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A recent spate of complaints and penalties assessed against universities for violations of the Clery Act, which requires qualifying colleges and universities to keep and regularly disclose information about crime on and near their campuses, is yet another reminder that higher education institutions should look for Educators Legal Liability (“ELL”) coverage that is closely tailored to their unique needs.

 Students at four major universities (Dartmouth College, Swarthmore College, the University of Southern California and the University of California, Berkeley) have recently filed federal complaints with the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) alleging that their schools had violated the provisions of the Clery Act.

 The provision is named after Jeanne Clery, a Lehigh University freshman who was raped and murdered by a fellow student in her residence hall in 1986. Following her death, Clery’s parents argued that better information about crime and safety statistics at Lehigh would have weighed in their decision to enroll Jeanne at Lehigh in the first place—or at the very least would have prompted the young student to be more careful while at school. Their campaign for increased transparency culminated in the signing into law of the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act in 1990.

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