Efforts to keep campus informed recognized nationally

BALTIMORE – The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s efforts to keep community members informed of public safety issues has earned the “Clery Compliance Program of the Year” award.

Named after a student who was killed in 1986 at Lehigh University, the federal Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act requires all colleges and universities to track and publish crime data, as well as issue timely warnings when a significant crime poses an ongoing threat to the campus community. The law aims to make campuses safer by helping students and their loved ones to make informed decisions about their well-being.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has gone to great lengths to ensure that campus community members and others have ready access to information about public safety issues, campus security policies, resources, crime statistics and other useful information. Among the most visible informational tools used are Campus Safety Notices, which go out to all students, faculty and staff via mass email when a significant crime has occurred on or immediately adjacent to campus.

“We always remember what happened to Jeanne Clery, why the law was enacted in the first place, and we want to do everything possible to continue our commitment to the community,” said Compliance Coordinator Jennifer Payan. “Keeping our students, faculty, staff and parents informed and well educated on the resources we provide is the right thing to do.”

The award was presented to Payan on Friday during the National Association of Clery Compliance Officers and Practitioners conference in Baltimore.

“This award recognizes an institution that has implemented an outstanding Clery Act compliance program,” wrote Dolores Stafford, executive director of NACCOP, “as well as the comprehensive manner in which the institution has integrated Clery Act compliance into the day-to-day operations of key units that support the compliance effort and implements best and emerging practices to ensure compliance with both the letter and spirit of the Clery Act.”

Payan said the award is a great honor and shows that the university’s diligence in going above and beyond the minimum requirements of the law have paid off.

“The goal of Clery is to keep our community informed about public safety issues on campus,” Payan said. “Navigating these complex mandates and translating them into easily understood information for our pubic is a key part of what we do. I hope that our community can feel a sense of trust and confidence that we are doing all that we can, and that we’re going above and beyond to keep our community safe.