What is the Clery Act and How Does it Relate to Title IX?

Powerful anti-sexual assault movements like #MeToo and “Time's Up” have invoked widespread change in the United States, empowering women in a number of industries to garner the courage to expose their perpetrators and compel the gatekeepers in these industries bring down the hammer. So far, the cultural shift in the wake of these movements has been palpable.

It's no secret that sexual assault is prevalent in epidemic-like rates on college and university campuses. With the spotlight on higher education institutions, it seems like there's always a new headline about students involved in some form of sexual misconduct. While the circumstances of each incident vary, the spirit of the laws enforced to deter sexual misconduct is essentially the same. Ultimately, when it comes to the adjudication of complaints, people generally reference two federal laws: the Clery Act and Title IX.

What is the Clery Act?

The Clery Act is a consumer protection law that is intended to improve transparency in regard to campus crime in collegiate settings. In compliance with this law, colleges and universities are obligated to compile statistics of incidents involving sexual misconduct and other violations of policy and the law to give a projection of the campus' safety. Because of these expectations, the school, students, parents, staff, and faculty have a clear depiction of how safe (or unsafe) the campus is, and therefore gives school administrators an idea of how to improve campus safety.

What is Title IX?

Title IX of the Education Amendments is a federal law that prohibits any form of sexual misconduct on campus by permitting schools to resolve complaints of this nature. 

Where They Intersect: Institutional Obligations

Both the Clery Act and Title IX require institutions to be proactive in their approaches to dealing with incidents of sexual misconduct. In prior years, the enforcement of these laws was managed in separate departments. For example, Title IX matters were solely handled in the campus civil rights office, while Clery Act matters were mostly a concern for campus police. But today, federal law has dictated that these laws have wide-reaching education, prevention, and adjudication components that call for campus-wide collaboration. 

Where They Differ: Responses

The Title IX and Clery Act have respective responses to complaints. Title IX complaints are handled immediately and have a specific process for making a report, conducting an investigation, and possibly a hearing for resolution. The Clery Act, on the other hand, has an entirely different process that could offer protections and arrangements that are completely out of the scope of Title IX.

Title IX Advisor Helping Students Nationwide 

f you've been accused of violating Title IX at your college or university, you need to get in contact with a skilled student defense attorney. Joseph D. Lento has extensive experience helping students in your situation overcome their allegations by helping them build a solid defense. He has the skill, experience, and expertise to help you do the same. If you have questions about your case or want to know more about him or his firm, contact him online or give him a call at 888-535-3686 today.