Campus Security Authorities
What is a Campus Security Authority (CSA)?
A CSA is a person referred to as a campus security authority by the Clery Act. CSA's are a vital part of data collection for the annual safety and security report.
The Clery Act requires SMCCCD to provide an annual safety and security report. In addition to input from law enforcement, certain staff positions are designated as Campus Security Authorities (CSA) for the purpose of providing information for this report. CSAs are usually found in departments responsible for, but not limited to, student and campus activities, safety/security, discipline, housing, athletics, human resources or judicial proceedings. This designation also includes any individual who has been specified by SMCCCD to receive and report offenses.
CSA's are responsible for reporting the number of crimes and incidents as described in the Clery Act that occur in their department to the SMCCCD Public Safety Department. These numbers are then included in the federally mandated Clery Report, which is distributed every year in the beginning of October. Training materials for CSAs are available online.
The following Answers are based on The Handbook for Campus Crime Reporting, U.S. Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education.
Am I a CSA?
You are a CSA if you are an:
- Individual who has responsibility for campus security
- Individual specified by the university as an individual to which students should report criminal offenses
- Official of the university who has significant responsibility for student and campus activities, including but not limited to student discipline and campus judicial proceedings
What do I have to do as a CSA?
- Report criminal incidents that occur on campus or on SMCCCD affiliated property to the SMCCCD Public Safety Department.
What crimes do I need to report?
- Aggravated Assault
- Sexual Assault
- Motor Vehicle Theft (Stolen vehicles)
- Weapon Violations (e.g. Possession, Brandishing)
- Alcohol Violation (e.g. Minor in possession)
- Drug Violations
- Hate Crimes
- Domestic violence, dating violence and stalking
In addition to the crimes above, the crime must occur at one of the following locations:
- On Campus
- Off campus but on SMCCCD Affiliated Property
- On public property within or immediately adjacent to SMCCCD property
Why is this necessary?
- Keeping accurate crime statistics will help SMCCCD know where to provide prevention programs and safety awareness programs to help keep the campus safe.
- The intent of including non-law enforcement personnel as CSAs is to acknowledge that many individuals, and students in particular, are hesitant about reporting crimes to the police, but may be more inclined to report incidents to the campus affiliated individuals.
- If SMCCCD is found to be non-compliant with any aspect of the Clery law the university can be fined and risk losing federal funding.
- The State of California monitors Clery Act Compliance which includes periodic audits.
How do I report incidents to the Public Safety Department?
- You should report incidents as they are reported to you. The Public Safety Department provides a form (available online) or you can report it in whatever manner is easiest for you.
What happens after the Public Safety Department receives an incident from a CSA?
- The Department collects all incident reports received from CSAs. The incidents are reviewed for duplication and to verify that each incident is Clery reportable. The incidents are then classified into their proper crime and geographical categories and added to the annual clery statistics.
What if I am unsure if an incident is a crime? Or if it should be reported under Clery?
- When in doubt, report the incident. Please report as much detail as possible about the incident. The Department will determine if it is a Clery reportable crime.
If the SMCCCD Public Safety Department isn’t going to investigate these crimes, what is the purpose of reporting incidents to the Public Safety Department?
- Many crimes do not get reported to the police. By collecting data from other sources, we are getting a more accurate number of crimes. This is a resource for the District community to use to make informed decisions about their safety.
Are there exemptions to CSA reporting incidents?
- Yes, certain individuals who have significant responsibility for student and campus activities are exempt from disclosing information:
- Pastoral counselor. A person who is associated with a religious order or denomination, is recognized by that religious order as someone who provides confidential counseling, and is functioning within the scope of that recognition as a pastoral counselor.
- Professional counselor. A person whose official responsibility includes providing mental health counseling to members of the institutions community and who is functioning within the scope of his or her license or certification. This definition applies even to professional counselors who are not employees of the institution but are under contract to provide counseling at the institution.
However, we strongly encourage everyone to report since it is for statistical purposes only.
What happens if I do not report criminal incidents to the SMCCCD Public Safety Department?
- The United States Department of Education is charged with enforcing the Jeanne Clery Act and may level civil penalties against institutions of higher education up to $27,500 per violation or may suspend them from participating in federal student financial aid programs. Complaints of violations should be filed with DOE regional offices.
Examples: Is the incident reportable?
A student reports being raped while the student is home for winter break.
- This is not a reportable incident.
A student reports his backpack stolen after leaving it unattended while using the library restroom.
- This is considered theft and is not a reportable incident.
A student complains of being sexually harassed by a coworker while working on campus.
- Verbal harassment is not a crime. Physical harassment must meet the sexual assault definition to be a reportable offense.
A student reports being in a fight at a campus library and receives serious injuries.
- Yes, this is a reportable incident. It would be helpful to know what the specific injuries are and what type of treatment was required e.g. a broken nose, may or may not be considered a series injury based on what type of treatment was needed.
A staff member reports their parking permit stolen from their vehicle parked in a campus parking structure.
- This is considered theft and is not a reportable incident.
A Jewish student reports his vehicle vandalized with a swastika etched into the door while parked on Campus.
- Yes, this is a bias motivated vandalism on public property.
A student reports being raped by a fellow student at his off campus apartment in the San Mateo area.
- This is not a reportable crime because it does not meet the geographical requirements.