University officials refuse prompt release of crime logs

By Madi Alexander, Senior Staff Writer

University officials refuse to comply with federal campus safety laws regarding the prompt release of archived crime logs.

Reporters from News on the Twos, the university’s student newscast, requested the past seven years of crime logs April 17, but were told the university is not required to make archived crime logs available to the public.

Institutions must make any portion of a crime log older than 60 days available within two business days of a request for public inspection, according to the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations.

The regulations are part of the Clery Act, a federal law requiring all colleges and universities receiving federal financial aid to publish security policies and crime statistics.

Retention of crime logs is a suggestion, not a requirement under federal law, according to an official university statement issued April 19. Click here to read the university’s official statement.

“The university will provide copies of seven years of archived logs to you within 30 days, or by no later than May 20, 2013,” read the statement.

“Although the university is not required by the Clery Act, by the Clery Act regulations, or by the Handbook to make these archived logs available upon request, Oklahoma City University will voluntarily provide these records to you pursuant to your request.”

The Education Department’s handbook on Clery Act compliance instructs universities to retain all supporting documents used in the most recent annual statistical report. The annual report requires universities to list crime statistics for the last three calendar years.

Click here to read the Department of Education’s Handbook for Campus Safety and Security Reporting.

“For example, the 2011 annual security report should contain statistics for 2008, 2009 and 2010,” according to the handbook.

“The 2008 statistics and supporting records must be kept until Oct. 1, 2014—in effect, seven years.”

Adam Goldstein, attorney advocate at the Student Press Law Center, wrote in an email that universities must make all crime logs for the past seven years available to the public within two business days.

“A school must have a log for the current year (one year), the annual report for last year (which goes back three years), and then three years beyond that to comply with the records retention regulations,” he wrote.

“The assertion that the Clery Act does not require them to make these records available upon request is just a lie, and not a very good one. You can debate whether the Clery Act is the source of the requirement, but there is no debate that federal regulations require the college to maintain records for nearly seven years.”

Read more about potential Clery Act compliance issues in University police violate federal campus safety law and University officials fail to release annual crime statistics.

For more information, watch OCU-TV’s News on the Twos:

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