Many college students do not realize that beyond state or federal law, there is an entirely different governing body that could affect their future. If students are accused of college campus crimes, they could face accusations that could impact the rest of their lives. There are a few legal issues that could impact those accused of college campus crimes. Specifically, there are ways in which colleges are to handle crime allegations.
For those colleges that accept federal student aid, and many in the Boston area do, there are ways that these colleges are to handle crime allegations. The Clery Act ensures schools have safety policies and report crimes that occur on campus. Under this act, any crime that occurs on school grounds and within school-owned property is considered “on campus.” There are also other properties that are considered to be on campus, such as remote classrooms, buildings owned by campus groups and fraternity and sorority houses.
This would mean that any crime alleged on campus could be reported and it could happen off of campus, but on grounds of a sorority house or somewhere similar in which many wouldn’t consider “on campus.” This could have far-reaching ramifications if a person were to be accused and/or convicted of such crimes like sexual assault, murder, manslaughter, robberies, aggravated assaults, arson, car thefts, burglary and hate crimes. Schools that do not participate in federal financial aid need not adopt these policies, but they may adopt them or something similar anyway.
The Clery Act is just one legal issue that could impact those accused of college campus crimes. An accusation does not mean that a person is guilty of that crime, but it could easily damage a person’s reputation. A conviction will do more than that.