There are many factors parents and students look at while they are trying to find the right college; cost of tuition, degree plans, housing and the amount of crime on and around that campus.
Tyler Junior College, and almost all other community colleges and universities in the United States, are required to abide by the Jeanne Clery Act, formally known as the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act.
The Clery Act is a federal law that requires U.S. colleges and universities to provide information about crimes committed on and around campus.
This law is tied to participation in federal student financial aid programs and is enforced by the U.S. Department of Education, therefore it applies to most institutions of higher education.
The Campus Security Act formally changed its name in 1990 to the Jeanne Clery Act in memory of a 19-year-old freshman who was raped and murdered in her sleep in her dorm room on April 5, 1986. It was discovered by her parents that the students had not been told about the 38 violent crimes that had occurred on their daughter’s campus in the three years prior to her murder.
The Clery Act requires institutions to provide statistics for crimes that have occurred on and around campus such as; murder, non-negligent and negligent manslaughter, forcible and non-forcible sex offenses, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, motor vehicle theft, arson, liquor law violations, drug violations, illegal weapons possession and hate crimes.
This report must be distributed by Oct. 1 of each year to current students and employees through direct mail or electronic mail, publications provided directly to each individual, or posting on an Internet Web site (if all recipients are directly notified of how to access the report and given an opportunity to request a paper copy), and prospective students and employees can be given a copy on request.
Although many TJC students and faculty may not be aware of these statistics, TJC officials say the college is in compliance with the requirements of the Clery Act.
“We are in compliance with the Clery Act. It (the report) is in the student handbook and on the Campus Safety Web site, both of which are available online,” Fred Peters, director of marketing and public information, said.Some students feel that TJC, although they are in compliance, should make students more aware of these statistics and where to find them.
“I was never aware that these statistics were available to TJC students,” Jessica Smith, a first-year TJC paralegal student, said. “I believe that TJC should be more diligent in their efforts to disseminate this information to students and to make them aware of its availability. Students have a right to know what is happening on and around campus; it is pertinent information for students to have.”
Officials said they feel they are in compliance with this act and do not plan to change the way this information is released. If students or faculty would like to view these statistics, they are available in the student handbook, which is available at www.tjc.edu under the quick links toolbar, and the Clery crime stats are on page 121. The report is on the Campus Safety Web site is at www.tjc.edu/CampusSafety and the Clery Act is on the right-hand side toolbar.