Yardley helps craft Campus SaVE rules

Apr 24th, 2014 | By | Category: 2014, April 24, Campus News, Issue

UNL Police Chief Owen Yardley is helping a federal committee to craft regulations for the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination (Campus SaVE) Act.

The legislation reauthorizes the Violence Against Women Act and amends the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act to further address the violence women face on college campuses. Campus SaVE is designed to give additional rights to campus victims of sexual violence, dating violence, domestic violence and stalking.

“This new legislation changes our annual reporting of campus crimes with added focus on those four key areas,” Yardley said. “It also adds a requirement that campus education opportunities be offered on these topics.”

President Obama signed the Campus SaVE Act in 2013, and the law went into effect last month. Federal committees are developing regulations related to the act.

The committees are tasked with issuing a report of suggested Campus SaVE Act rules to Congress.

Yardley and Paul Denton, Ohio State University’s police chief, are representing the Big Ten Conference on the committees.

Denton is on the Violence Against Women Act negotiated rulemaking committee, which submits the report to Congress. Yardley is on the VAWA negotiated rule making subcommittee, which provides research and guidance for the rules being proposed by the primary committee.

Yardley said the final set of rules is not expected to be approved and in place until 2015.

“In the meantime, universities are expected to make a good-faith effort to follow the provisions of the SaVE Act,” Yardley said.

Like the Clery Act, the SaVE Act is tied to an institution’s participation in federal aid programs.

“The consequences of not following the act is having financial aid cut to the institution,” said Linda Crump, assistant to the chancellor for equity, access and diversity programs. “Until the final rules are in place, we are on a learning curve when it comes to the provisions of this act.”

The increase in campus education programs regarding domestic and dating violence, sexual assault and stalking is a major change in the act. While the specific provisions are being outlined, Campus SaVE directs colleges and universities to provide related programming to all students and employees.

Those education programs are to include prevention and awareness sessions for all incoming students and new employees. Institutions also must offer safe and positive options for bystander intervention; information on risk reduction to recognize warning signs of abusive behavior; and ongoing prevention and awareness programs to students and faculty.

“Education is one whole big piece of this act,” Crump said. “As we learn more, we’ll be looking at different options in how we educate campus about this important issue.”

Yardley and Crump said UNL already offers training sessions similar to those proposed in the SaVE Act.

“But, in the future, we will have to conduct a review of those programs, compare them to the provisions in the act and reshape them,” Yardley said.

Along with specifically identifying incidents of domestic and dating violence, sexual assault and stalking in annual reports, the act requires that individuals reporting violent acts be provided with their rights to:

— Be assisted by campus authorities if reporting a crime;

— Change academic, living, transportation or working situations to avoid a hostile environment;

— Obtain or enforce a no-contact directive or restraining order;

— Have a clear description of their institution’s disciplinary process and the range of possible sanctions; and

— Receive contact information about counseling, health, mental health, victim advocacy, legal assistance and other services available on campus and in the community.

The act also clarifies the minimum standards for institutional disciplinary procedures covering the four key acts. Those provisions require that any proceedings be prompt, fair and impartial; are conducted by officials receiving annual training on domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking; that parties involved have others present, including an adviser of choice; and that all parties receive written outcomes of all disciplinary proceedings at the same time.

Yardley and Crump said UNL would issue updates on how the university is moving to meet the new provisions.

For more information, go to http://campussaveact.org.

— Troy Fedderson | University Communications

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