The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Wednesday February 8th

Federal officials visiting NC Central, other campuses to address sexual assault

U.S. Associate Attorney General Tony West will visit N.C. Central University today, kicking off a week-long university tour by officials from the Departments of Education and Justice.

West will meet with NCCU students who work in peer-education programs through the Women’s Center, the director of the center and members of a campus program that serves survivors of sexual assault and dating violence, said NCCU spokeswoman Ayana Hernandez.

The visits are meant to emphasize the role federal, state and local government can play in conjunction with universities. Officials will also talk about best practices in areas like prevention, public awareness and peer support.

President Barack Obama announced in January a task force to examine the issue of sexual assault on college campuses.

On Wednesday, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y. and a bipartisan group of senators released three proposals they want the task force to consider. The task force is expected to release recommendations this week.

The senators want to streamline the U.S. Department of Education so that both Clery Act and Title IX violations that involve criminal acts will be coordinated by one official in the department.

The senators also recommend that all schools be required to administer a standardized, anonymous survey on sexual assaults that happen on campus. The survey would be published online every year, and it’s meant to add transparency so schools will be proactive in addressing sexual assaults on campus.

The final recommendation is to create a searchable database on all Title IX and Clery Act complaints, compliance reviews and investigations, pending and resolved.

“Ensuring that students’ complaints get processed and providing better access to information about the extent of the problem on campuses is an important step towards fostering a more respectful environment,” said Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., who was part of the bi-partisan group, in a statement.

state@dailytarheel.com



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