The University of Toledo has appointed Meredith Blaine as its new Clery Act compliance officer in an effort to continue providing the safest environment possible for students.
Blaine, who began working at UT just over a month ago, is charged with ensuring that the University is compliant with the Clery Act. Signed in 1990, the Clery Act requires all colleges and universities that participate in federal financial aid programs to keep and disclose information about crime on and near their respective campuses.Blaine’s position at UT is new; before, her responsibilities fell on the UT Police Department and other campus safety representatives.
“We’ve made a focused investment in campus safety and crime reporting by creating this position,” said David Cutri, director of internal audit and chief compliance officer at the University. “We felt this was an opportunity to establish a more direct focus on campus safety reporting, dedicate more time to educating and training our campus community, and free the UTPD of some of the compliance-related responsibilities found in the Clery Act.”
Before coming to UT, Blaine served as the assistant director of student conduct and community standards at Eastern Michigan University. In that role, she sat on the Clery committee and went to a number of trainings on Clery and compliance.
“With my background in student conduct and a bit of Clery, I decided to jump on board, and we are looking at all of the University’s activities to review, revamp and expand,” she said.
Right now, Blaine is working to identify UT’s campus security authorities, who are individuals at a university that have some responsibility for student activities such as resident advisers, coaches and student affairs staff.
Under the Clery Act, campus security authorities are required to report any crimes on or near campus that they are made aware of. Once all of UT’s campus security authorities are identified, Blaine will work to ensure that they are all properly trained to report crimes and assist students who need their help.
“It’s another resource the University will have to make sure employees know how to handle reports,” UT Police Chief Jeff Newton said. “Universities get into a lot of hot water when things are not reported or handled properly once the initial report is made.”
In addition to properly reporting crimes, campus security authorities are responsible for providing information on the various resources available to students at the University. These include the UT Counseling Center, UTPD, Title IX coordinators and more.
Another resource is the Annual Security Report, which was just released and is available online here. The report details services available to students in addition to any crimes reported in the last three year