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Lehigh to host national summit on campus safety

Twenty years after the federal Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act took effect, the nation’s most prominent thought leaders on campus safety will come together at Lehigh University to discuss the critical issues facing colleges and universities: binge drinking, sexual violence and general safety and security.

The event, "Proceeding in Partnership: The Future of Campus Safety,” will be held on Mountaintop Campus this Thursday, Sept. 29. The event is co-sponsored by Security on Campus (SOC), which was founded by Connie and Howard Clery following the death of their daughter, Jeanne, who was killed by a fellow student at Lehigh in 1986. Her death spurred the Clery Act, legislation that now requires campuses to publicly share data on college crimes, as well as more than 30 state and five federal campus security laws.

Since its founding, SOC has reached hundreds of thousands of college students through educational programming, according to the group’s leaders. The organization has also worked to ensure that accurate information about campus crime is available so that students and parents can make informed decisions.

"Jeanne loved life, and loved people," says Connie Clery. "Nothing would please her more than to know her legacy has been making students safer so they can live and enjoy life."

John Smeaton, vice provost of Student Affairs at Lehigh, adds that this is an opportunity to acknowledge the excellent work of the Clery family and SOC.

“It is critical that we not only discuss issues, but find a common goal in moving forward on them and then share best practices with others,” Smeaton says.

SOC organizers will compile best practices identified at the summit for distribution in January 2012.

Lehigh will be live-tweeting from the event. 

Story by Linda Harbrecht

Posted on Tuesday, September 27, 2011

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