The U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) Full Committee is hearing the Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA) and focusing on Addressing Campus Sexual Assault and Ensuring Student Safety and Rights. Wyoming's Sen. Enzi is on this committee. Background: HEA sets out the requirements that students, institutions, and others must meet in order to participate in federal student aid and related higher education programs. The HEA is updated periodically through a process known as reauthorization (which we're familiar with thru VAWA) which last occurred in 2008. Other federal laws provide institutions guidance on how to address sexual assault such as Title IX of the Civil Rights Act and The Clery Act. It appears that some see HEA as a vehicle to also address these crimes. Sen. Murphy (D-WA), Ranking Member of the HELP Committee, in a press release said, "One of my top priorities in this HEA reauthorization is to address the epidemic of sexual assault on college campuses across the country. One in five women and nearly one in 18 men experience sexual violence in college ... And I've heard from survivors who felt their school didn't do enough-or act quickly ... Who were re-traumatized every time they saw their attacker ... Who were forced to go to class with their attacker ... And even those who ultimately dropped out of school as a result."
Witnesses on April 2nd:
Patricia Hamill, Partner, Conrad O'Brien Philadelphia, PA
Fatima Goss Graves, President & CEO, National Women's Law Center, Washington, DC
Jeannie Suk Gersen, John H. Watson, Jr. Professor Of Law, Harvard Law School Cambridge, MA
Anne Meehan, Director, Government & Public Affairs, American Council on Education Washington, DC
Dr. Jeff Howard, Associate Vice President For Student Life & Enrollment, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN
If you have questions or want to report the outcome of any contact with Sen. Enzi on this issue, please contact Tara. Thank you for your advocacy. Survivors everywhere are safer because of your commitment and action.