Sen. Barbara BoxerBarbara BoxerSenator blasts GOP push for California drought language in water bill Trucking riders ‘in the mix’ for short-term spending bill Lawmakers praise defense bill's National Guard bonus fix MORE (D-Calif.) called on universities to voluntarily implement reforms to protect students from sexual assaults on campus.

“As our students return to campus, they are counting on their universities to not only educate them, but also to protect them,” Boxer wrote in a letter to leaders of the California college system on Tuesday. “Campus sexual assault has reached epidemic levels in our country, and I am writing to ask you to create an independent victim's advocate on your campuses.”

Boxer is sponsoring the Survivor Outreach and Support Campus Act (SOS Campus Act), which would require all colleges that receive federal funding to have an independent advocate for campus sexual assault prevention and response. But she said colleges shouldn’t wait for Congress to act before implementing these reforms.

“I am working hard to pass the SOS Campus Act in Congress, but our students cannot afford to wait another minute for that to happen,” Boxer wrote.