Who is a Campus Security Authority?

A Campus security authority (CSA) is a Clery-specific term that encompasses four groups of individuals and organizations associated with an institution.

1. A campus police department or a campus security department of an institution

If you have a police or security department, it is obvious that the department meets this requirement. However, have all employees in the department been trained about the fact that they are CSAs? This includes: officers, front line supervisors, and administrators, such as a Lieutenant, Captain, Assistant Chief, Victim Services Coordinator, etc. Basically, all of the employees in the department, except office support staff, are campus security authorities. Keep in mind that this includes student employees (other than office staff) who handle tasks like patrolling, monitoring access, providing a driving or walking safety escort, etc.

2. Any individual or individuals who have responsibility for campus security but who do not constitute a campus police department or a campus security department (e.g., an individual who is responsible for monitoring the entrance into institutional property).

You should include all individuals who provide security or monitor access to campus parking facilities, or monitor access into a campus facility, such as the library, student union, or athletic facility. You should assess the duties of people in these roles on campus. Do they actually monitor access, such as checking IDs or allowing people to enter? If so, they are CSAs. Are they working at an information desk or booth, but are not monitoring access into the facility? If they are not acting as security or monitoring access, they are not a CSA. Do you currently include individuals who act as event security as CSAs? Individuals functioning in the role of event security are campus security authorities and this includes professional staff members, student employees and contract event security staff. Does your institution provide a safety escort service for members of your campus community and/or visitors? If so, those employees or volunteers are campus security authorities.

3. Any individual or organization specified in an institution’s statement of campus security policy as an individual or organization to which students and employees should report criminal offenses.

Your institution must publish a policy statement that tells the campus community who they should report a crime to on the campus. For many institutions, this will be the campus security, public safety or police agency. However, some colleges and universities don’t have a campus police/public safety agency, and those institutions need to notify the campus community about the individual or organization to which crimes should be reported. This may include directing them to report crimes to the local law enforcement agency. The institution may also want to consider whether or not an individual or organization on the campus should be identified for students and employees to report the crime directly to a representative of the institution. (Receiving crime information quickly and directly will be important for assessing whether or not a timely warning notice should be distributed).

4. An official of an institution who has significant responsibility for student and campus activities, including, but not limited to, student housing, student discipline and campus judicial proceedings. An official is defined as any person who has the authority and the duty to take action or respond to particular issues on behalf of the institution.

This is the most challenging area because the concept of “significant responsibility for student and campus activities” is quite broad. Official responsibilities and job titles vary significantly at each campus, which is why ED says they don’t provide an all inclusive list of specific titles in the regulations. The handbook states, “To determine specifically which individuals or organizations are campus security authorities for your institution, consider the function of that individual or office. Look for officials (i.e., not support staff) whose functions involve relationships with students. If someone has significant responsibility for student and campus activities, he or she is a campus security authority.” Examples of individuals whose positions should be assessed because they probably meet the criteria for being campus security authorities include:

  • Professional staff in a dean of students office, including leaders in student affairs and housing.
  • Staff in the student center or student union building
  • Staff in the student activities office (handling extracurricular activities)
  • Faculty or staff advisors to student organizations
  • Resident assistants/advisors; resident and/or community directors
  • Students who monitor access to dormitories or other facilities
  • Coordinator of Greek affairs (or related positions)
  • Athletic directors and coaches (including assistant ADs and assistant coaches)
  • Contract security officers
  • Event security staff
  • Administrators at branch/satellite/separate campuses
  • A physician in a campus health center, a counselor in a campus counseling center, or a victim advocate in a campus rape crisis center if they are identified by your school as someone to whom crimes should be reported or if they have significant responsibility for student and campus activities

Examples of individuals who would not meet the criteria for being campus security authorities include:

  • A faculty member who does not have any responsibility for student and campus activity beyond the classroom
  • Clerical or cafeteria staff
  • Facilities or maintenance staff