The legislature finds that the issue of campus sexual violence is a serious issue for many students as well as poses a challenge to all of our institutions of higher education. Several high profile cases in recent years garnered national attention, with more than ninety colleges and universities nationwide currently under investigation by the United States department of education's office for civil rights for violation of Title IX relating to how they have handled sexual violence cases.
In 2014, the White House convened a task force designed to protect students from sexual assault. The task force has recommended that schools conduct campus climate assessments and provided a sample memorandum of understanding for institutions to enter into with local law enforcement.
At the same time, the federal government and several states have moved forward to address campus sexual violence policies regarding prevention, investigation, and disciplinary action. These actions include the statewide adoption of policies at the public four-year universities in New York and all schools receiving state financial aid in California. It also includes new requirements included in the federal violence against women act amendments to the Clery act, 20 U.S.C. Sec. 1092(f).
The legislature further finds the state's public two and four-year institutions of higher education are taking steps to improve their institutional policies around campus sexual violence, including being represented at a statewide conference held in October 2014.
In order to complement federal policy and ensure the safety of all our students, the legislature finds it necessary to establish minimum standards for all institutions pertaining to campus sexual violence policies and procedures and encourages institutions of higher education to share with all students and current employees, especially survivors of sexual violence, the protections, resources, and services available to them if they are a victim of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking. Institutions should endeavor to prevent retaliation and prevent the student from having to undergo unnecessary or duplicative retellings of the incident.