Legislature urged to address sex discrimination and harassment at colleges

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Dealing with and forestalling sex bias and sexual harassment on college grounds stays one of the most vital challenges in improving campus ambiance at higher education institutions in the United States.

In autumn of 2021, as the Biden-Harris administration launched its reassessment of Title IX, the federal guideline that bars sex-based discrimination in education, the Assembly Higher Education Committee also began reviewing California’s strategies to handle and prevent sex discrimination and sexual harassment in higher education.

Three years down the line, the Higher Education Committee unveiled a comprehensive report exceeding 30 pages, disclosing that current support for our public higher education institutions to foster an inclusive and secure campus environment for students, faculty, and staff is insufficient.

While each public higher education institution maintains a nondiscrimination policy, it is evident that our campus communities lack confidence in these institutions’ ability to prevent or effectively address sex discrimination and sexual harassment on campus. As per interviews conducted by the committee and various student and faculty surveys, the prevailing narrative suggests the existing policies prioritize shielding higher education institutions rather than supporting survivors of sexual discrimination and harassment.

Ensuring a safe and inclusive environment for our students is a responsibility of campus leadership, yet the Legislature is also tasked with backing our institutions in this endeavor and ensuring their accountability in case of shortcomings.

My proposals, Assembly Bill (AB) 2047 and AB 2048, represent a crucial stride that the Legislature must take to bolster California’s higher education institutions and their campus communities.

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