Security on Campus, Inc., a non-profit organization that promotes safety on college campuses, recently named Kate Dieringer (NHS ’05) its 2003 Jeanne Clery Campus Safety Award winner.

A press release from the organization said Dieringer “was honored for her work to bring about improvements in how her school handles student complaints of sexual assault and other violence.”

Dieringer became a victim of sexual assault during the fall of her freshman year and made her situation public last year in an attempt to force campus officials to review the university’s sexual assault policy and strengthen its disclosure policy. She has been fighting to get the university to disclose information to other students about the presence of sexual offenders on campus.

“I’m honored that the SOC chose me for the award,” Dieringer said. “But really it’s for all survivors, on every campus, whose voices have been stifled by their peers, society, and even their own fearful conscience.”

The Jeanne Clery Campus Safety Award was established in 1994 and is given annually to schools and individuals that have attempted to make college and university students safer. It is named for Jeanne Clery, a murder victim at Lehigh University in 1986. Clery is also the namesake of the Clery Act, a federal law that requires colleges and universities to disclose information about campus crime and security policies and provides that the university should inform the accuser and the accused of “the outcome of any campus disciplinary proceeding brought alleging a sexual assault.”

“Kate Dieringer’s courage and willingness to take a stand on how Georgetown responds to rape and other violent crimes will make students safer on her campus,” S. Daniel Carter, senior vice president of Security On Campus, Inc, said. “We are very pleased to recognize her courage and leadership by honoring her with the Clery Award.”

Dieringer and Security on Campus, Inc., filed a complaint with the Department of Education in March alleging violations of the Clery Act. The law applies to most institutions of higher education, both public and private, because the law is tied to participation in federal student financial aid programs. The Department of Education requested in April a written explanation from Georgetown about the school’s disclosure policies , but has not yet ruled on the matter.

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