University releases its Clery Act safety report for 2020

Relief carving of intertwined UO

The University of Oregon has released its annual Campus Security and Fire Safety Report for 2020, as required by the federal Jeanne Clery Act.

The document, known informally as a Clery report and posted on the university's Clery Act website, is prepared every year to provide information on safety and security programs, practices and statistics. This year, in recognition of the impact across the nation from the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Department of Education moved the publication deadline for the report from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31.

The report also details the UO’s updated standard operating procedures for complaints involving discrimination or harassment, following changes to the federal Title IX rules this year.

Federal law requires very specific information in Clery reports. That includes crimes reported to law enforcement or to university representatives and crimes on specific property owned or controlled by the university or in public areas that run through or immediately next to campus.

Additionally, the report must include crimes from these locations regardless of the victims’ association to the university. The statistics include any reports that are made in good faith to the university — not just to law enforcement — and can be anonymous, regardless of the existence or outcome of an investigation.

The 2020 report includes a rare homicide, a shooting that occurred in a UO-owned parking lot in 2019. The victim was not a UO community member and the two perpetrators of the crime were convicted earlier this year. The homicide was the first in UO Clery report since the Clery Act was enacted in 1990.

Statistics in the annual Clery report are collected and presented by calendar year. The just-published edition includes statistics from 2019, as well as 2018 and 2017.

The report also describes the UO’s updated standard operating procedures for complaints involving discrimination or harassment, which went into effect in August. The procedures were updated in response to federal changes to Title IX rules. The report provides detailed information on student rights and protections, reporting options, and procedures for investigating and adjudicating such complaints.

“The changes to our standard operating procedures this year are significant and the new federal regulations do make our procedures more prescriptive,” said Nicole Commissiong, the UO’s chief civil rights officer and Title IX Coordinator.

“It was a big lift in a short timeline from when the federal changes went into effect to when our procedures needed to be modified,” she added. “This first year is providing us the opportunity to think critically about how we can simplify the language in our rules and to make it more digestible for students and others involved in our processes. We will be looking for feedback from students, confidential advisers and advocates as we do that.”