WASHINGTON, July 29, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Fraternity & Sorority Political Action Committee (FSPAC) applauds today's introduction of The SAFE CAMPUS Act.
The SAFE CAMPUS Act, sponsored by Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ), Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX), and Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX), introduces meaningful and much needed reforms to the current system of investigating and adjudicating sexual assault allegations on our nation's college campuses.
"Fraternity and sorority members have been leaders in seeking solutions to the most important issues facing students. Campus safety and preserving a student's constitutional rights on campus are among our top priorities," said FSPAC's Executive Director Kevin O'Neill. "The SAFE CAMPUS Act includes numerous provisions that emphasize improvements in campus safety and engage law enforcement to bring more perpetrators of sexual violence to justice. It enhances the rights of all students in the campus adjudication system and reaffirms the importance of a student's right to be involved with a single-sex campus organization."
The SAFE CAMPUS Act provides rights and protections for everyone on campus. The bill reforms the campus adjudication process to provide all students with due process, increasing transparency and trust in the system. Under SAFE CAMPUS, students affected will have full knowledge of the status of their cases, the charges and evidence, and why decisions were made. The SAFE CAMPUS Act requires that students have access to counsel, are able to cross-examine witnesses, and know the evidence and testimony that is brought against them. It extends due process to student groups on campus so that entire organizations cannot be suspended without cause.
The SAFE CAMPUS Act gives law enforcement an exclusive period of primary jurisdiction to investigate crimes of sexual violence on campus before the school's disciplinary process begins. This will result in a greater likelihood that law enforcement can bring to justice those who commit crimes of physical violence against students and will ultimately help reduce the rate of sexual violence on campus.
The bill arms schools with powerful new interim measures to protect students and ensure those affected by sexual assault can stay in school. It provides students with more education to prevent sexual assault. It also offers safe harbors for students to report sexual assaults without fear of being punished for other violations of school policy.
SAFE CAMPUS also restates the historic exemption of single-sex organizations under Title IX. "Single-sex organizations are one of the great success stories of Title IX," said FSPAC's President Vickie Nixon, "Sororities are the largest women's leadership organizations on college campuses today because of Title IX, and we must resist efforts by those who seek to undermine the obvious value of single-sex organizations on campus."
"Over the past several years, it has become increasingly clear that there is an urgent need to improve the current process of handling sexual assaults on campuses," said FSPAC Executive Director Kevin O'Neill. "We strongly believe that the SAFE CAMPUS Act proposes sound and effective solutions to address the current system's flaws. It ensures that each student and student organization involved in a sexual assault case is treated fairly."
Formed in 2005, FSPAC is the largest PAC focused solely on higher education issues. For more information, please see www.fspac.org.
Contact: Louisa Tavlas
SOURCE Fraternity & Sorority Political Action Committee