Boxer presses Obama administration to issue college rape regulations

 

The Obama administration should move swiftly to finalize and issue regulations meant to combat sexual assault on university campuses, says Sen. Barbara Boxer.

In a letter to Education Secretary Arne Duncan, the California Democrat urged the administration to move forward with guidance for how schools should respond to statistics indicating as many as one in five women are assaulted while in college.

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The figures come from a White House task force investigation into campus rapes and assaults, and triggered the creation of a rulemaking committee charged with devising regulations to tamp down on the sexual violence.

“Now that these discussions have been completed, I urge you to move quickly to finalize the regulations, so we can provide clear guidance to universities on how to address sexual assault,” Boxer wrote to Duncan. “Any delay in providing this guidance could be a setback to efforts to protect students and end this epidemic on our campuses.”

There is no statutory deadline for the rule’s enactment, but the Education Department signaled on its biannual regulatory agenda that it would issue a notice of proposed rulemaking in June.

The Education Department submitted the regulations to the White House for review on Monday, according to records kept by the Office of Management and Budget.

Upon the release of the task force's report, which also found that one in 20 men in college are sexually assaulted, Vice President Biden called upon universities to begin taking anonymous surveys on their campuses to better understand how often sexual assault occurs.

He noted that only 13 percent of student victims reported their assaults to campus or local police.

"Colleges and universities need to face the fact of what exists on their campuses," Biden said during an event at the White House. "They need to step up to it."