The renowned Christian university Liberty University will have to pay an extraordinary $14 million penalty for breaking the Clery Act. The act requires universities to assist victims of sexual assault and release data on on-campus crimes. The Clery Act’s maximum fine to date is this one.

Misclassification of Offenses

Federal investigators revealed misclassification and insufficient reporting of offenses from 2016 to 2023, despite Liberty being branded as one of the safest campuses. With little authority, the university’s police force had difficulty looking into crimes, which resulted in many cases being reported falsely or judged to be unsubstantiated.

Liberty’s Problems With Managing Sexual Misconduct

The U.S. Department of Education brought to light serious issues in Liberty’s handling of cases involving sexual misconduct. As a result of the victims’ punishment for breaking the student honor code, fewer sexual assaults were reported, which discouraged victims from coming forward. Concerns regarding campus safety and survivor support have been highlighted by the university’s inability to effectively handle incidents of sexual assault.

The investigation detailed Liberty University’s careless handling of emergency alerts, charging the university of neglecting to alert students to possible dangers like gas leaks and bomb threats. The university’s dedication to guaranteeing the safety of its students was further compromised by its carelessness in delivering timely and accurate information on campus safety occurrences.

The university came under fire for claiming to be among the safest in the country despite presenting a dearth of comprehensive statistics on on-campus violence. Liberty is accused of providing data without enough backing, which led to a false impression of campus safety. The hefty fine emphasizes how serious the infractions were and how reporting crimes on campus requires accountability and openness.

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