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Campus Crime and Security at Postsecondary Education Institutions
NCES 97402
February 1997

Annual Security Reports

The Campus Security Act requires postsecondary institutions to publish and distribute an annual security report containing information about campus security policies and crime statistics. The report is to be distributed annually to all current students and employees and, upon request, to prospective students and employees. This section describes the formats institutions use for compiling the annual security report information and the ways in which they disseminate the information.

Formats for Annual Security Reports

Most institutions (87 percent) compiled annual security report information for students and staff (table 14), although the proportion ranged from 64 percent of other less-than-2-year institutions to 98 percent of public 4-year institutions. Similarly, small institutions were less likely to compile security report information than were larger institutions, ranging from 76 percent of institutions with less than 200 students to 100 percent of institutions with 10,000 or more students. Almost all students (98 percent) attended institutions that compiled annual security report information (not shown in tables).

Frequently used approaches for compiling annual security report information were as a stand-alone publication about campus security, used by 70 percent of institutions that compiled an annual security report, and as part of the text of another student or employee publication, used by 49 percent of institutions11 (Table 14). Annual security report information was published as an article in the campus newspaper by 20 percent, in electronic format (e.g., on the campus computer network) by 6 percent, and in some other format by 9 percent of institutions compiling an annual security report.

The formats used for compiling annual security report information, particularly the use of a stand-alone publication about campus security, varied by institutional characteristics (Table 14). Public and private 4-year and public 2-year institutions generally were more likely to use a stand-alone publication about campus security than were private 2-year and all less-than-2-year institutions. Institutions with campus housing, especially those with a high percentage of students in campus housing, were more likely than institutions without campus housing to use a stand-alone publication, and larger institutions were more likely than smaller ones to use this approach. Public 4-year institutions and institutions with 10,000 or more students were particularly likely to compile security report information in an electronic format compared with other types and sizes of institutions.

Dissemination Approaches

Institutions that compile an annual security report usually had that report available at student orientation, registration, and/or other student activities (85 percent), and frequently had it available in various offices and/or building lobbies around the institution (67 percent; Table 15).12 Mailing upon request to prospective students and/or employees was used by 64 percent of institutions that compile an annual security report, and mailing upon request to current students and/or employees by 60 percent of such institutions. Only 19 percent of the institutions that compile a report used a direct mailing to each current student and/or employee.

Half of the institutions that compile a security report and that have campus housing distributed the security report in student residence halls. About a third of the institutions that compile a security report posted it on campus bulletin boards, and about a quarter placed the report in campus mailboxes and/or published it in the campus newspaper. Other dissemination approaches were infrequently used.

There was some variation by institutional characteristics in dissemination approaches used. For example, public 4-year institutions generally were more likely than other types of institutions to use direct mailing to each current student and/or employee, mailing upon request to current students and/or employees, and mailing upon request to prospective students and/or employees.


11 Institutions could indicate multiple formats for compiling their annual security report information. Thus, the percents for the annual security report format sum to more than 100 percent.

12 Institutions could disseminate their security report in multiple ways. Thus, the percents for the dissemination approaches sum to more than 100 percent.

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