International Educator - November/December 2014 - S8

COMPLYING WITH CLERY

compile the report? Will the campus request
for information from police first need to be
translated? In some cultures, the police may
not create reports. In others, they may not issue information to third parties without first
obtaining written permission from the victim.
In still others, it may not be possible to obtain
a report in a timely manner or the police may
not be trusted in the locale where students are
studying."
Then there's this consideration, said Natalie
Mello, vice president for member services and
training for the Forum on Education Abroad:
"If you have a sexual assault in a very different culture, local police could interpret that
she committed the crime because she had sex
outside of marriage. Offenses don't travel across
cultural lines cleanly. There are many instances
where you would not want to go to the local
authorities to report a crime."
Language and cultural
barriers are not the only
time-consuming aspect
of Clery when it's applied
to education-abroad
programs. Let's say U.S.
students based in London for the summer go
on a weekend excursion to Amsterdam.
If the excursion is
longer than two
nights, university officials must get crime
statistics not only for the London location where the program rests, but also for the
Amsterdam region where students will visit.
"If you have a study-abroad office that
sponsors a lot of faculty-led programs that
travel-five nights in Barcelona, four in Paris,
three in Bonn-somebody has to reach out to
the [law enforcement] jurisdiction in each community for crime stats," said Julie Anne Friend,
director for Northwestern University's Office of
Global Safety and Security.
Dru Simmons, Ohio State University's international risk manager, said the Clery Act
requires a significant investment in training
staffers which crimes to report, how to log
incidents, how to analyze data, and how to
8 

INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR N O V + D E C .14 * H E A LT H & I N S U R A N C E S U P P L E M E N T

communicate with law enforcement officials.
"It can easily mean the investment of dozens
of staff hours, and for under-resourced offices,
that could be particularly daunting," he said.
The Forum on Education Abroad, the notfor-profit standards development organization
for the field of education abroad, is creating a
national database that helps universities identify
and track university-related crimes, including
those reportable under the Clery Act. Crime
statistics are published in the aggregate so as
not to identify any specific program, school
or student. Instead, the aim is to let members
know what types of offenses are happening,
where they happen, and what the contributing factors may have been. The nation's largest
universities tend to have comparable-and
sophisticated-databases of their own. But
for smaller schools, the Forum's database can
prove enormously helpful, said Natalie Mello,
the Forum's vice president for member services
and training. It can, for instance, force university officials to review whether they need to
change the housing location for an education
abroad program, or beef up orientations before
students get on a plane.

Fuzzy Picture
A school's Clery report, which anyone can review by going on the DOE website, only tells
part of the picture, and sometimes a misleading one at that. Not required to be included in
the reports are thefts, for instance-by far the
most frequent crime perpetrated on students
studying abroad.
"Students put stuff down, walk away, come
back and it's gone," Friend said. "Those are not
Clery reportable. So this is one of my beefs with
Clery. [The reports] make it look like they don't
happen, when that's the most common crime
that a study-abroad student is exposed to."
In most cases, university officials don't have
to report crimes that happen on property controlled by third-party providers of education
abroad experiences. As noted above, the reports include crimes that may have nothing to
do with university students, faculty or staff. And
because most Clery reportable crimes that fall
under the "non-campus" classification would
be lumped together-regardless of whether



International Educator - November/December 2014

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