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Campus Security Authorities (CSAs) & Crime Reporting

Under the Clery Act, a crime is “reported” when it is brought to the attention of a campus security authority, the institution’s police department or campus safety office, or local law enforcement personnel by a victim, witness, other third party or even the offender. It doesn’t matter whether or not the individuals involved in the crime, or reporting the crime, are associated with the institution. If a campus security authority receives a report, he or she must include it as a crime report using whatever procedure has been specified by your institution.

When a crime is reported to a CSA, first ask the person if they would like to report it to University Police. If so, contact University Police at 994-2121. If the CSA has firsthand knowledge and confirmation that the reporting party filed a police report with University Police, then they are not obligated to complete and submit a MSU Clery Crime Statistic Report Form. However, if the reporting party says they will file a police report with University Police, leaving the CSA with no firsthand knowledge and confirmation that a police report was filed, then the CSA must still complete and submit a CSA Crime Statistic Report.

Crime Reporting Training

CSAs are encouraged to report all crimes reported to them, on a timely basis, to University Police. However, under the Clery Act, only Clery Act qualifying crimes are required  to be reported to the Office of Clery Compliance. The MSU Clery Crime Statistic Report Form can be submitted to the University Office of Clery Compliance online at:                  

MSU Clery Crime Statistic Report Form

If the reported crime is made in good faith, meaning that there is reasonable basis for believing that the information is not rumor or hearsay, then the crime is Clery reportable. CSAs, when interacting with the crime reporting party, need to gather incident information that would provide sufficient detail to properly classify the incident. This means CSAs needs to document reporting party responses or lack thereof.  CSAs should not investigate the crime or attempt to determine whether a crime, in fact, took place. When in doubt, a Report Form should be completed and submitted!

Your Role as a CSA

The Office of Clery Compliance encourages all members of the campus community to report crimes to UPD on a timely basis. However, under the Clery Act, CSAs are required to report Clery Act qualifying crimes which occurred on campus, in public areas bordering campus and in certain non-campus buildings owned or controlled (leased) by the University. CSAs should only report those crimes that have not been previously reported to University Police or another University CSA. The intent of including non-law enforcement personnel in the CSA role is to acknowledge that some community members and students, in particular, may be hesitant about reporting crimes to the police, but may be more inclined to report incidents to other campus-affiliated individuals.

To review information on reportable Clery Act crimes, reportable disciplinary referrals and/or the Clery Act incident occurrence locations that are reportable, please refer to Clery Geography MapClery Geography Definitions and Clery Crime Definitions.

The law defines four categories of CSAs

  1. University Police Department sworn personnel and department administrators.
  2. Non-police individuals of offices responsible for campus security. These CSAs have security presence or access control authority on university property, including, but not limited to, Building and Grounds, security staff at athletic events, security staff at student functions, and student ID checkers access management throughout campus (i.e. field house).
  3. The Officials with significant responsibility for student and campus activities category is defined broadly to ensure complete coverage and thorough reporting of crimes. To determine which individuals or organizations are CSAs consider job functions that involve relationships with students. Look for Officials (i.e., not support staff) whose functions involve relationships with students.
    • An Official is defined as any person who has the authority and the duty to take action or respond to particular issues on behalf of the University. If someone has significant responsibility for student and campus activities, s/he is a CSA. Some examples of CSAs in this category include, but are not limited to: deans, student affairs professionals, student housing staff, athletic director/assistant directors, coaches, student activities coordinators, student judicial officers, and faculty/staff advisors to student organizations.
  4. Any individual or organization specified in an institution’s statement of campus security policy as an individual or organization to which students and employees should report criminal offenses – University Police.

If someone has significant responsibility for student and campus activities, he or she is a campus security authority. Whether or not MSU pays an individual is not a factor in determining whether that individual is a CSA.

The following non-CSA positions/functions include but are not limited to: administrative staff members who are not responsible for students, clerical staff, individual faculty with no student activity duties outside the classroom, medical staff at Student Health Service, or counselors in the Counseling Center who provide care to individual students.

The following is a sample of what you can tell a reporting party who comes to you to report a crime:

“As part of my position on campus I am a federally mandated crime reporter for the University. I am required to report of this incident to Office of Clery Compliance for data gathering. If you request confidentiality, the Report Form will not include your name, or that of any other involved individuals. My report will contain only the information you provide. Do you have any questions? Would you like to help me fill it out?”

The University Clery Coordinator reviews CSA reports and determines whether it is a reportable crime in the Annual Security Report (ASR). These reports are also evaluated by the Clery Coordinator for timely warning and/or emergency notification consideration and basic facts are submitted to the Deputy Chief of Police, who then makes the determination if an incident warrants timely warning and/or emergency notification of the University community. The Clery Act Coordinator will consolidate crime data from multiple sources, report qualifying crime data to the federal Department of Education, publish campus ASRs and inform the campus community when and where ASRs are available.

Crime / Emergency and Non-Emergency Reporting

Regardless of your status (CSA or non-CSA), all community members are encouraged to promptly report all criminal incidents and other public safety related emergencies to police. For incidents requiring immediate attention, dial 911 or use any Blue Light Emergency Phone located throughout the campus. Non-emergency incidents can be reported by dialing 406-994-2121 from any phone or in person at the University Police Department, 7th Avenue and Kagy Boulevard.