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Addressing Racial Bias and Violence on College Campuses

WHEREAS, there are increasing numbers of incidents involving racial bias and discrimination against students of color, including, among others, occurrences at the University of Missouri, Yale University in New Haven, CT, Clemson University in South Carolina, Amherst University in Massachusetts, Baylor University in Texas, The University of California at Los Angeles, and Georgetown University in Washington, DC; and

WHEREAS, institutions of higher education have not consistently taken an affirmative and effective approach to acknowledging and addressing these concerns; and

WHEREAS, the Jeanne Clery Act was named for a college student who was raped and murdered in her dormitory by another student in 1986. Her parents were enraged by the attitude of the school, which sought to keep the situation quiet and not alert other students or their families to the potential dangers. The Clery Act requires all colleges and universities which receive federal funding to share information about crime on campus and their efforts to improve campus safety as well as to inform the public of crime in or around campus. This information is made publicly accessible through the university's annual security report; and

WHEREAS, the original Cleary Act was amended in 2008 to include updated emergency response and warning procedures as well as hate crime reporting standards; and

WHEREAS, the implementation of the Cleary Act can and should be strengthened to improve and promote the rights of victims of hate crimes, sexual violence, and other bias incidents on college campuses, and to increase the awareness of potential students, their families, and new employees as to the incidence of crimes, including crimes motivated by racial bias, and what progress and initiatives, if any, the school is making and undertaking to address these crimes.

THEREFORE, BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) calls upon the U.S. Department of Education to improve the implementation of the Clery Act to 1) require institutions to provide information regarding hate crimes, sexual violence, and other bias incidents to potential incoming students and their families, 2) to require institutions to provide prospective new employees with these statistics and to describe in their annual security reports primary prevention and awareness programs, and 3) to make these security reports readily available to everyone who may be interested in relocating to the school, as well as the neighboring community.