By: Emily Walker, Olivia McKelvey, Kevin Boodoosingh
Florida Tech failed to acknowledge multiple reports of rape within the 2019 Annual Security and Fire Safety Reports under the Clery Act.
Two students have come forward with accounts of rape and how they reported their cases through Title IX and Security.
Their cases did not appear on the Annual Security and Fire Safety Reports, which is in violation of the Clery Act.
What is the Clery Act:
In 1986, Jeanne Clery, a student at Lehigh University, was raped and murdered in her residence hall.
Four years later, the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act of 1990 was established in order to create accountability for reporting violent crimes and providing transparency on campus crime statistics.
The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act—the Clery Act— is a federal law requiring United States colleges and universities to disclose information about crime on and around campuses.
Due to the fact that Florida Tech receives federal funding, it is required to publish an annual security report for both students and employees every Oct. 1.
What is included within the Clery report:
Florida Tech’s Office of Safety and Security prepares an annual report in cooperation with local law enforcement agencies such as Melbourne Police Department, Palm Bay Police Department and the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office.
Other university departments also work in collaboration with compiling crime reports and statistics such as the Title IX office.
The report is required to include data from the past three years on the following crimes:
- Criminal homicides such as murder and non-negligent manslaughter and negligent manslaughter
- Sex offenses such as rape, fondling, incest and statutory rape
- Arrests and judicial referrals for liquor law violations, drug abuse violations and weapons law violations
- The “other” category, which includes robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, motor vehicle theft and arson
- The Violence Against Women’s Act—VAWA—is an amendment within Clery that expands the rights to campus survivors of sexual assault and includes the following crimes:
- domestic violence
- dating violence
- Hate crimes, which include offense definitions relating to hate/bias-related crime, larceny, simple assault, intimidation and destruction/damage/vandalism of property
Clery cites that the following individuals on campus are Campus Security Authorities—also known as mandated reporters— a term created by the Clery Act that encompasses groups of individuals and organizations at Florida Tech:
- Dean of Students
- Director of Security
- Security Department
- Title IX Coordinator
- Senior Vice President for Academic Administration
- Chief of Staff
- Athletics Director
- Athletic Coaches
- Office of Student Life
- Director of Student Housing
- Other Campus Security Authorities that have a “significant responsibility for student and campus activities.”
Another factor Clery examines when categorizing data is geographical location of a specific crime.
Clery includes both on-campus and non-campus locations within the report.
An on-campus location is defined as any building or property owned or controlled by an institution, such as an academic building or dorm.
Non-campus geographic location can refer to any Florida Tech owned entity that is frequented by students.
The non-campus definition also includes campus leased or rented spaces for an event that was sponsored by the university or any building or property owned or controlled by a student organization that is officially recognized by the institution.
How Florida Tech violated the Clery Act:
In the 2019 Annual Security and Fire Safety Reports, all sex offenses, including rape, were cited as zero for the past three years.
According to definition in Florida Tech’s 2019 Annual Safety and Fire Report, rape is defined as “the penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.”
An anonymous student has gone on record and said that her rape, which occurred in 2018 on campus, was not included in the Clery report.
“I went into the Title IX office because I wanted this put down on record,” she said. “I wanted them to know that women are being assaulted and raped on this campus.”
The student went to the health center and Counseling and Psychological Services, neither of which are mandated reporters.
She later went to Linda Jancheson, the Title IX coordinator, who reports to, as listed in Florida Tech’s organizational chart, VP/General Counsel.
“I spent 20 minutes waiting in the Title IX office, five minutes in Jancheson’s office and I left with three extra papers that I didn’t know what the hell meant,” the student said.
The student later talked to another Campus Security Authority and discussed her options with Security.
She ultimately decided not to take action against her rapist and no charges were filed in this case.
Despite the student not taking action, according to Frank Iannone, director of security, whether or not a victim decides to pursue charges, a report is made regardless of the outcome.
When asked how many cases of rape have been reported to Jancheson for the past three years, she said, “I do not know the exact numbers.”
When asked how many Title IX reports Jancheson handed over to Security to include within this year’s Clery report, she said, “I do not know.”
The Title IX coordinator was asked these same questions two times, in two separate interviews, and responded with “I do not know,” in each instance.
Jancheson went on to say that she was not in the Title IX coordinator position when reports were made last year in 2018, though her start date was February of 2018.
Another anonymous source was raped in 2017 on campus and reported her rape to Security in 2018.
The student went through an investigation and disciplinary hearing, which took over one year and resulted in disciplinary action for her rapist.
This student’s rape was also not included within this year’s Clery data.
“Sitting down with two security officers not once, but twice to relive the details of my rape in depth and on record was anything but a warm environment as a victim,” she said.
After her initial report, the student heard nothing for five months regarding the investigation and the scheduling of the disciplinary hearing.
“It was the worst experience of my life,” she said. “The process of reporting it was nearly as bad as my actual rape.”
It is not immediately known whether or not campus security filed these two reports of rape with local law enforcement.
Both sources will remain anonymous. The Crimson does not disclose the names of sexual assault survivors.
Repercussions for violating Clery:
According to a press release from the National Association of Clery Compliance officers and professionals, as of February 2019, the new amount that the U.S. Department of Education can impose for noncompliance with the Clery Act is $57,317 per violation.
In 2016, Penn State was fined 2.4 million dollars for having been “out of compliance” for 11 serious cases dating from 1998 to 2011.
In 2018, the University of Montana was fined $966,614 for “inaccurate and misleading crime statistics” from liquior law violations to cases of rape between 2012 and 2015.
Two anonymous students at Florida Tech have come forward to discuss their rapes in 2017 and 2018 and how they reported it to Security.
Those cases have not been cited within this year’s Clery report.
Iannone said that from the statistics that are provided within this year’s Clery report, he feels the numbers accurately represent the campus.
If you have made a report to Security or Title IX and feel it has not been handled correctly, visit endrapeoncampus.org/the-clery-act to file a complaint.
As a student-run newspaper, your voices are extremely important to us.
If you feel you have experienced something similar as described in this piece and would like to speak with us, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
National Sexual Assault Hotline -1-800-656-4673
Women’s Center Counseling 321-242-1526