In light of the recent reporting on Clery Act violations at Florida Tech, updates have been made campuswide, and requests regarding local law enforcement records have been received.
Records obtained from Brevard County Sheriff’s Office show that Florida Tech has not requested Clery crime statistics from this law agency since at least September 2018.
The Clery Act requires federally funded campuses to gather information from local law enforcement when compiling data for the annual security report.
According to Florida Tech’s 2019 Annual Security and Fire Safety reports, the university works “directly with various departments at Florida Tech as well as the Melbourne and Palm Bay Police Departments and the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office to collect all of this information.”
BCSO stated that their information requests only include one fiscal year; hence, records could not be obtained to see if Florida Tech made requests for Clery crime statistics to BCSO in 2016 and 2017.
“Moving forward, all of the local agencies, county agencies, state agencies and federal agencies that might have any jurisdiction or fall within any of our Clery geography will be contacted appropriately,” said Frank Iannone, director of security at Florida Tech.
Another update regarding the on-going Clery Act investigation is the selection of an external consultant. According to Patrick Healy, general counsel at Florida Tech, the law firm Husch Blackwell has been appointed as the external consultant. It is expected that their review will be completed within no more than 90 days, according to Michael Grieves, Florida Tech’s executive director.
President T. Dwayne McCay told The Crimson in December that the purpose for the external consultant will be to provide expertise and clarity.
Husch Blackwell will also be responsible for re-examining the internal review of crime statistics conducted by Iannone. McCay emphasized that the external consultant will also add external validity to the process.
Fanak Baarmand was announced as the new title IX coordinator on Jan. 13.
Baarmand was appointed when the previous Title IX coordinator, Linda Jancheson, was removed from the position.
“The Crimson Clery articles raised our awareness of the fact that the university may not have demonstrated the appropriate empathy for some of the students who sought assistance with Title IX issues,” Healy said.
Healy, whom Baarmand reports to, said that someone in the position of Title IX coordinator should be capable of managing conflict and have a working knowledge of Title IX as well as some familiarity with Clery, the Violence Against Women Act and other areas of discrimination law.
“I am confident that Fanak has the requisite knowledge and demeanor to be an excellent Title IX coordinator,” Healy said.
According to Healy, over the past 30 days, Baarmand has completed the online Title IX coordinator training course offered through the National Association of College and University Attorneys. He said she has also completed the Title IX coordinator and administrator level one training and certification course offered through the Association of Title IX Administrators.
“We anticipate that in the coming months, Florida Tech’s Title IX training and procedures will be significantly strengthened under Fanak’s leadership,” Healy said.
Since starting her position as Title IX coordinator, Baarmand has aided at least one student who said she was sexually assaulted in 2017.
The sexual assault victim stated that she had a class with her assailant this semester and “was panicked” when she saw him on the first day of classes.
“I went to my professor and asked what to do, and they told me to go to the Title IX coordinator,” she said.
Shortly after going to Baarmand, her assailant was removed from the class, and a no-contact order was put into place.
“She was super helpful and made sure I got what I needed,” the sexual assault victim said.
Another change that has been implemented since the Clery investigation is the process of obtaining crime logs from the department of security.
Previously, crime logs were sent daily to The Crimson via email and were accessible if requested. As of January, Security has implemented a new process that requires students to come into the security office to view the crime logs. Authorized security staff supervises the viewings of the crime logs. Students are also not allowed to take videos or pictures of the logs, although they may take notes.
Grieves said that he was the one responsible for the change in the crime log policy.
“Could I basically say to you that in the past, we had 60-day crime logs that were up-to-date and viewable? I can’t say that,” Grieves said.
Grieves added that he can now confidently say that with the new policy that Iannone has implemented, crime logs are up-to-date and available for inspection to comply with the Clery Act.