Lawmakers addressing sexual assault on college campuses - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Lawmakers addressing sexual assault on college campuses

Source: KFDA Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA Source: KFDA

Texas lawmakers have filed five pieces of legislation designed to improve how colleges in the state handle such cases.

  • House Bill 355: Prohibits sex offenders from living in campus housing at both public and private institutions.

  • Senate Bill 576: Requires a school's president to be notified within 48 hours after authorities are made aware of any sexual assault, harassment, family violence or stalking.

  • Senate Bill 968: Students and faculty would be able to report sexual assault cases electronically and anonymously.

  • Senate Bill 969: Students who come forward and report sexual assault would be granted amnesty from other disciplinary actions.

  • Senate Bill 970: Requires students to get "Affirmative consent," meaning no means no and the absence of a, 'Yes' still means 'No.'

Two of the bills were filed by Sen. Kirk Watson (D-Austin), a Baylor University alum who told the Texas Tribune he was "extraordinarily disappointed" in recent reports about the number of sexual assaults on campus.

A federal lawsuit filed in January against the school claimed that 31 players on the school's football team committed dozens of sexual assaults between 2011-2014.

SB 576 is designed to hold school administrators accountable when these cases come to light.

Senate Bills 969 and 969 are geared to remove barriers from notifying the authorities after an assault takes place. By granting students amnesty lawmakers hope underage students who may be drinking do not fear the consequences when reporting a more serious incident.

On April 4, West Texas A&M University in Canyon will be holding "Start by Believing", campaign aimed at addressing sexual assault issues.

Reports of sexual assault at WTAMU rose slightly over a three-year period, but the number of cases are still low compared to national averages.

For more information on crime and procedures at WT click here.

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