BILL WOULD REQUIRE UNIVERSITIES AND COLLEGES TO CONDUCT SEXUAL ASSAULT SURVEY

Legislative Bill 898, introduced by Sen. Sara Howard, would require public universities and colleges in the state to administer a sexual assault climate survey. Students might be asked about how well they think the school educates, prevents and investigates sexual assaults. The findings of the survey as well as information about the number of sexual assault complaints made to the school would be reported to the Legislature. The results would also be made available on a campus’ website. The report would not include students’ personal information but would include the types of sexual misconduct reported, the outcome of each investigation into sexual misconduct and the disciplinary actions taken by the institution. Tami Strickman, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Title IX coordinator, testified in opposition to the bill. She said the university supported the underlying concept of the bill and already did some surveys but was opposed to the bill because of constitutional questions it raised about the Legislature’s authority to direct the Board of Regents to adopt a policy. Strickman said the university is working with Howard on amendments to the bill that would alleviate some of its concerns. The committee took no action on the bill on Tuesday.