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Biden speaks with student activists on DeVos rewrite of sexual assault guidance

Former Vice President Joe Biden spoke to hundreds of activists in a phone call Friday after Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced a rewrite of campus sexual assault guidance.

BuzzFeed News reported that Biden urged the more than 800 activists to put pressure on their universities to "step up" and continue protections for campus sexual assault victims.

"They know we're right. This is no time to turn back," Biden said, according to BuzzFeed.

DeVos announced Thursday that the Department of Education would seek to revamp Obama-era guidelines issued to colleges and universities on how to handle sexual assault on campuses. The revamp will move to better protect students who are accused of committing sexual assault.

On the call, Biden sought to reassure activists who felt "betrayed" by the announcement.

"I want you to know that not only I stand with you but the majority of the American people stand with you," Biden said, according to BuzzFeed.

"This Administration does not speak for the American people on this issue."

On Thursday, Biden posted a lengthy statement to his Facebook page in response to DeVos' announcement, calling it "a step in the wrong direction."

"Policies that do not treat this epidemic with the utmost seriousness are an insult to the lives it has damaged and the survivors who have worked so hard to make positive change," Biden wrote. "Tell this administration that we refuse to go backwards."

Biden was a vocal advocate for sexual assault awareness during his time as vice president, taking a large role in the "It's On Us" campaign that sought to encourage men to do their part in stopping sexual assaults.

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