Senate committee advanced bills addressing sexual assaults in public colleges and universities

The Senate Education Committee advanced bills Thursday, May 23, 2019, related to suicide prevention, students linked to violent threats and collegiate sexual assault surveys. (Photo credit: Sheridan Wall, LSU Manship School News Service)

By: Sheridan Wall & Lauren Heffker, LSU Manship School News Service

Published: May 23, 2019

The Louisiana Senate Education Committee advanced bills Thursday that would address concerns about sexual assaults in public colleges and universities, add new measures to school suicide prevention programs, and report students linked to violent threats.

House Bill 294 sponsored by Rep. Barbara Carpenter, D-Baton Rouge, would improve current standards for administering anonymous sexual assault surveys at Louisiana’s public colleges and universities. Under Carpenter’s proposal, postsecondary institutions would issue the survey every three years in order to garner more respondents.

This would give administrators more time to prepare the survey, reach out to students for responses and analyze the results.

“When the state responses are in the single digits, that’s not telling us a lot about our communities,” said Jennie Stewart, who is the Title IX campus coordinator at Louisiana State University. “It’s not really statistically reliable and valid.”

“We want it to be a meaningful exercise in making our community a better place,” Stewart said, recognizing the need to improve the current survey.

Read more in The Advocate.

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