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Clery Act should partner with local law enforcement


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Illustration by Liz Coffee

Illustration by Liz Coffee

The Obama Administration just released a proposal to expand the Clery Act, which dictates how universities deal with student and faculty reports of sexual assault and violence.

Gender identity and national origin are now considered a possible basis for hate crimes. Universities have to record reports of stalking, regardless of where the stalking started. Both accusers and the accused are allowed to be accompanied during disciplinary hearings.

All of these changes are great. It’s nice to see The Obama Administration taking college student’s safety seriously and refurbishing old laws for this century.

Unfortunately, the administration’s nuanced attack on sexual assault and violence has one fatal flaw: most assaults happen off-campus, in people’s homes.

If the Obama Administration truly wishes to crack down on sexual assault amongst college students, it should expand the Clery Act’s jurisdiction to beyond the college campus.

It should hold local law enforcement to the same, rigorous standards that it holds universities.

The 2014 Clery Report spells it out, plain and simple: most sexual assault victims know their attackers.

These attackers, more often than not, aren’t trench-coated strangers lurking in the shadows. They’re friends, co-workers, classmates, roommates.

Just because an assault happens beyond campus borders, doesn’t mean it deserves less scrutiny.

If the Obama Administration were to hold local law enforcement to the same standards as it holds universities, then cops and campuses could fight sexual assault as one entity.

Chico Police Department should be required to keep track of student assault reports and submit those numbers to the Clery Report.

It should document any and all disciplinary action taken against those accused of assault.

It should be document partnership with the university in prevention and awareness programs.

Every standard that the Clery Act holds the university to, it should hold the cops to as well.

The purpose behind creating the Clery Act was to ensure student safety. It was designed to spread awareness, promote prevention and ensure justice for all students who are effected by assault.

Why should those principles suddenly dissipate once a student crosses the street from campus to downtown?

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Clery Act should partner with local law enforcement