The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, or Clery Act, requires all colleges and universities that participate in federal financial aid programs to keep and disclose information about crime on or near their respective campuses. Dartmouth publishes its Clery numbers annually, usually in the fall.
The parents of Jeanne Clery, who was raped and murdered in her dorm room at Lehigh University, lobbied for the creation of the Clery Act and campaigned for greater safety on college campuses. Jeanne’s father, Howard, was a 1953 Dartmouth graduate.
In order to be included in the Clery numbers, the sexual assault complaint must include: campus location, date of assault, date of first report of the assault to authorities, and type of incident. Incidents appear in the year that they were reported, not necessarily the year in which the assault actually occurred. It is not uncommon for victims to wait months or even years before reporting to authorities.
In addition, an analysis by the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Public Integrity indicates a wide discrepancy between the official Clery numbers reported by universities and the numbers seen by campus and community sexual assault advocates. For more on reporting at Dartmouth, see our FAQ section.
Below is a comparison of Clery Act data on reported forcible and non-forcible sexual assaults between Dartmouth and its Ivy League and other selected peer institutions. Clery data for all colleges and universities are available through the Campus Safety and Security Data Analysis Cutting Tool, which is hosted by the Office of Postsecondary Education of the U.S. Department of Education.
|2006||2007||2008||2009||2010||2011||2012||2013||2014||Student Population 2014||Student Population (2013)||Total Incidents||Annual Average (as of 2014)||Average per Capita (as of 2014)||Incidence v Peer Institution||Incidence v Peer Group|
|Other Private Peer Institutions||3.21|
|University of Maine||11||7||3||9||10||6||24||18||11,286||20848||88||10||0.0005||6.66|
|University of New Hampshire||8||8||10||12||18||20||23||26||15,117||15128||125||14||0.0009||3.42|
|University of Vermont||2||6||8||8||5||13||15||29||12,856||13478||86||8||0.0006||5.29|
|University of Connecticut||2||3||4||9||9||13||25||54||26,541||31028||119||9||0.0003||10.67|
|University of Rhode Island||8||10||14||4||17||11||6||3||16,571||16317||73||10||0.0006||5.21|
|University of Massachusetts||9||11||6||12||13||15||22||13||28,635||28084||101||13||0.0004||7.14|
|Regional Public Universities||6.4|
NOTE: The Clery Report provides imperfect data, but it is the best that we have. Dartmouth does not publish its National College Health Assessment data (which is also imperfect; many other colleges and universities don’t publish that data either). There are many documented issues with the Clery Report numbers. There is the very real problem of underreporting. Fewer than 5% of completed or attempted rapes of college students are reported, according to the Department of Justice.
With the Clery Report, incidents appear in the year they were reported, not necessarily when the assault actually occurred, and it is not uncommon for victims to wait months or even years before reporting to authorities. Also, there is the possibility that higher numbers of reported incidents actually indicate a supportive environment for victims rather than more sexual assaults. Unfortunately, without a more standardized, objective way of measuring the level of sexual assault on campus, there is no way to determine the correlation between actual assaults and assaults as defined in the Clery Report. This is another reason we call for a better benchmarking of sexual assaults on Dartmouth’s campus in our recommendations.
Despite these issues, these Clery Report numbers are the only public data available for broad comparison.