FAQs Regarding Campus Safety Notices

Published: September 21, 2021

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Auburn University Community,

In the past two weeks, Campus Safety & Security has sent three campus safety notices about sexual assaults that have been reported to our office. Auburn University has shared information about numerous safety resources in another communication.

In response to questions from our campus community, these FAQs are provided to clarify when and why Campus Safety & Security sends out these notices.

All members of the campus community are encouraged to participate in the town hall to discuss preventing and reporting sexual assault, hosted by Student Affairs today, Wednesday, September 22 at 4:00 p.m. in the Student Activities Center Auditorium (or via Zoom).

Is Auburn University required to send out these notices?

Yes, the federal Jeanne Clery Act (“the Clery Act”) requires institutions of higher education to send out timely warnings (called campus safety notices at Auburn) when certain allegations of crime are received.

When is a timely warning required?

Timely warnings are required when certain types of crime allegations are reported to a campus security authority or local police and are considered to pose a serious or ongoing threat to students and employees. Specifically, they are required for Clery Act crimes occurring on property owned or controlled by the university or a registered student organization, or on public property within or immediately adjacent to and accessible from campus.

A detailed investigation of a crime is not required before issuing a timely warning. In fact, A timely warning should be issued as soon as pertinent information is available, even if not all facts are available.

What is the purpose of a timely warning (campus safety notice)?

Timely warnings are intended to alert the campus community to certain crimes in a manner that is timely and will aid in the prevention of similar crimes.

What does Campus Safety & Security do when they receive an allegation of a crime?

Campus Safety & Security takes the following actions upon receipt of a crime allegation:

  • Immediately evaluates the information provided and initiates the process of sending a timely warning (campus safety notice) if appropriate.
  • Ensures that support and resources are offered to the victim/survivor of the crime.
  • Shares the allegation with the appropriate office (Title IX, Student Conduct, or Human Resources) if the allegation involves a potential university policy violation.
  • Provides support to investigations conducted by police and university offices.
  • Adds the reported crime to the daily crime log within two business days of the report.
  • Evaluates the crime for inclusion in the annual crime statistics.

From whom does Campus Safety & Security receive reports of crime?

Campus Safety & Security collects crime reports from a variety of individuals considered to be “campus security authorities” under the Clery Act. This includes police, security staff, Title IX coordinators, and others with significant responsibility for student and campus activities outside the classroom, such as housing, conduct and athletics staff.

Crime allegations may also be received through third parties or anonymous reporting mechanisms, in which case details are often very limited.

How are timely warnings (campus safety notices) distributed?

Campus safety notices are sent by email from Campus Safety & Security to all current students and employees and by social media (@AuburnSafety).

What are Clery Act crimes?

Clery Act crimes include:

  • Primary crimes – murder and non-negligent manslaughter, manslaughter by negligence, rape, fondling, incest, statutory rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, motor vehicle theft and arson
  • Hate crimes – any of the above primary crimes, theft, simple assault, intimidation, or vandalism if motivated by bias
  • Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) offenses – domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking
  • Arrests and referrals for disciplinary action – for violations of weapons, drug and liquor laws

Why does Campus Safety & Security sometimes withhold the specific location of the alleged crime?

There are several reasons why a location may not be provided in a campus safety notice, including but not limited to:

  • The specific location was not included in the crime report
  • It is unknown if the offender is connected to or affiliated with the location
  • The location does not provide any value in prevention of similar crimes (for example, if the incident occurred at the victim/survivor’s residence)
  • Disclosure of the reported location may jeopardize the identity of the victim.

What information about the suspect is provided in a campus safety notice?

A physical description is included in the campus safety notice if enough detail is provided in the crime report to aid in identification of the suspect. In many cases, crime reports received by Campus Safety & Security do not identify or provide a detailed description of a suspect.

What are the consequences for those found responsible?

Students and employees found responsible for violating university policy are subject to a range of disciplinary actions, up to and including expulsion or termination, depending on the nature of the violation.