House considers bill to standardize college security disclosure
WASHINGTON, D.C.–A U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee heard testimony in early June on a bill that would create a single federal standard for the minimum amount of information that must be disclosed by college and university security departments.
The Open Campus Police Logs Act would require educational institutions that receive federal monies to maintain a daily log recording the date, time and location of all incidents reported to its police or security department, and if an arrest has been made, the names and addresses of those arrested.
Introduced by Rep. John Duncan Jr. (R-Tenn.), the bill would supersede a patchwork of state laws, some of which provide little public access to campus security records or have no application to private institutions.
Many schools oppose the bill on the ground that it creates more bureaucracy and paperwork instead of focusing efforts and money on campus security itself, according to Patricia McGuire, president of Trinity College, who testified at the June hearing on behalf of a coalition of colleges and universities around the country.
But campus security advocate Constance Clery, whose daughter was raped and killed in her dorm room on the Lehigh University campus in 1986, declared that failing to provide public access to campus crime logs amounts to denying students “equal protection of the law.” (H.R. 2416)