Legislation & Compliance

Expanding legislation has played a strong role in heightening and accelerating campus prevention efforts. While compliance sets the standard for what schools are required to do, a commitment to best practice will help achieve the ultimate goal of creating safer, healthier campus communities. Campus prevention efforts must marry both the letter and spirit of the law, empowering faculty, staff, students, and administrators to go beyond “checking the box” to create meaningful institutional change. This page reviews the primary federal legislation related to sexual assault (Title IX and the Clery Act) and alcohol and other drug prevention (Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act)

Title IX/Clery Act Compliance

Primary and Ongoing Prevention Programs

Schools must make a good faith effort to reach all incoming students and new employees with its primary prevention and awareness program
Ongoing prevention and awareness campaigns must be sustained over time, visible throughout the year, and provided to all current students and employees
Primary and ongoing prevention programs must cover all required subjects
Training students and employees on a regular basis helps ensure that:
  • Employees are prepared to respond to and report potential sexual misconduct
  • Students understand what constitutes sexual misconduct and are encouraged to report incidents

Required Subjects For Prevention Programs

How to identify sexual and interpersonal misconduct and the role of alcohol and drugs
Provide legal and policy definitions of consent, sexual harassment and violence, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking (“sexual misconduct”)
Confidential and non-confidential reporting options, including Title IX Coordinator, campus/local police, responsible employees, licensed counselors, and any online/anonymous options
Victim and survivor support: appropriate response, preserving evidence, confidentiality, interim protective measures, the effects of trauma, and on- and off-campus resources
Bystander intervention strategies and risk reduction
Investigative and disciplinary procedures, and possible sanctions
Victim protections (no-contact orders, protective or restraining orders)
Statement that the institution prohibits sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking

Clery Act Security Information

Timely Warnings must be issued when crimes reported to CSAs or local police present a serious or ongoing threat to the safety or health of the campus community
Emergency Notifications are used in response to a significant emergency or dangerous situation involving an immediate threat to the health or safety of students or employees occurring on the campus
Missing Person Notifications apply to students living on campus, including foreign campuses
Daily Crime Log keeps a record of all crimes, not just Clery crimes, reported to the campus police or security department

Annual Security Report

The purpose of the Annual Security Report is to:

  • Identify crime trends and security risks
  • Inform students and employees of campus security procedures and practices

Title IX Coordinators

  • Address sexual and interpersonal harassment/violence complaints
  • Coordinate and oversee Title IX compliance
  • Coordinate responses to all complaints of possible sex discrimination
    • Monitor outcomes
    • Identify patterns and systemic problems

Title IX/Clery Act Policies and Procedures

  • Statement of Nondiscrimination
  • Define prohibited sexual, interpersonal, and gender-based harassment/violence consistently across related policies, whether perpetrator is a student, employee, or third party
  • Prohibit discrimination against pregnant and parenting students
  • Reporting options, including Title IX Coordinator, campus/local police, responsible employees, licensed counselors, and any online or anonymous options
  • Prohibit retaliation against


  • Prompt, thorough, and impartial inquiry
  • Provide both parties with periodic updates on the status of the investigation
  • In-person interviews of both parties (trauma-informed interviews of victims)
  • Identify and interview other witnesses to provide independent accounts of what happened and identify corroborating evidence
  • Provide reasonably prompt time frames for completing the investigative and adjudicative process from reporting to final resolution (within 60 days unless there are special circumstances)


  • Most common models are: single investigator, administrative or panel hearing, and hybrid of hearing and investigator models
  • Information used in the proceedings must be made available to both parties
  • Give both parties:
    • An opportunity to present witnesses and other evidence
    • The right to have an advisor present during hearings and meetings (choice of advisor is not limited but their participation may be restricted)
    • Written notice of the result (including the rationale for the decision), any sanction imposed, and how to exercise any rights to appeal
  • Written notice of the result (including the rationale for the decision), any sanction imposed, and how to exercise any rights to appeal
  • Decisions are reached by trained and unbiased officials using the “preponderance of evidence” standard

Victim/Survivor Protections

  • Inform students about the availability of protective orders issued by a court or no-contact orders issued by the institution, including:
    • Contact information for requesting information about available options
    • How to file a request for each of the options and enforce the orders
    • The institution’s responsibilities for complying with these orders
    • Whether or not the institution issues no-contact orders

Resources and Accommodations

  • Provide victims information about:
    • Where to obtain forensic examinations
    • Contact information for community organizations that assist victims and survivors of sexual misconduct, such as victim advocacy, housing assistance, academic support, counseling, disability services, mental health services, and legal assistance
  • Interim protective measures available to protect victims and survivors from interacting with the accused, such as changes to:
    • Class schedules and extracurricular activities
    • Living, transportation, dining, and working situations

Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act (DFSCA) Compliance.

IHEs receiving federal funds or assistance must develop and implement a program to prevent employees' and students' unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol
Standards of conduct Health risks from AOD use
Legal and policy sanctions Available treatment options
Conduct a review of the effectiveness of the program and the consistency of sanction enforcement over the past two academic years, and identify and implement any necessary changes

Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Programs (DAAP)

“Representations and Certifications” that the institution of higher education (IHE) has adopted and implemented a DAAPP in compliance with the DFSCA regulations (EDGAR Part 86.100, Subpart B) must be signed as part of an application to receive federal funds or financial assistance. If an IHE fails to comply, the U.S. Department of Education may terminate all federal assistance and require repayment of funds received while the IHE was out of compliance.

Annual Notification

There is no prescribed method for delivering the required information, which depends on the campus environment, available resources, and creativity. At a minimum, the drug and alcohol abuse prevention program (DAAPP) must be delivered to all students, faculty, and staff on an annual basis, making sure that students who enroll or employees who are hired at times throughout the year (e.g., summer-term students, adjunct and visiting professors) receive the following information:

  • Standards of conduct that prohibit the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by students and employees, and the possible disciplinary sanctions that will be imposed for violations
  • Legal sanctions for violations of federal, state, and local laws prohibiting the possession or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol
  • Available drug or alcohol counseling, treatment, or rehabilitation or re-entry programs
  • Health risks associated with the use of illicit drugs and alcohol abuse

Biennial Review

Every other year, an institution of higher education (IHE) must prepare a report with the supporting materials that measure the effectiveness of its drug and alcohol abuse prevention program (DAAPP) and ensure that disciplinary sanctions for conduct violations involving drugs and alcohol are being consistently applied.