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Campus SaVE Act - Stemming the Tide of Sexual Misconduct on College Campuses

Education Alert | March 12, 2014
By: Nancy Conrad and Stephanie A. Kobal

On March 7, 2013, President Barack Obama signed a bill that reauthorized the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Included in this bill was the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act (Campus SaVE Act), which was passed based, in part, on the sobering Congressional findings regarding incidents of sexual violence on college campuses. The Campus SaVE Act took effect on March 7, 2014.

Sexual violence on college campuses is a challenge that many educational institutions continue to face. The Campus SaVE Act updates the Jeanne Clery Act by: (1) providing additional transparency, accountability, and prevention and awareness programs; (2) expanding the Clery Act’s coverage rights to include victims of domestic violence, dating violence and stalking; and, (3) including confidentiality for victims. Educational institutions must now:

  • Include statistics for incidents of domestic violence, dating violence and stalking in their Annual Security Reports.
  • Provide students or employees, who report victimization, with written notice of: (1) the importance of preserving evidence; (2) their right to be assisted in making a report to law enforcement officials; (3) possible sanctions that may be imposed; and, (4) counseling, health services, victim advocacy and other victim services.
  • Provide for disciplinary procedures that are prompt, fair and impartial. Both parties to such a procedure may have an advisor of their choice, and must receive a copy of the written decision at the same time.
  • Provide prevention, awareness and risk reduction educational programs.
  • Withhold a victim’s name when it makes a campus-wide report of crimes considered to be a threat to students and employees. Educational institutions must also develop a policy to protect a victim’s confidentiality in the disclosure of public records. 

The Campus SaVE Act further delineates the procedures by which educational institutions must respond to reports of sexual violence. Developing the policy approach that best addresses individual institutional needs and complies with recent legislation requires an intensive review. Educational institutions are encouraged to consult with an education attorney as part of this review.

Should you need guidance or more information regarding an educational institution’s obligations in responding to sexual violence, please contact Nancy Conrad (conradn@whiteandwilliams.com; 610.782.4909) or another member of our Education Law Group.

This correspondence should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended for general informational purposes only, and you are urged to consult a lawyer concerning your own situation and legal questions.
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