Bipartisan Group Pushing for Passage of Governor’s Proposal
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that county executives from communities across the state have joined the "Enough is Enough" campaign to combat sexual violence on college campuses and universities. These 17 county executives represent broad, bipartisan support for the Governor’s proposal to create the strongest protections for college students in the country, codifying uniform sexual assault prevention and response protocols for private colleges – protocols which have already been adopted by the State University of New York.
“We all must take a stand against sexual assault and rape on college campuses,” Governor Cuomo said. “By joining us in this fight, these county executives – representing both political parties and virtually every corner of the state – are helping us push for the toughest and most comprehensive law in the nation to combat sexual assault on college campuses. I am proud to have their support on this critically important issue, and I ask all New Yorkers to stand with us in saying enough is enough.”
The following county executives have joined the Governor’s “Enough is Enough” campaign:
· Steve Bellone, Suffolk County
· Maggie Brooks, Monroe County
· Ed Day, Rockland County
· Mike Hein, Ulster County
· Vince Horrigan, Chautauqua County
· Kathleen Jimino, Renssalaer County
· Joanie Mahoney, Onondaga County
· Edward Mangano, Nassau County
· Dan McCoy, Albany County
· Marcus Molinaro, Dutchess County
· Steve Neuhaus, Orange County
· MaryEllen Odell, Putnam County
· Matthew Ossenfort, Montgomery County
· Anthony Picente, Oneida County
· Mark Poloncarz, Erie County
· Debra Preston, Broome County
· Tom Santulli, Chemung County
The Governor’s legislation will extend the SUNY policy and protections to colleges statewide and ensure that the state’s 1.2 million college students are protected with comprehensive and uniform procedures and guidelines, including affirmative consent and access to law enforcement. Once law, this policy will go far to protect more students in New York.
The “Enough is Enough” campaign includes a new State Police hotline – 1-844-845-7269 – dedicated to reporting sexual assaults on college and university campuses. Specially-trained members of the State Police will be on-call 24 hours a day to respond to sexual assault calls throughout the state. The campaign also has a website, www.ny.gov/EnoughisEnough, and a video featuring students, advocates and elected officials supporting the Governor’s policy to address sexual assault on college campuses.
To promote the campaign and the importance of passing the Governor’s proposal, Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul has embarked on a statewide tour to bring “Enough is Enough” to college campuses across the state. The Lieutenant Governor is meeting with members of the student body, faculty and administration as well as service providers and advocates for survivors of rape and sexual assault.
The Governor’s on-campus sexual assault prevention proposal includes the following components:
· A statewide definition of affirmative consent, defining consent as a clear, unambiguous, and voluntary agreement between the participants to engage in specific sexual activity;
· A statewide amnesty policy, to ensure that students reporting incidents of sexual assault or other sexual violence are granted immunity for certain campus policy violations, such as drug and alcohol use;
· A Sexual Violence Victim/Survivor Bill of Rights, which campuses will be required to distribute to all students in order to specifically inform sexual violence victims of their legal rights and how they may access appropriate resources. The Bill of Rights clearly states that students are given the right to know they can report sexual assaults to outside law enforcement, including the State Police;
· Comprehensive training requirements for administrators, staff, and students, including at new student orientations.
The New York State Police is an active partner with all SUNY police and public safety departments enforcing the Governor’s sexual assault policy. The State Police investigates more than 3,000 sexual assaults across the state each year.
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said, “It’s time that we all stood up and said enough is enough when it comes to rape and sexual assault on college campuses. Students should feel safe at their colleges or universities, and the Governor’s proposal to ensure private colleges are taking the same important steps that SUNY began last year is a smart move to protect all students in New York State. I am proud to stand up for our students in this fight, and I urge the State Legislature to do the same.”
Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks said, “The incredibly sad reality is that statistics show at least 1 in 4 college women will be the victim of a sexual assault during her academic career. Yet, fewer than 5 percent of these attacks are reported to law enforcement. Monroe County home to nearly 20 colleges and universities, I am proud to join colleagues across the state to support Governor Cuomo’s new sexual consent policy legislation. By saying ‘enough is enough’ lawmakers are speaking up for the victims who feel they don’t have a voice and standing up to those who are perpetrating these crimes. It is vital that we have a uniform policy among all colleges and universities in order to protect all students across New York.”
Rockland County Executive Ed Day said, "More needs to be done to prevent sexual violence on our college campuses, and Governor Cuomo is leading the way. With the 'Enough is Enough' campaign, New York is at the helm of the fight against sexual assault at our schools. This is an important initiative that needs to pass immediately."
Ulster County Executive Mike Hein said, "When sexual assault occurs on a college campus, it is imperative that a victim has immediate access to local law enforcement and every possible resource to assist them. Students should know that their schools are taking all steps to guarantee their safety, and that law enforcement is available to help in the event that these sexual crimes occur. It's time that we all take a stand and do everything in our power to end these horrible and devastating crimes and the Governor's policy is a critical part of that process."
Chautauqua County Executive Vincent W. Horrigan said, "We must do all we can to reduce instances of personal assault and sexual violence across every part of our community. I applaud Governor Cuomo's efforts to strengthen awareness and reduce sexual violence in our college communities."
Rensselaer County Executive Kathleen Jimino said, ““Having the opportunity to attend college and further one’s education is a dream for many as they seek the opportunities that a college education can provide. Unfortunately as the statistics show many of those young adults entering a new phase in their life, often times far away from home, find themselves victims of a heinous crime making this effort to improve campus safety vital. I want to commend the Governor for putting the force of his office behind this initiative to help ensure that the young adults of our campuses are free to pursue their dreams without fear of assault.”
Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney said, "College campuses should be a safe place for all students to learn. I applaud Governor Cuomo for his leadership on this issue and look forward to welcoming him and Lt. Governor Hochul to town to discuss it."
Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano said, “It’s imperative that colleges and universities create safe environments for their students. I commend Governor Cuomo for taking the lead in protecting victims of sexual assault at SUNY campuses and for advocating for a uniform policy across the entire State of New York.”
Albany County Executive Dan McCoy said, “The Governor’s ‘Enough is Enough’ campaign is a great way to highlight the need to address sexual violence on college and university campuses. As a father with a daughter who lives on a college campus, I particularly appreciate and applaud Governor Cuomo’s focus on this issue. Albany County is proud to be home to some great higher education institutions and we need to do everything we can to ensure students feel protected and continue attending our schools. “
Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro said, “Protecting students from sexual violence and making available the tools and resources to seek help is a necessary step. Dutchess County is making this a priority and I applaud Governor Cuomo for his leadership in making students safer, and I urge our colleagues in the legislature to ensure this becomes reality."
Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus said, "Governor Cuomo's policy to prevent and respond to sexual assault on our college and university campuses is an important step towards better protecting our students. Keeping our college and universities free of violence is something everyone agrees on, regardless of partisan affiliations."
Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell said, “College is a place where students go to learn and grow, and keeping that environment safe from sexual assault is paramount. The Governor's proposal makes it clear to students their rights and protections while on any college campus in the state, leaving zero room for misinterpretation or misunderstanding. It is right for the 1.2 million college students in New York, and will undoubtedly set the bar for student protections on college campuses across America.”
Montgomery County Executive Matthew Ossenfort said, “Every college student in New York deserves to know their rights and the safeguards in place that protect them from sexual violence, and we must do everything we can to keep our students safe. The SUNY policy model offers the most comprehensive set of protections to all of our public college students – now is the time to extend these measures to all of New York's colleges so that everyone is protected under one, uniform policy.”
Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente said, “The Governor is proposing a commonsense piece of legislation to ensure unprecedented protections against sexual assault on college campuses. Given the success that SUNY has had with implementing the policy across all campuses, it's clear that the model is scalable and greatly welcomed by the student body. This is the time for New York to lead the nation in protecting our students; I urge the Legislature to pass the Governor's proposal this session – we simply cannot wait any longer.”
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said, “Putting a strong, comprehensive sexual assault policy in place for all private and public colleges and universities across NYS reaffirms our commitment to protecting our children as they pursue higher education while underscoring our unity in preventing sexual assaults and holding offenders accountable to the fullest extent of the law. The SUNY model that will be used statewide has protections for victims, clear and widely-distributed definitions of consent, and a Bill of Rights to educate all students on their legal rights. We owe it to the more than 1 million college students across New York to codify this policy statewide, and I thank Governor Cuomo for his advocacy on this issue.”
Broome County Executive Debbie Preston said, “We want to applaud Governor Cuomo’s efforts to protect our students from sexual assaults at all college campuses in New York State. I feel it’s important to make sure these regulations protect our students at public and private universities alike and that people who sexually assault others are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
Chemung County Executive Tom Santulli said, "Our students in New York who experience sexual violence should never be confused about where to turn or afraid they will not receive help. We must make the information clear and deliver the message that if you need help, you will receive it. I am proud that Governor Cuomo is proposing some of the toughest laws in the nation to give our young people what they deserve: protection from sexual violence."