Albany, NY - May 20, 2014 - Today, Senator Ken LaValle held a Senate roundtable discussion concerning the growing incidence of Rape and Sexual Assault on college campuses, and potential solutions to stop these crimes.
Senator LaValle, Chairman of the Senate Higher Education Committee, convened Legislators, college and university officials and security personnel to discuss the issue and begin to develop solutions. “The increase in rapes and sexual assault on college campuses is a widespread concern across the United States. These types of crimes leave scars that never go away. Everyone must clearly understand that “No” means no. My focus is to take immediate steps towards educating the student population and developing remedies for New York State campuses.”
Discussion topics ranged from the role and use of drugs and alcohol in the attacks; reporting/under-reporting issues; how stigmas play a role; measures of support available to the victims immediately; in addition to the role of police/peace officers on campuses.
The Senators listened to the panel and inquired about existing support systems and police procedures. The hearing ended with general agreement that actions should be taken to break the current trends as soon as possible.
In 1990, Senator LaValle authored a NY State Law to require colleges and universities to provide incoming students with information concerning laws, penalties, and the procedures in effect for dealing with sex offenses on campuses. The LaValle Law also required colleges and universities to establish qualified advisory committees to review policies and procedures for: educating the campus community about sexual assault, personal safety and crime, counseling victims of the crimes, reporting complaints to appropriate authorities, and responding to inquiries from concerned persons. The committee must also report annually, in writing, to the college President or chief administrative officer. This law has been in effect since 1991.
Senator LaValle intends to revisit the law to see where it needs to be strengthened and to develop legislation based upon input from today’s roundtable.