The Campus Accountability and Safety Act (CASA) Continues The Legislative Focus On Sexual Assault

CASA is a bipartisan Senate bill cosponsored by Senators McCaskill (D-Mo.), Heller (R-Nev.), Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Grassley (R-Iowa), Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Ayotte (R-N.H.), Warner (D-Va.), and Rubio (R-Fla.), that seeks to address the problem of sexual assault through amendments to the Higher Education Act, the Clery Act and Title IX. As written, CASA would place significant new requirements on institutions including, but not limited to, conducting an annual on-line survey of students concerning sexual assault and harassment; designating a confidential adviser to support victims; not sanctioning students who report sexual assault for violations of conduct rules (e.g., underage drinking, etc.) revealed in connection with the report; establishing a uniform institution-wide disciplinary process applicable to all allegations of sexual assault. CASA would also impose penalties of up to 1% of an institution’s operating budget for violations.

Client Tip: Institutions are strongly advised to take action now to ensure full compliance with Title IX and the Clery Act, as amended and to engage in an ongoing evaluation and review of policies and practices addressing sexual misconduct and harassment, including training programs, reporting and notification procedures, disciplinary processes and victim support services, are fully implemented and effective.

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