Representatives from Dartmouth College, UNH, and advocacy groups joined Democratic Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster for a roundtable discussion about campus sexual assault today. The event at UNH Law in Concord focused on new legislation introduced in the US Senate.
The Campus Accountability and Safety Act would, among other things, fine schools up to one percent of their operating budgets if they fail to investigate an alleged assault. According to the Centers for Disease Control, one-in-five undergrad women have been sexually assaulted. Representative Kuster says that’s also an economic issue, since the trauma can affect women’s careers and earning potential.
“And I think that they deserve a voice and an advocate that will change that environment so that they can have healthy college experiences and effective and successful careers,” she says.
Some attendees pointed out two major omissions from the bill. It doesn’t give schools additional funding for staff to conduct investigations, nor addresses prevention.
Kuster is a House co-sponsor of the bill.
New Hampshire Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte is also a co-sponsor, and helped introduce the legislation in the Senate.