Officials at Oklahoma’s two largest universities declined to comment this week on a federal bill aimed at curbing sexual assaults on college campuses.
Eight U.S. senators introduced legislation Wednesday that would require colleges to assign confidential advisers for victims of assault and make public the results of anonymous surveys about their experiences.
“The price of a college education should not be that one in five women will be sexually assaulted,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., said at a news conference announcing the Campus Safety and Accountability Act. Gillibrand said it is “a bipartisan bill that finally forces colleges and universities across the country to face this problem head on, aggressively, with the goal of making our schools safer.”
Other senators supporting the bill are Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.; Dean Heller, R-Nev.; Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.; Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa; Mark Warner, D-Va.; Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H.; and Marco Rubio, R-Fla.
Both the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University issued statements indicating administrators were reviewing the legislation and were not prepared to discuss it at this time.
“Based on our initial review of the proposed legislation, OSU already complies with many of the suggested steps. For instance, we have appointed an expert to the new position of victim’s advocate, OSU is already planning a campus climate survey for students in spring 2015, and OSU already has a single uniform process for campus disciplinary proceedings.
“We also have strengthened efforts to ensure students are completing federally mandated training on sexual violence prevention. OSU is committed to a safe environment for students and others on our campuses,” OSU said.
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