Clery Act Definitions


The following information comes from 34 CFR § 668.46 – Institutional security policies and crime statistics; Uniform Crime Reporting Handbook; Sex Offenses definitions from the National Incident-Based Reporting System Edition of the Uniform Crime Reporting Program; and definitions of domestic violence, dating violence and stalking adapted from the amendments made to the Violence Against Women Re-authorization Act of 2013.

Clery Act Crimes

Any willful or malicious burning or attempt to burn, with or without intent to defraud, a dwelling house, public building, motor vehicle or aircraft, personal property of another, etc.

The killing of another person through gross negligence.

The willful (non-negligent) killing of one human being by another.

The taking or attempting to take anything of value from the care, custody, or control of a person or persons by force or threat of force or violence and/or by putting the victim in fear.

An unlawful attack by one person upon another for the purpose of inflicting severe or aggravated bodily injury. This type of assault usually is accompanied by the use of a weapon or by means likely to produce death or great bodily harm. (It is not necessary that injury result from an aggravated assault when a gun, knife, or other weapon is used which could and probably would result in serious personal injury if the crime were successfully completed.)

The unlawful entry of a structure to commit a felony or a theft. For reporting purposes this definition includes: unlawful entry with intent to commit a larceny or felony; breaking and entering with intent to commit a larceny; housebreaking; safecracking; and all attempts to commit any of the aforementioned.

The theft or attempted theft of a motor vehicle. (Classify as motor vehicle theft all cases where automobiles are taken by persons not having lawful access even though the vehicles are later abandoned including joyriding.)

Any sexual act directed against another person, forcibly and/or against that person’s will; or not forcibly or against the person’s will where the victim is incapable of giving consent. The term ‘Sexual Assault’ encompasses an offense that meets the definition of the following:

  1. RapePenetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim
  2. Fondling: The touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, forcibly and/or against that person’s will; or, not forcibly or against the person’s will where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her youth or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental incapacity.
  3. Incest: Non-forcible sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law.
  4. Statutory Rape: Non-forcible sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent.

Violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the complainant, by a person with whom the complainant shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the complainant as a spouse or intimate partner, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the complainant under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred, or by any other person against an adult or youth complainant who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred.

Violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on (1) the reporting party’s statement and with (2) consideration of the length of the relationship, (3) type of relationship, and (4) frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. For the purposes of this definition, dating violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse.

Engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to-(A) Fear for the person’s safety or the safety of others; or (B) Suffer substantial emotional distress. Examples of stalking behaviors include, but are not limited to, the following: non-consensual communication, including face-to-face, telephone calls, voice messages, email, texts, written letters; unwanted gifts; threatening or obscene gestures; pursuing or following; surveillance or other observation; trespassing; vandalism; and non-consensual touching.

The violation of laws or ordinances dealing with weapon offenses, regulatory in nature, such as: manufacture, sale, or possession of deadly weapons; carrying deadly weapons, concealed or openly; furnishing deadly weapons to minors; aliens possessing deadly weapons; and all attempts to commit any of the aforementioned.

Violations of State and local laws relating to the unlawful possession, sale, use, growing, manufacturing, and making of narcotic drugs. The relevant substances include: opium or cocaine and their derivatives (morphine, heroin, codeine); marijuana; synthetic narcotics (demerol, methadones); and dangerous nonnarcotic drugs (barbituates, benzedrine).

The violation of laws or ordinances prohibiting: the manufacture, sale, transporting, furnishing, possessing of intoxicating liquor; maintaining unlawful drinking places; bootlegging; operating a still; furnishing liquor to a minor or intemperate person; using a vehicle for illegal transportation of liquor; drinking on a train or public conveyance; and all attempts to commit any of the aforementioned. (Drunkenness and driving under the influence are not included in this definition.)

If any of the aforementioned crimes, or larceny-theft, simple assault, intimidation, and destruction, damage, or vandalism of property or any other crime involving bodily injury, that manifests evidence that the victim was intentionally selected because of the perpetrator’s bias against the victim’s actual or perceived race, gender, gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity/national origin, or disability, then the incident must be reported as a hate crime.

  1. Larceny-Theft is the unlawful taking, carrying, leading or riding away of property from the possession or constructive possession of another. Constructive possession is the condition in which a person does not have physical custody or possession, but is in a position to exercise dominion or control over a thing.
  2. Simple Assault is an unlawful physical attack by one person upon another where neither the offender displays a weapon, nor the victim suffers obvious severe or aggravated bodily injury involving apparent broken bones, loss of teeth, possible internal injury, severe laceration, or loss of consciousness.
  3. Intimidation is to unlawfully place another person in reasonable fear of bodily harm through the use of threatening words and/or other conduct, but without displaying a weapon or subjecting the victim to actual physical attack.
  4. Destruction/Damage/Vandalism of Property is to willfully or maliciously destroy, damage, deface, or otherwise injure real or personal property without the consent of the owner or the person having custody or control of it.

Clery Act Geography Categories

Any building or property owned or controlled by an institution within the same reasonably contiguous geographic area and used by the institution in direct support of, or in a manner related to, the institution’s educational purposes, including residence halls; and Any building or property that is within or reasonably contiguous to paragraph (1) of this definition, that is owned by the institution but controlled by another person, is frequently used by students, and supports institutional purposes (such as a food or other retail vendor).

“Controlled by” means that Mason rents, leases or has some other type of written agreement (including an informal one, such as a letter or an e-mail) for a building or property, or a portion of a building or property. Even if there is no payment involved in the transaction, under Clery, a written agreement for use of space gives Mason control of that space for the time period specified in the agreement.

“Reasonably contiguous” refers to a building or property Mason owns or controls that’s in a location that Mason considers to be, and treat as, an integral part of its main or core campus; and is covered by the same security policies as its main campus. Examples include: the Tallwood Annex (4212 Roberts Road Fairfax, VA), the student Townhouses (4260 Chain Bridge Road Fairfax, VA), and the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (4260 Chain Bridge Road Fairfax, VA).

Any student housing facility that is owned or controlled by the institution, or is located on property that is owned or controlled by the institution, and is within the reasonably contiguous geographic area that makes up the campus is considered an on-campus student housing facility. Examples include: Student Apartments, President’s Park student residence halls, Mason Global Center student residences, Northern Neck student residences, etc.

All public property, including thoroughfares, streets, sidewalks, and parking facilities, that is within the campus, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from the campus. Public property refers to property owned by a public entity, such as a city or state government. Examples include: Braddock Road, Rt. 123/Chain Bridge Road, Roberts Road (Fairfax Campus).

Any building or property owned or controlled by a student organization that is officially recognized by the institution; or Any building or property owned or controlled by an institution that is used in direct support of, or in relation to, the institution’s educational purposes, is frequently used by students, and is not within the same reasonably contiguous geographic area of the institution. Examples include: Commerce building (4084 University Drive Fairfax, VA), Democracy Lane Office (10340 Democracy Lane Fairfax, VA), and The Nutrition Kitchen (3950 University Drive Fairfax, VA).

If there is a written agreement to send students to an overseas location for a study abroad program, but that written agreement is for the program rather than for use of the physical space, Mason does not have control of the location and does not have to disclose statistics for crimes that occur there. However, these trips may have Clery reportable Noncampus buildings or property if Mason has entered written agreements to rent or lease physical space for students in a hotel or student housing facility for a period of three (3) or more days. Clery crimes are reportable if they occur in physical spaces that Mason controls (e.g., hotel rooms, apartments, etc.) or areas used to access those physical spaces for the period of time specified in the agreement.

If you have any questions about crime definitions or Clery geography categories, please contact the Clery Compliance Coordinator at (703) 993-5497 or

NOTE: The following form is used to compile accurate statistics of the listed criminal acts. Victims and witnesses are strongly urged to call the police to directly report the incident. In the event the victim/witness does not want to contact the police, please complete the following form so that the listed offense can be included in GMU’s annual statistical report and/or possibly aid in a Timely Warning of a serious or ongoing threat to the campus community.

Click here for CSA Crime Statistics Reporting Form