US Department of Education Levies More Fines for Clery Act Violations

President Obama recently called attention to the issue of sexual violence on college campuses, stating that “more needs to be done to ensure safe, secure environments for students” and that “we must strengthen and address compliance issues.” The newly established White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault will develop a coordinated Federal response to campus rape and sexual assault, working with the Department of Education and Department of Justice (DOJ) to enforce the Federal laws aimed at making campuses safer.

The President’s announcement follows a record year for Clery Act enforcement activity. The Department of Education (Department) issued more fines in 2013 — in both number and total amount — than in any other year since the Clery Act was passed. With continued media attention on sexual assaults on campus, the President’s and the Department’s focus on enforcement efforts, and the Campus SaVE Act’s additional compliance requirements, universities should expect more and higher fines in 2014.

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