Clery Act Compliance and Crime Statistics: Comments and Clarifications of Safety and Security Issues

Clery Act - Annual Security Report - Luther College

In 1990 the United States Congress passed legislation commonly known as the Campus Security Act. It is now known as the Clery Act. It directed campuses to compile and publish statistics about campus crime, and publish campus policies and practices related to safety and security issues. This report, as well as information in the Student Handbook, is published in compliance with that legislation. Since the original legislation, there have been changes in regulation and interpretation; the most notable is the Higher Education Amendments of 1998. The regulations are complicated and sometimes confusing. The first section of numbered statements in this report is organized to be somewhat parallel with the order of legislated requirements. Following the statistics, there are some clarifications that will help interpret the statistics; readers are encouraged to inquire about this report and the federal regulations.

  1. Reporting and Preparation. Students, or others, should make reports to either the Campus Security Office, the Residence Life Office (including residence hall staff),or the Student Life Office regarding crimes they witness or suspect, or in the event of any emergency.
    • Luther College, via the Student Life, Residence Life, or Campus Security offices, will advise the community when they become aware of criminal activity that is considered to be a threat to the immediate safety of the community. These timely warnings may be done via memos, postings, mail messages, or other means of mass communication.
    • Annual crime statistics in compliance with the Clery Act are prepared annually, and distributed no later than October 1, by the Student Life Office, in cooperation with Campus Security, Residence Life, local police, and other campus offices that may have knowledge of criminal activity.
    • As noted above, criminal activity should be reported to Campus Security, Residence Life, or Student Life - or, the Decorah Police. Crimes may be reported on a confidential (not to be construed as anonymous) basis, requesting inclusion in the annual crime statistics, to either the Student Life Office, Campus Pastors, or the Counseling Office staff. In this case, confidential reporting shall be defined as reports that are filed or verbally reported, and deemed to be legitimate, but for which no particular action is requested by the reporting party.
  2. Facilities. Campus buildings are on a lock and unlock schedule set by Security through each department or building. Residence halls have an electronic card access system, and are locked 24 hours/day. Residence Life staff are on duty in residence halls during evening and night hours. All other buildings are locked and unlocked by Security or building staff. Buildings are opened at predetermined times to accommodate their use by staff and students. Nonresidential buildings are checked on a regular basis by Security. These precautions cannot prevent all potential intruders from being in buildings, so students and staff should practice good personal safety, assist in keeping locked doors closed, and alerting officials when there is suspicious activity.
    • Security staff checks lighting facilities on campus and offers suggestions for improved lighting or other safety needs. The campus community may contact Security regarding such issues or contact the Campus Betterment Committee.
  3. Security and Law Enforcement.
    • Campus Security staff are campus security personnel, who are not deputized or have arrest authority. Although reports of crimes are reviewed by Security and Student Life, Luther does not have a fully investigative security staff; therefore members of the campus community might receive a more complete investigation of criminal activity when they report such to the local police who have more extensive investigative resources. The working relationship and communication with the local Decorah Police is good, and includes cooperation on investigations, etc. It also includes the discussion of "reportable" crimes for annual statistics.
    • As noted above, the campus community is encouraged to report crimes to the above noted resources.
    • Via copies of this report, professional campus counselors and pastors are encouraged, when they deem it appropriate, to inform persons they are counseling that the information they share may be confidentially used in the annual campus crime reports, if they desire. If they desire that, they should advise the counselors or pastors, who will then report the figures to the Student Life Office.
  4. Type and Frequency of Programs. Students and staff are annually provided student handbook information and information related to the Clery (Campus Security) Act. Via this report, the community is encouraged to use common sense in safety and security practices, and report criminal and suspicious activity. The Campus Security Office has a public bulletin board with safety and security information available, including the daily crime logs. Orientation provides some safety information, specifically in regard to sexual abuse. Other safety and security notices and programs may be offered throughout the year by various groups or offices.
  5. Description of Programs. (see above, #4)
  6. Crime Statistics as required by this legislation are included in this report.
  7. Off Campus Student Organizations. Luther does not have recognized student groups or organizations, residing as such, in the local community; hence there is no monitoring by local police of such groups.
  8. Alcohol polices are outlined in detail in the Student Handbook.
  9. Illegal drug policies are covered with alcohol policies in the Student Handbook.
  10. Alcohol and drug abuse education programs are conducted primarily via the Lifetime Wellness Program. Statements of compliance with the Drug Free Schools and Communities legislation are included in the Student Handbook and employee staff manuals.
  11. Sexual Assault Programs.
    • Annual programs are provided during new student orientation regarding various aspects of sexual assault. Posters are prominently displayed regarding what to do in the event of sexual assault. A student group also provides educational programming.
    • Students are advised via this statement, Student Handbook information, and posters, that they should report sexual assault as soon as possible, and not destroy any evidence of assault. Initial reports may be directed to: Health Service (x1045), Domestic and Sexual Abuse Resource Center (382-2989), Hall Director or RA, Winneshiek County Hospital (382-2911), Decorah Police (382-3667).
    • Students are advised, via this document, personal discussions or documents, that they have the option to notify law enforcement authorities, and that the Student Life Office will assist them in that notification if they desire.
    • On campus support services available for students include the Counseling Service, Health Service, College Ministries, Student Life, and Residence Life. They can also assist in making appropriate off campus referrals (see Counseling Service website).
    • Luther will change a "victim's academic and living situations after an alleged sex offense, and of the option for those changes, if those changes are requested by the victim and are reasonably available." Students should contact the Student Life Office.
    • Options for disciplinary action should be discussed with the Student Life Office. A description of disciplinary procedures can be found in the Student Handbook.
  12. Sex Offender Registry. Information regarding the Iowa Sex Offender Registry program, and also information regarding local inquiries, may be found at the following website:

Additional Safety and Security Issues

Although the Luther crime statistics give the impression of a relatively safe environment, there are certain precautions and advice to which any college student should pay attention. The following are not only general safety and security issues, but are based on Luther experiences.

  • Theft. Crime statistics do not include general theft. Vulnerable items have included unattended bicycles (particularly high value bikes), backpacks or book bags left unattended (particularly at the beginning or end of a semester). Although theft from rooms has been limited, virtually all thefts could have been prevented by a simple action—lock your doors!
  • Sexual Assault. Although reports of stranger assault have been extremely limited, common sense dictates that walking alone at night or in isolated areas is not a good practice. Many cases of sexual abuse by acquaintances could be avoided by: good communication between individuals regarding sexual expectations, men and women practicing restraint in regard to alcohol use, and by peers looking out for their friends as they enter potentially high risk or poor judgment situations.
  • Residence Halls. Respect your community by reporting strangers and by assisting to keep outside doors tightly shut and locked.
  • Vehicle Vandalism. Vehicles can be subject to vandalism. Remember to lock vehicles and remove valuables. Report any vandalism to the Security Office.

Security is available 24 hours a day. A daily security log (including Security response to criminal activity) is posted in the Centennial Union, outside the Security Office.

Emergency (ambulance, fire, etc.)
Campus (Emergency calls only)
Decorah Police

Please report any crime to Campus Security or your residence hall staff as soon as possible! (Written reports should be completed for all incidents.)

Questions may be directed to

Student Life Office
Luther College
Decorah, Iowa 52101
phone: 563-387-1020

Updated 10/16/13