anti-rape protest at Columbia

New York officials reach agreement on model campus sexual assault bill

New York officials announced on Tuesday that they reached an agreement on a comprehensive bill that will no doubt serve as a model for other state legislatures in the future. 

Governor Cuomo’s “Enough Is Enough” measure will institute a statewide amnesty policy to ensure that students reporting sexual violence are granted immunity for drug and alcohol violations; require that schools disclose aggregate data on sexual misconduct disciplinary outcomes; and make affirmative consent the standard at all New York colleges and universities.

Student organizers have been pivotal in shaping the legislation — and in fighting off additions that would have strengthened carceral responses to campus violence. Sejal Singh, a student organizer with Carry That Weight, said:

The bill is the most progressive legislative solution to campus sexual violence in the nation — and the reason it’s so strong is that it directly reflects the concerns of survivors and activists fighting for change on their campuses. Contrast that with bills in statehouses across the country which would give students easy, unregulated access to guns or which would require colleges to turn all cases over to local beat cops, who’ve repeatedly proven they aren’t trained or sensitive enough to adequately respond to sexual violence.

Singh cites the bill’s amnesty policy as an example of how centering student survivor voices and experiences improved the bill — and campus safety.

“This is the most progressive legislation solution in the country,” she says, “and we’re not done yet.”

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New Haven, CT

Dana Bolger is a senior editor at Feministing.com and the co-founder (and former ED) of Know Your IX, a national youth-led organization working to end gender violence in schools. She's testified before Congress on Title IX policy and legislative reform, and her writing has appeared in a number of outlets, including The New York Times, USA Today, and The Nation. She's a student at Yale Law School.

Dana Bolger is the co-founder of Know Your IX and a senior editor at Feministing.

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