WINCHESTER, Va. - A bipartisan coalition of senators has reintroduced legislation to combat sexual assault on college and university campuses.
The Campus Accountability and Safety Act was originally introduced in 2014.
"It's the latest in a series in forms of guidance, legislative guidance [and] federal guidance, in helping universities respond appropriately to sexual assault on their campuses," said Rhonda VanDyke, Vice President, Student Life, Shenandoah University.
If the legislation is approved, Shenandoah University won't have to make many changes to its current policy, but the new legislation does require universities and colleges to do several things in regards to reporting sexual assault, such as:
- Establishing new campus resources and support services for student survivors
- Requiring fairness in the campus disciplinary process
- Creating new transparency requirements
- Ensuring campus accountability and coordination with law enforcement
The university has a [Not Just] Women's Center on campus as a safe place that allows students have discussions and decide if they want to move forward with reporting an incident.
Officials said the most recent data from the 2015 to 2016 shows Shenandoah University received four reports of sexual assaults and five reports of sexual harassment.
"We want any sex that happens with Shenandoah students to be wanted sex, and, here, consent is not optional. Consent is required, and consent is sexy," said VanDyke.