Proposed federal bill to assist in campus sexual assaults

Sep 16, 2015

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is proposing a federal bill to lend more assistance to campus sexual assaults.  WBFO's Focus on Education Reporter Eileen Buckley asked her about how it would assist college students.

Buffalo State students moving into campus dorms in August.
Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

"I think it is a problem that every school across New York and across the country is facing," said Senator Gillibrand.

Senator Gillibrand said the bill she is promoting would change dynamics. It would provide more training for those campus administrators involved in adjudication. 

"Requiring a relationship with law enforcement, so the case needs to go to law enforcement -- that's that already decided how that happens," said Gillibrand. 

The Senator said transparency is needed when it comes to sexual assaults on college campuses.  Her bill also calls for an on-line survey students would complete every two years allowing them to discuss campus safety.

"To say whether they feel safe on campus. Whether they've ever been assaulted, what happened if they reported what happened and if they didn't, why didn't they? That level of information/transparency for parents and students will make a huge difference in choosing what school you want to send your children to," stated Gillibrand.

Buffalo State President Katherine Conway Turner discussed campus sexual assault information in August with WBFO.
Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

"This is something that we've struggled with forever. Whenever you put together a lot of young people who are at the age of becoming sexual active and thinking about sexual behavior," said  SUNY Buffalo State President Katherine Conway Turner. 

WBFO News spoke with her during student move-in day for freshman at the start of the semester. Unfortunately there was an attempted sexual assault in a dorm room just after the start of the school year.  A student charged. 

But Conway Turner said the school provides important safety information including 'I love consent', launched last year, dealing with sexual behavior on a college campus.

"We have sort of really enriched our discussions and the opportunities for students to really think about it from the very beginning when they get here and then continue to have those discussions while they are here," stated Conway Turner.    

Outside Porter Hall dorms at Buffalo State.
Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Senator Gillibrand   noted more be provided to ensure victims are given the right options on the very first day they report an alleged attack.