Tuesday, January 20, 2015

White House Reports on Sexual Assault on College Campuses

President Obama’s White House is leading the charge on demanding that colleges and universities do more to prevent and respond to sexual assault on their campuses.

In 2014, the White House issued two reports, which, along with the OCR Guidance Documents, should be considered required reading for understanding the current legal climate for colleges and universities and sexual assaults on college campuses:
The April Report was the product of a Presidential Memorandum establishing a White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault, signed January 22, 2014. The Presidential Memorandum is also worth reading.

President Barack Obama signs the Campus Sexual Assault Presidential Memorandum
President Barack Obama signs the Campus Sexual Assault Presidential Memorandum during a White House Council on Women and Girls meeting in the East Room of the White House, Jan. 22, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

Among other interesting bits, the Presidential Memorandum summarizes the legal responsibilities of colleges and universities:
Among other requirements, institutions of higher education participating in Federal student financial assistance programs (institutions), including colleges, universities, community colleges, graduate and professional schools, for-profit schools, trade schools, and career and technical schools, must provide students with information on programs aimed at preventing rape and sexual assault, and on procedures for students to reporting rape and sexual assault.  Institutions must also adopt and publish grievance procedures that provide for the prompt and equitable resolution of rape and sexual assault complaints, and investigate reports of rape and sexual assault and take swift action to prevent their recurrence.  Survivors of rape and sexual assault must also be provided with information on how to access the support and services they need.  Reports show, however, that institutions' compliance with these Federal laws is uneven and, in too many cases, inadequate.
It's good to know what the White House is thinking.

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