Campus sexual violence report requirement advanced

Public colleges and universities in Nebraska would be required to report information to the Legislature on campus sexual assault and dating violence under a bill advanced from general file Jan. 23.

<a href='' target='_blank' title='Link to the website of Sen. Machaela Cavanaugh'>Sen. Machaela Cavanaugh</a>
Sen. Machaela Cavanaugh

As introduced by Omaha Sen. Machaela Cavanaugh last session, LB534 would require each public postsecondary educational institution to administer a sexual assault campus climate survey to its students every two years. It would require those institutions to provide the results, as well as information regarding sexual assault complaints, to the Legislature.

The bill also would require each institution to develop and provide training for all individuals involved in implementing student grievance procedures relating to sexual assaults or sexual misconduct policy violations.

An Education Committee amendment would replace the bill. It would require each institution to submit a report every two years to the Clerk of the Legislature and the Education Committee regarding sexual violence, dating violence, domestic violence and stalking.

The report would include the results of any campus climate survey related to sexual violence, dating violence and stalking and related information about the training provided to Title IX coordinators and others.

The report would not include any personally identifiable information.

Cavanaugh filed an amendment to the committee amendment that would require additional information in the report.

Among other information, institutions also would be required to report any policies, initiatives or grievance procedures they adopt to address sexual violence, dating violence, domestic violence and stalking, as well as information on how and where students and employees may report those instances or receive emergency assistance.

Cavanaugh’s amendment also would require the Education Committee to hold a public hearing to review each report.

Cavanaugh said the amendment would address concerns that the University of Nebraska, state colleges and community colleges had with the original proposal while ensuring that the Legislature has current information.

“Campus sexual and dating violence is a crisis that we struggle to deal with,” she said, “and ensuring lawmakers have the most up-to-date and most accurate information possible can only help us make better decisions.”

After voting 40-0 to adopt Cavanaugh’s amendment, senators voted 37-0 to adopt the committee amendment. They then advanced LB534 to select file on a vote of 40-0.

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