Renewing Legislation to Combat Sexual Assault on College, University Campuses A bipartisan coalition of Senators renewed the Campus Accountability and Safety Act—legislation to combat sexual assault on college and university campuses by protecting students,
BigNews.Biz - Apr 07,2017 - .Grassley Among Bipartisan Coalition of Senators Renewing Legislation to Combat Sexual Assault on College, University Campuses
WASHINGTON – A bipartisan coalition of Senators renewed the Campus Accountability and Safety Act—legislation to combat sexual assault on college and university campuses by protecting students, promoting equity, and strengthening accountability and transparency for institutions.
The bill was reintroduced by U.S. Senators Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Dean Heller of Nevada, Mark Warner of Virginia, Marco Rubio of Florida, Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, and Joni Ernst of Iowa.
The Senators’ legislation would reform the way colleges and universities address and report incidents of sexual assault that occur on their campuses, and safeguards both survivors and accused students. It incorporates feedback from key stakeholders to strengthen how student surveys are conducted, as well as strengthens newly required training standards. The bill sets new notification requirements for both survivors and accused students involved in the campus disciplinary process.
Key provisions of the legislation include:
• Establishes New Campus Resources and Support Services for Student Survivors: Colleges and universities will be required to designate Sexual Assault Response Coordinators to assist survivors of sexual harassment, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking. Sexual Assault Response Coordinators will coordinate support services and accommodations for survivors, provide information about options for reporting, and provide guidance or assistance—at the direction of the survivor—in reporting the crime to campus authorities and/or law enforcement. Schools will no longer be allowed to sanction students who report sexual violence but reveal a non-violent student conduct violation in good faith, like underage drinking.
• Requires Fairness in Campus Disciplinary Process: All schools will now be required to use one uniform process for campus student disciplinary proceedings and may no longer allow athletic departments or other subgroups to handle complaints. Schools must now provide written notification to the accused as well as the victim of any decision to move forward with a campus disciplinary proceeding within 24 hours of that decision. The notice must include details of the complaint, a summary of the disciplinary proceeding, and the rights and due process protections available to both parties.
• Ensures Minimum Training Standards for On-Campus Personnel: This legislation ensures that everyone from the Sexual Assault Response Coordinators to those responsible for investigating and participating in disciplinary proceedings will receive specialized training so that they have a firm understanding of the nature of these crimes and their effect on survivors.
• Creates New Transparency Requirements: For the first time, students at every college and university in America will be surveyed about their experience with sexual violence to get an accurate picture of this problem. This new biennial survey will be standardized and confidential, with the results published online so that parents and high school students can make an informed choice when comparing universities. The Department of Education will also be required to publish the names of all schools with pending investigations, final resolutions, and voluntary resolution agreements related to Title IX