Senate Bill 706 codifies and compliments federal requirements, and establishes new state-level policies for all higher education institutions in the commonwealth. It also includes provisions to change the culture of silence and fear that surrounds sexual violence, according to State Sen. Michael O. Moore.
"It is essential that students know what their options are and get the services they need," Moore, co-chair of the Joint Committee on Higher Education, told the MANS&C audience.
The measure requires colleges and universities to have a confidential resource advisor who could inform students about their rights and options. It also includes a wide range of requirements on campus safety and security policies, as well as information and training that must be provided to students and staff regarding sexual violence.
The bill received a favorable report from the Higher Education Committee, was redrafted as Senate Bill 2081 and is now with the Senate Committee on Ways and Means.