With the new Campus SaVE Act now signed into law, educational institutions are now expected to meet even more details included in this expanded view of violence. The new reporting guidelines outline additional obligations and that require them to implement very specific policies, procedures, and training for staff, faculty, and students in regards to sexual and intimate partner violence. The new law, passed in March of 2013 is quite detailed and will require all higher educational institutions that receive financial aid programs under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 to comply with every aspect of it. This could be a challenge for some institutions as they not only need to understand the new language of the law but also how it has been expanded from previous laws to include gays, lesbians, transgender individuals, Native Americans and male victims of dating, sexual assault, and stalking.
Here are some of the most basic efforts that every institution should include to help them to prepare to comply with this new law.
One of the first things that every university should begin with is a campus wide public campaign that informs everyone involved about the new law. These announcements and programs should encourage a collaborative effort to let anyone who could possibly be affected by the new Campus SaVE Act to know of the requirements and what will be expected of them. This means informing students, faculty, campus security, human resources, residence staff, counselors, and health staff of the changes and what is to be expected.
Collect Data for Campus SaVE Act
Institutions must also begin collecting and compiling data about the new categories of crimes that fall under the law. These will include hate crimes based on gender identity or national origin. This is required information that must be included in their ASR reports due to be submitted in October of 2014.
Consult With Legal Counsel
The law is very detailed and may need clarification for some so it is advisable that every institution consult with their legal counsel and review each of the required policies, the proper procedures, and practices that may possibly be construed as sexual misconduct in order to determine what actions and adjustments may be needed for them to meet these additional expectations.
Implement Training Programs
In addition, they must revise existing programs or implement new educational training programs for all students, staff, and faculty so that the expanded understanding of the new law will be fully understood by everyone that may be impacted in some way by the new Campus SaVE Act.
A Good Faith Effort
While preliminary guidance regarding the new reporting regulations were issued in May of 2013, there are still more details expected in regards to the new requirements, all involved institutions are expected to make a “good faith effort” to begin compliance while they are waiting for more clarification on the new crime reporting rules.
Consult the U.S. Attorney General
It is strongly recommended by Congress that all institutions look to the U.S. Attorney General’s office and the Secretary of Health and Human Services for assistance in the best way for them to comply. They should be assured that they will receive the guidance they need on all types of prevention and educational programs and procedures that can be best applied to their situation.
[Photo credit: Mark Fischer flickr ]