February 03, 2016

Senator Gillibrand Announces Daemen College as First Private University to Endorse Campus Accountability and Safety Act

Gillibrand’s bipartisan legislation to combat sexual assault on college campuses has also been endorsed by the SUNY system, Southern Oregon University

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced that Daemen College has endorsed her bipartisan Campus Accountability & Safety Act, becoming the first private school to add their name in support of the bill. The Campus Accountability & Safety Act combats sexual assault on college campuses by transforming the way that colleges and universities deal with these crimes. The legislation flips the current incentives so that it is in the schools’ best interest to report cases of sexual assault. It would professionalize the response to and reporting of sexual assaults that occur on campuses to better protect and empower survivors of campus sexual violence, while also protecting the rights of accused students.

“Sexual assault is a pervasive problem on college campuses across the country, and there is growing momentum to pass the Campus Accountability & Safety Act to help make our campuses safer and more transparent,” said U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. “I am pleased that Daemen College has endorsed this important legislation and I urge other schools in New York and across the country to do the same, so we can protect our students and ensure that sexual assault cases are no longer swept under the rug.”

“Student health and safety has always been a high priority of Daemen College, and we wholeheartedly endorse Senator Gillibrand's bill,” said Daemen College President, Dr. Gary A. Olson. “We hope other colleges and universities will join us in supporting this important legislation.”

Current federal law creates incentives for colleges and universities to under-report sexual assaults. The Campus Accountability & Safety Act would flip the incentives to protect students and professionalize the response to and reporting of sexual assault. The legislation incorporates input from survivors, students, colleges, universities, law enforcement, and advocates to do the following:

Establish new campus resources and support services for student survivors,

Ensure that college and university staff meet minimum training standards to address sexual assault cases,

Create historic transparency requirements to provide students, parents, and officials with an accurate picture of the problem and how campuses are addressing it,

Require a uniform student disciplinary process across campuses, and coordination with law enforcement, and

Incentivize colleges and universities to address the problem by establishing enforceable Title IX penalties and stiffer penalties for Clery Act violations.

The Campus Accountability & Safety Act is cosponsored by a bipartisan coalition of 34 Senators. 

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