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Safety

Scott H. Christensen is a litigation partner and co-chair of the not-for-profit practice group at Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP.

The convergence of a few uncomfortable facts and recent developments serve as reminders to protect children and adolescents on campus or in school-sponsored programs.

Administrators, faculty and staff at the State University of New York College at Old Westbury are committed to the success of every one of their nearly 5,000 students. So when the sprawling Long Island school started looking for a new campus card system a few years ago, all roads led to TouchNet OneCard VIP.

Campus safety has become increasingly complex. Higher ed leaders face the threat of serious safety incidents on their campuses every day, while changing legislative mandates only add to the complexity. Ensuring that safety training and processes are up to date can be challenging. As a result, many institutions are adopting more efficient processes and individualized technology solutions that improve campus safety while saving time and money.

10/12/2017

Campus safety has become increasingly complex. Higher ed leaders face the threat of serious safety incidents on their campuses every day, while changing legislative mandates only add to the complexity. Ensuring that safety training and processes are up-to-date can be challenging. As a result, many institutions are adopting more efficient processes and individualized technology solutions that improve campus safety while saving time and money.

More than 40 years after it was established, Title IX continues to pose compliance challenges for higher education institutions struggling with sexual assault investigations. Some say the federal government doesn’t provide enough guidance.

Source: Association of American Universities Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault, Spring 2015; 150,072 students at 27 institutions participated

With sexual assault, awareness efforts may well lead to higher incident reporting—and even assumptions that initiatives aren’t working. But there are still ways to measure program effectiveness.

It starts with identifying prevention goals, says Jane Stapleton, executive director of practice for the Prevention Innovations Research Center at the University of New Hampshire.

Body check: Initiatives at Connecticut College include an annual Green Dot hockey game, now in its fifth year. Facts and materials about sexual assault and bystander intervention get posted around the rink, and the team wears special jerseys. It has been the team’s most attended game of the season.

With headline after tragic headline, and demands from angry constituents and stakeholders to do more, colleges and universities are facing the harsh reality that just complying with the minimum requirements of the Campus SaVE (Sexual Violence Elimination) Act isn’t enough to prevent sexual assault.

Pending decisions in Georgia and Tennessee decisions, eight states currently allow concealed carry on college campuses. Twenty-three states leave the decision to each individual college or university, while 16 states and the District of Columbia prohibit concealed handguns on campus.

An Association of American Universities study found that 12 percent of students across 27 universities had experienced sexual assault by force or incapacitation since enrollment, and that 17 percent of seniors had experienced this type of sexual assault while at college. Doctoral candidate and researcher Sara Carrigan Wooten says the report comes as no surprise.

Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri says the Clery Act, signed into law in 1990, has outlived its usefulness.

Speaking in June to a national conference hosted by Campus Safety magazine, McCaskill said the current law “doesn’t accomplish squat.” If McCaskill gets her wish, Clery would be replaced with a law that requires more effective reporting. “To be honest with you, I am OK removing the Clery Act completely,” she said.

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