All institutional officials with significant responsibility for campus and student activities are considered to be Campus Security Authorities (CSAs) and have reporting obligations under the Clery Act. That is, they are required to report all crimes or incidents to University Police for data gathering purposes. These individuals have been notified of this responsibility and specialized training has been created to assist them in understanding their role.
What is the Role of a CSA?
UNC Asheville encourages all members of the campus community to report crimes to us on a timely basis. However, under the Clery Act, CSAs are required to report Clery Act qualifying crimes which occurred on campus, in public areas bordering campus, and in certain non-campus buildings owned or controlled (leased) by the university. The intent of including non-law enforcement personnel in the CSA role is to acknowledge that some community members and students, in particular, may be hesitant about reporting crimes to the police, but may be more inclined to report incidents to other campus-affiliated individuals. The intent is to accurately record crime and incidents that occur on campus so students, staff, and visitors can be informed and take appropriate actions to ensure their own safety.
To review information on reportable Clery Act crimes, reportable disciplinary referrals and/or the Clery Act incident occurrence locations that are reportable, please refer to Maps and Geography and Clery Crime Definitions pages.
Who are CSAs?
There are four categories of Campus Security Authorities:
- University Police Department personnel and administrators
- Any individual or individuals who have responsibility for campus security but who do not constitute a police department (e.g., an individual who is responsible for monitoring the entrance into institutional property or external event security).
- 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. At UNC Asheville, this would include the Dean of Students, Residential Education staff, and the Title IX Coordinator.
- An official of an institution (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) who has significant responsibility for student and campus activities including, but not limited to resident assistants, athletics coaches, and student activities coordinators.
Who is not a CSA?
Examples of non-CSAs include administrative staff members who are not responsible for students, clerical staff, individual faculty with no student activity duties outside the classroom, or doctors or counselors who only provide care to individual students.
CSA Crime Reporting
If you are a CSA and a crime is reported to you in good faith, meaning that there is reasonable basis for believing that the information is not rumor or hearsay, then the crime is Clery reportable. CSAs, when interacting with the crime reporting party, need to gather incident information that would provide sufficient detail to properly classify the incident. This means CSAs need to document reporting party responses or lack thereof. Identifying information should only be included if the reporting party is willing to provide it. CSAs should not investigate the crime or attempt to determine whether a crime took place.
CSAs are encouraged to report all crimes in a timely manner to University Police, although only certain crimes are required to be recorded. Reports can be filed by contacting University Police at 828.251.6710 or submitting an online report.
When in doubt, report.
What to Tell a Reporting Party
- If possible, communicate with them about your obligation to report to the University. If they are uncomfortable with your obligations, refer them to a confidential option (i.e., a counselor).
- Ask if they want to report the crime to University Police. If they do not, ensure they understand that information may be submitted without identifying information of reporting party or victim
- Collect information about the incident, i.e., where and when it occurred
What happens with Reports?
University Police officials review all CSA reports to make a determination if an incident warrants a timely warning or emergency notification and whether it is a Clery reportable crime. Even if a reported crime is not Clery reportable, reporting incidents help University Police record and monitor crimes occurring on campus. Reporting an incident may aid in the investigation of serial offenses.
Will reporting a crime/incident to a CSA mean the police will get involved?
Not necessarily. Although we strongly encourage victims of any crime to seek assistance from law enforcement whenever possible, a report from a CSA will not necessarily result in a police investigation. There are many reasons why a report might not result in a law enforcement action. For example, in many cases the University Police cannot initiate an investigation without victim assistance.
Is there anyone on campus to report to confidentially?
Yes. The pastoral or professional counselors acting in those roles have been designated as confidential resources and are not obligated to make reports to University Police. They will, upon request, assist in contacting and talking to law enforcement should the victim wish to do so. UNC Asheville has professional counselors available through the Health and Counseling Center.