Cape Cod Maritime Academy Didn’t Follow Safety Rules, Says Auditor
BUZZARDS BAY — Massachusetts Maritime Academy allegedly violated safety rules around reporting crimes on its Cape Cod campus, according to a Thursday statement from the Massachusetts State Auditor's Office.
The office stated that for over two years, the school failed to disclose information about campus security and crime prevention, as well as incidents that occured on campus.
It's one of the requirements of the 1990 Clery Act, a federal law that requires higher education institutions to comply with specific safety measures in order to participate in federal student financial aid programs.
According to the office, the rules are meant to protect students and staff from crime.
The audit found that from July 2017 through December 2019, Mass Maritime failed to maintain a daily crime log of campus incidents, and did not accurately report crime statistics in its 2020 annual security report.
Some information in the school's 2018 and 2019 annual security reports was also incomplete or inaccurate, the auditor's office alleged.
According to the office, over the same two-year period, Mass Maritime also failed to ensure all new students and employees completed safety training required under the act.
The training includes prevention and awareness on dating and domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and alcohol abuse.
Just under 77% of the school's newly enrolled students completed the training, according to the audit.
In a statement, Mass Maritime noted that the academy worked closely with the auditor's office during the review to ensure compliance, even establishing a new Clery Compliance Committee among other changes.
"We appreciate the efforts of the State Auditor’s Office and are fully committed to remedying issues identified and meeting the full intent of the Jeanne Clery Act to ensure the safety and security of our students, faculty and staff," the statement read.
“The Clery Act was established to equip students and staff with pertinent information they need to be aware of incidents occurring in the proximity of their college or university, and make informed decisions to protect their personal safety,” State Auditor Suzanne Bump said.
Bump added that she is "pleased to see" that the school is taking steps to ensure compliance in the future.
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