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Daemen College first to back Gillibrand legislation targeting campus sex assaults

WASHINGTON – Daemen College of Amherst on Wednesday became the first private school in America to endorse Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand’s legislation aimed at combatting sexual assault on college campuses.

“Student health and safety has always been a high priority of Daemen College, and we wholeheartedly endorse Senator Gillibrand’s bill,” said Daemen College President, Dr. Gary A. Olson. “We hope other colleges and universities will join us in supporting this important legislation.”

Gillibrand’s Campus Accountability & Safety Act would ensure that college staffs receive training in how to address sexual assault cases. In addition, it would create a uniform transparency standard for such cases and require a uniform disciplinary process and coordination with law enforcement.

Under Gillibrand’s bill, colleges and universities could face penalties for not following the law regarding sexual assault cases. Schools would also have to increase resources and support for victims of sexual assault.

“Sexual assault is a pervasive problem on college campuses across the country, and there is growing momentum to pass the Campus Accountability & Safety Act to help make our campuses safer and more transparent,” said Gillibrand, D-N.Y. “I am pleased that Daemen College has endorsed this important legislation and I urge other schools in New York and across the country to do the same, so we can protect our students and ensure that sexual assault cases are no longer swept under the rug.”

Designed after input from sexual assault victims, student leaders, schools and law enforcement, Gillibrand’s bill aims to pressure colleges to report sexual assaults while also protecting the rights of accused students.

Gillibrand introduced the bill last July along with Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo. The bill has 34 cosponsors, including Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., and 12 Republicans.

email: jzremski@buffnews.com