Sexual Violence Bill Could Impact MA Colleges And Universities
One of the bills MANSC is tracking on Beacon Hill, is House Bill 4418, which relates to sexual violence on higher education campuses. This bill would have significant financial and operational implications for some of our members.
Advocates filed the bill in response to new federal regulations for Title IX of the Education Amendments, which they say have hampered the rights of sexual violence survivors. If the bill passes, nonprofit colleges and universities in Massachusetts would be burdened with a lengthy set of new policies and procedures.
The bill expands the investigative and disciplinary processes for higher educational institutions. These include access to information about incident reporting, options for investigation and resolution of sexual misconduct claims, emergency services, and how to notify the institution if a protective order has been issued.
H.4418 mandates training on sexual misconduct awareness, safety measures, and the role of alcohol and drugs, as well as where and how to report, and the institution’s procedures and sanctions for new students and employees. Colleges and universities also must offer training to new employees and students within a certain time frame.
In addition, schools and colleges would be required to publish certain information on their website, including an Annual Security Report, contact information for their Title IX Coordinator and confidential resource advisor, and information about students’ options throughout the reporting and investigative stages.
MANSC will continue to track this and other bills of concern, inform legislators about their negative consequences for our members, and keep our members informed.