WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Susan Collins chaired a hearing of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions this morning in order to examine the legislative effort to decrease instances of sexual assault on college campuses and to provide justice for survivors and perpetrators.
In her opening remarks, Senator Collins referenced a recent discussion with summer interns from her Washington D.C. office regarding the incidence of sexual assault on their college campuses. The interns, who are all from Maine and who attend six different colleges and universities, provided Senator Collins with “insightful recommendations” on what can “be done to halt this crime and meet the needs of survivors.” Senator Collins highlighted three key takeaways in her remarks:
1. Mandatory, on-going training for all students.
2. Students who are assaulted need a confidential advisor to whom they can turn.
3. Disciplinary procedures must be fair, both for those who are assaulted and those who are accused.
At present, there are two federal laws to help combat sexual assault on campuses: the Clery Act and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Last Congress, Senator Collins was a lead cosponsor of the Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization, which amended provisions of the Cleary Act and was enacted last year.
Before serving in the Senate, Senator Collins worked at Husson University in Bangor, Maine.