Statement by CICU President Laura L. Anglin on Signing of State Legislation Addressing Campus Sexual Assault (S.5965/A.8244)

News Date: 6/30/2015

Albany, NY – The State of New York has shown, collectively, how college student safety is a priority for the state’s higher education, not-for-profit and government leaders. Through a collaborative effort to produce the new legislation, insights and perspectives from experts were reflected in today’s signing of state legislation S.5965/A.8244.

“When graduating high school seniors and returning students pack their bags for campus later this summer, they and their parents should be confident that colleges and universities across New York State are redoubling efforts to provide safe and healthy learning environments,” said Laura L. Anglin, president of the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities.

Anglin continued, “A collective effort spanning many months produced this new legislation. Countless experts from private, not-for-profit colleges and universities joined with advocates for those who have filed complaints or been accused. Together, we consulted with the governor and the legislature with a singular goal: drafting legislation that would be balanced, appropriate and helpful for students and colleges and universities. I am pleased to have been a part of a process to put students first and reflect the best practices of our campuses.”

Background, New York’s Legislation Regarding Campus Sexual Assault

Colleges and universities across New York State and the nation are subject to, work to comply with and go beyond just meeting the myriad federal laws and regulations, including Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, the Violence Against Women Act Final Regulations and balance all of these requirements with meeting the needs of their students. For links to statutes and more, see: http://www.higheredcompliance.org/resources/index.html.

Legislation (S.5965/A.8244), which passed by the State Senate and State Assembly on June 17, 2015, creates a new Article 129-B in the Education Law. Most of its provisions become effective 90 days after enactment. It represents a careful and thoughtful approach to this important topic and reflects many months of negotiations between experts from private, not-for-profit and public colleges and universities and the Executive Chamber, Senate and Assembly, taking into account the views and feedback of the greater higher education community and other interested stakeholders.

Compared to the legislation originally introduced, the final bill incorporates a number of important changes:

  • The bill has key definitions, which provide clarity for all colleges and universities and their students, including an explanation of affirmative consent that is simple and ease to understand.
  • The new Students’ Bill of Rights reiterates that the decision to report sexual assault remains solely with the student. This language is in compliance with federal law. The bill of rights also outlines how students can access services and resources.
  • This legislation delineates a student conduct process that balances the needs of those coming forward to report an incident with the rights of those who stand accused. This new bill ensures that every college and university can have a process that respects the needs and rights of both sides and that is “fair, impartial, and provides a meaningful opportunity to be heard.”
  • The bill’s section on student onboarding and ongoing education outlines how students will be taught about risk assessment and reduction while providing flexibility so institutions can educate students using a method and manner appropriate to their institutional culture.


About the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU)
Founded in 1956, the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU) represents the chief executives of New York's 100+ independent (private, not-for-profit) colleges and universities on issues of public policy. CICU member institutions collectively enroll more than 490,000 students, approximately 40 percent of all college students in New York State, and compose the largest private sector of higher education in the world and confer most of the bachelor’s degrees (51%), master’s degrees (71%), and doctoral and first-professional degrees (80%) earned in New York State.

Contacts: Jamie Tario, Director of Communications (jamie@cicu.org; cell: 518-522-6563; office: 518-436-4781) or Terri Standish-Kuon, Vice President, Public Affairs (terri@cicu.org; cell: 518-527-8946; office: 518-436-4781)