The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) amendments and accompanying regulations clarify the duties of universities to investigate and respond to reports of sexual assault, stalking and dating and domestic violence, and to publish policies and procedures related to the handling of these cases. Under VAWA, colleges and universities also must provide training to campus communities on issues related to sexual misconduct. Compliance with VAWA is required of universities, like Syracuse University, that participate in the federal student aid program, and is administered by the U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid Office. New VAWA regulations were published in Oct. 2014 and became effective July 1, 2015.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX) is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in federally funded educational programs and activities. Under Title IX, universities are required to respond to reports of sexual assault and sexual harassment. The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, which enforces Title IX, has recently provided detailed guidance on how educational institutions, like Syracuse University, must investigate and respond to complaints of sexual assault and sexual harassment.
The Jeanne Clery Disclosure Act requires colleges and universities to publish an Annual Security Report by Oct. 1 each year. This report must document the past three calendar years’ worth of select campus crime information, including statistics and detailing the school’s security policies and procedures. For more information and to view the Annual Security Report and other compliance materials for the Clery Act, visit the Department of Public Safety website.
In 2015, the New York State Legislature passed NYS Education Law Article 129-B, more commonly known as Enough Is Enough. The law requires that all colleges and universities in the state of New York establish prevention programs, policies and response procedures for incidents involving sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence and stalking. All colleges and universities are required to submit, on an annual basis, aggregate data on reported incidents of sexual violence and their investigation and adjudication. Institutions submit reports to New York State Department of Education aggregate data for a calendar year, Jan. 1 – Dec. 31. The data includes incidents that are reported to the Title IX Coordinators of the various institutions.