, study abroad activities, camps

·         Resident Assistants/Advisors; Resident and/or Community Directors

·         Students who monitor access to dormitories or other facilities

·         Coordinator of Greek Affairs (or related positions)

·         Athletic Directors and Coaches (including Assistant ADs and Assistant Coaches)

·         Contract Security Officers

·         Event Security Staff

·         Administrators at Branch/Satellite/Separate Campuses

·         A physician in a campus health center, a counselor in a campus counseling center, or a victim advocate in a campus rape crisis center if they are identified by your school as someone to whom crimes should be reported or if they have significant responsibility for student and campus activities.


Examples of individuals who would not meet the criteria for being campus security authorities include:

§ A faculty member who does not have any responsibility for student and campus activity beyond the classroom.

§ Clerical or cafeteria staff.

§ Facilities or maintenance staff



How to Submit a Campus Security Authority

Each fall semester, WTAMU President, Dr. J. Patrick O’Brien, sends out an electronic, university-wide request for an updated list of Campus Security Authority’s as per the definitions of the Clery Act. It is critical that all institutions of higher education conduct an annual assessment of the roles and functions of all of their members to assess whether or not anyone should be added to or removed from the list, resulting from any changes to their job descriptions or responsibilities. The information is submitted to Meri Lyn Odell, modell@wtamu.edu via the WTAMU CSA worksheet. Throughout the year, CSA additions can be submitted to Meri Lyn Odell.

What are Campus Security Authorities Required to Do?

CSAs are responsible for reporting all allegations of crimes specified in the Clery Act that are reported to them, and that they conclude were made in good faith, to the West Texas A&M University Police Department. The crimes specified in the Clery Act are murder/non-negligent manslaughter, negligent manslaughter, forcible and non-forcible sex offenses, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, motor vehicle theft, and arson. If there is evidence that the perpetrator was motivated by bias, then simple assault, larceny (theft), intimidation, and vandalism must be reported as well (please see the definitions provided below). Timely submission of reports by CSAs is very important. If a crime is reported to a CSA, but goes no farther than that, WTAMU will be unable to fully meet its obligations under the law. Moreover, the campus community may lack information that could help them to stay safe.

What Should a Campus Security Authority Avoid Doing?

CSAs are not responsible for determining whether a crime took place. CSAs are also not responsible for attempting to apprehend an alleged perpetrator of a crime. These are matters best left to law enforcement personnel. CSAs should refrain from attempting to convince a victim to contact law enforcement if the victim chooses not to do so. However, they may note that crimes can be reported to the police anonymously.

How do Campus Security Authorities Fulfill Their Responsibilities?

When a crime is reported to a CSA, they should first ask the reporting party if they would like to report the crime to the police. If they would, they should contact the West Texas A&M University Police Department at (806.651.2300) . The police department is located at 301 23rd Street (Old Sub 102). In the event that an in-progress emergency is being reported, the reporting party should be advised to call 911 immediately. If they are unable to, the CSA may do so on their behalf.
If the reporting party does not want to contact the police about the crime, the CSA should complete a Campus Security Authority Crime Report Form. Even if the reporting party does wish to contact the police about the crime, the CSA may complete the form for their records (check the appropriate box for the law enforcement agency the crime was/will be reported to). The procedure for completing the form is as follows:
• Have the reporting party read the top (boxed) portion of the form.
• Ask if they have reported, or are going to report, the crime to the police. Advise them that reporting a crime to the police does not commit them to filing charges. Crimes may be reported anonymously if the victim/reporting party so desires.
• Personally identifying information for the reporting party should be included if available. This will help to avoid double counting crimes. No such personally identifying information will be included in the Clery statistical disclosures.
• If a victim does not want the report to go any further than the CSA, they should be advised that the CSA is required to submit the report for statistical purposes. However, the report can be submitted without identifying the victim.
• It is very important that the location of the crime is reported as precisely as possible. A building name, parking lot zone, close address, or cross street should be provided.
• A description of the crime should be given, including as much detail as possible. This is to aid in the determination of exactly what crime occurred. It is important to note any injuries sustained or weapons used. The reporting party should indicate if they feel that the perpetrator committed the crime because of bias; and, if so, what lead them to believe that to be the case.
• Check the appropriate boxes on the form. Consult the definitions provided below as needed. If in doubt, contact Chief of Police Shawn Burns at 806.651.2300 or Meri Lyn Odell at 806.651.2307.
• Liquor, drug, and weapon offenses are reported when an arrest (including a citation) is involved or a referral for university disciplinary action is made. Note the number of people arrested or referred.
• If possible, determine what Clery Act geographical location the crime occurred in. Consult the location definitions provided below as needed. If in doubt, contact Chief of Police Shawn Burns at 806.651.2300 or Meri Lyn Odell at 806.651.2307.
• When the form is completed, please forward it as soon as possible to the West Texas A&M University Police Department at P.O. Box 60295, Canyon TX 79016, Attn. Meri Lyn Odell. The form may also be submitted by Fax to 806.651.2310 or email to modell@wtamu.edu. Some departments may wish to retain a copy for their files. If so, the forms should be retained for at least three years.

Campus Security Authority Training

CSA’s will be assigned Campus Security Authority training via TrainTraq. The training will assist Campus Security Authorities in understanding the Clery Act, why they have been designated as a CSA, and what is required of them as CSAs.

Crime Definitions

Murder and Non-negligent Manslaughter – The willful (non-negligent) killing of one human being by another.
Negligent Manslaughter – The killing of another person through gross negligence.
Sex Offense Forcible (F) – Any sexual act directed against another person, forcibly and/or against that person's will; or not forcibly or against the person's will where the victim is incapable of giving consent: forcible rape; forcible sodomy; sexual assault with an object; and forcible fondling.
Sex Offense Non Forcible (N) – Unlawful, non-forcible sexual intercourse: incest; statutory rape.
Robbery - The taking or attempting to take anything of value from the care, custody, or control of a person or persons by force or threat of force or violence and/or by putting the victim in fear.
Aggravated Assault – An unlawful attack by one person upon another for the purpose of inflicting severe or aggravated bodily injury. This type of assault is usually accompanied by the use of a weapon or by means likely to produce death or great bodily harm. It is not necessary for an injury to result when a gun, knife or other weapon is used in the commission of the crime.
Burglary – The unlawful entry of a structure to commit a felony or a theft. For reporting purposes this definition includes: unlawful entry with intent to commit a larceny or felony; breaking and entering with intent to commit a larceny; housebreaking; safecracking; and all attempts to commit any of the aforementioned.
Motor Vehicle Theft – The theft or attempted theft of a motor vehicle. (Classify as motor vehicle theft all cases where automobiles are taken by persons not having lawful access even though the vehicles are later abandoned-including joyriding.)
Arson – Any willful or malicious burning or attempt to burn, with or without intent to defraud, a dwelling house, public building, motor vehicle or aircraft, personal property of another, etc.
Liquor Law Violation – The violation of laws or ordinances prohibiting: the manufacture, sale, transporting, furnishing, possessing of intoxicating liquor; maintaining unlawful drinking places; bootlegging; operating a still, furnishing liquor to a minor or intemperate person; using a vehicle for illegal transportation of liquor; drinking on a train or public conveyance; or any attempts to commit any of the foregoing violations. Note: this list does not include public drunkenness and driving under the influence.
Drug Law Violation – Violations of State and local laws related to the possession, sale, use, growing, manufacturing, and making of illicit drugs.
Weapon Law Violation – The violation of laws or ordinances regulating weapons.
Hate Crimes – Any crime that manifests evidence that the victim was intentionally selected because of the victim's actual or perceived race; religion; gender; sexual orientation; ethnicity or physical/mental disabilities.
Simple Assault – Assaults and attempted assaults where no weapon was used and which did not result in a serious or aggravated injury to the victim. (Currently, this crime category only applies to hate crimes.)
Larceny – The unlawful taking, carrying, leading, or riding away of property from the possession or constructive possession of another (Currently, this crime category only applies to hate crimes.)
Intimidation – 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. (Currently, this crime category only applies to hate crimes.)
Disciplinary Referrals – incidents in which a student was not arrested but was referred for campus disciplinary action for liquor law violations, drug law violations, and illegal weapons possession.

Location Definitions

Campus – (i) any building or property owned or controlled by an institution within the same reasonably contiguous geographic area and used by the institution in direct support of, or in a manner related to, the institution's educational purposes, including residence halls; and
(ii) any building or property that is within or reasonably contiguous to the area identified in paragraph (i) of this definition, that is owned by the institution but controlled by another person, is frequently used by students and supports institutional purposes (such as a food or other retail vendor).
Non-Campus – (i) Any building or property owned or controlled by a student organization that is officially recognized by the institution; or
(ii) any building or property owned or controlled by an institution that is used in direct support of, or in relation to the institution's educational purposes, is frequently used by students, and is not within the same reasonably contiguous geographic area of the institution.
Housing – Residence Halls or other university-owned residences.
Public Property –"public property" is defined by the Clery Act regulations as all public property including thoroughfares, streets, sidewalks, and parking facilities that is within the campus, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from the campus. Include the sidewalk across the street from your campus, but do not include public property beyond the sidewalk.

Resources Utilized in Developing the WTAMU Clery Act & Crime Reporting – Guidelines for Campus Security Authorities:
D. Stafford & Associates, Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971, www.dstaffordandassociates.com
Resources: Whitepaper Titled: Campus Security Authority Guidance to Colleagues

TAMUCT Public Safety: Campus Security Authority https://www.tamuct.edu/departments/security/campussecurityauthority.php

TAMUS Office of General Counsel website (https://www.tamus.edu/legal/)

Handbook for Campus Safety and Security from the U.S. Department of Education, which can be found at: http://www2.ed.gov/admins/lead/safety/handbook.pdf.