Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that 18 members of New York's Congressional Delegation are joining the Governor's Enough is Enough campaign calling on members of the public to support and advocate for the passage of the Governor's proposal to create the strongest protections from on-campus sexual violence in the country. His proposal would codify uniform sexual assault prevention and response protocols for all colleges and universities – public and private – in New York, better protecting the State's 1.2 million college students. The congressional delegation's support follows the more than 100 elected officials from across the State, more than 40 city mayors, 17 of 18 county executives and Whoopi Goldberg who recently joined the Enough is Enough campaign.
"We all share a responsibility for ensuring schools are safe places for learning, and I am honored to be joined by our congressional partners in our fight against sexual assault on college campuses," Governor Cuomo said. "Together, with a bi-partisan group of officials from every level of government and every corner of the state, we are saying that 'Enough is Enough' and it's time to put a stop to these crimes once and for all."
"Sexual assault on college campuses is a pervasive problem and too often it's swept under the rug," Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said. "I commend Governor Cuomo and Lieutenant Governor Hochul for their leadership and efforts to spotlight and combat this issue in New York State. At the federal level we must flip the current incentives of a broken system to provide real accountability from higher education institutions and end sexual violence on college campuses."
The following 17 members of the New York Congressional Delegation have joined the Enough is Enough campaign:
- Senator Chuck Schumer
- Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand
- Congressman Charles B. Rangel
- Congressman Eliot Engel
- Congresswoman Nita M. Lowey
- Congressman José E. Serrano
- Congressman Jerrold Nadler
- Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney
- Congressman Gregory W. Meeks
- Congressman Joe Crowley
- Congressman Steve Israel
- Congressman Paul Tonko
- Congressman Tom Reed
- Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney
- Congresswoman Grace Meng
- Congresswoman Kathleen Rice
- Congresswoman Louise Slaughter
- Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez
Governor Cuomo launched the campaign two weeks ago to build support for his proposal for colleges and universities to implement uniform prevention and response measures to combat sexual assaults on campus, which have already been adopted by the State University of New York. The Governor’s proposal 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.
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 video featuring students, advocates and elected officials supporting the Governor’s policy to address sexual assault on college campuses. The video can be viewed here.
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. She 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.
Members of the public wishing to state their support for Governor Cuomo's proposal can do so at www.ny.gov/EnoughisEnough. They can also join the conversation online using #EnoughisEnough.
Senator Chuck Schumer said,
“Sexual violence is far too common on college campuses and we need action at the federal and state level to show there is zero tolerance for it. All students should be able to learn without fear for their safety and security, so Governor Cuomo’s campaign to make all our campuses safer is a welcome and necessary step in the right direction. When it comes to making positive change to protect all our citizens, New York has often been at the vanguard, and it is a good thing we are doing so again in confronting the scourge of on-campus sexual assault."
Congressman Charles B. Rangel said, "I applaud Governor Cuomo's effort to protect students of New York colleges and universities from sexual assault. Combined with Senator Gillibrand's bi-partisan Campus Accountability & Safety Act on the federal level, I am proud New York is leading the charge against campus violence. We must make sure students feel their school is a safe and secure place to learn and that victims are provided the support resources during such a difficult time."
Congressman Eliot Engel said, “The statistics regarding sexual assault on college campuses are staggering and completely unacceptable. This culture of violence against women that has been allowed to fester must end. I applaud Governor Cuomo for introducing legislation that will codify a sexual assault prevention and response policy for all colleges and universities in New York, thereby making our institutes of higher learning safer places for everyone.”
Congresswoman Nita M. Lowey said, “Sexual assault has no place in our society, including universities across New York. I wholeheartedly support the Governor’s proposal to cement sexual assault prevention and response guidelines into law for both public and private institutions. It is imperative that all college students in New York have peace of mind that rights, protections, and resources are available regardless of where they choose to study. I will continue to work with the Governor to prevent sexual assault on New York college campuses.”
Congressman José E. Serrano said, “Sexual assault has no place on our college campuses. I believe that all of our students deserve the opportunity to receive an education in a safe and inclusive environment. For that reason, I fully support Governor Cuomo and the “Enough is Enough” campaign. Governor Cuomo’s proposal is the right step in putting New York at the forefront of combating sexual violence on all of our college campuses. If enacted, educational institutions in our state will be committed to ensuring that sexual crimes are handled with the full support of campus authorities and law enforcement agencies. I applaud the Governor’s decision to introduce this proposal and I will support all efforts to move this campaign forward.
Congressman Jerrold Nadler said, “Governor Cuomo’s announcement today marks a clear step towards combating sexual violence on college campuses in New York and moves us closer to achieving our shared goal of ensuring that college campuses work harder to protect the safety and rights of every student.”
Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney said, “Governor Cuomo is delivering the most aggressive approach in the nation to combatting sexual assault on college campuses. The Governor’s plan clearly defines consent, ensures students know their rights, and creates training requirements for University staff to ensure they know the law. At the federal level, I passed the Campus SaVE Act, and I have introduced the House version of Senator Gillibrand’s Campus Accountability and Safety Act. It’s good to see that all levels of government are working to ensure that being sexually assaulted is no longer a part of earning a college degree."
Congressman Gregory W. Meeks said, "Governor Cuomo’s legislation is a great leap forward in protecting our college students from the harms, both physical and mental, of sexual assault. I applaud the Governor’s work on this critical issue and encourage the state assembly to pass the Sexual Assault Prevention bill as quickly as possible."
Congressman Joe Crowley said, “Every student on every campus deserves to learn in an environment free from the fear of sexual assault. We’ve seen the alarming numbers, we’ve heard the devastating stories -- there is no question that more must be done to strengthen prevention efforts and help ensure the safety of every student. New York has been at the forefront in the battle against campus sexual assault and I applaud Governor Cuomo for his continued commitment to making our campuses safer.”
Congressman Steve Israel said, “The prevalence of sexual assault on our college campuses is simply unacceptable. Enough is enough, which is why I’m pleased to support Governor Cuomo’s program to provide the resources colleges and universities need to combat sexual assault.”
Congressman Paul Tonko said, "Sexual assault on our campuses in New York – and around the country – is a problem that deserves our full attention and swift action. While the SUNY system has taken critical steps in addressing this issue, we must do more to protect our students and ensure they are provided with the safe environment they need to grow as individuals. I thank Governor Cuomo for introducing this proposal and for bringing this important issue into the spotlight. I look forward to working with him to make certain we are doing everything we can to keep our students safe and let them focus on their education."
Congressman Tom Reed said, “I’m pleased to hear the Governor has seen the value of SUNY’s new policies and has chosen to apply these positive changes to every higher education institution in the state. Victims need care. It’s important that our schools support victims, not add to their suffering. This Bill of Rights is a step in the right direction.”
Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney said, “Not one college student should suffer in silence after being sexually assaulted. Every day that goes by, we’re missing an opportunity to make serious reforms to this broken system."
Congresswoman Grace Meng said, "I commend and support Governor Cuomo's efforts to combat sexual violence on college campuses throughout our state. It is critical that we raise awareness of this heinous behavior and do all we can to prevent it. The Governor's proposals to create a uniform policy for all colleges and universities in New York will go a long way towards accomplishing those critical goals, and they would ensure that victims of this terrible crime receive all the assistance and support that they require."
Congresswoman Kathleen Rice said, “Parents who send their children to colleges and universities in New York trust that they’ll be kept safe, and our schools have to honor that trust by doing everything possible to prevent sexual assaults from happening and to respond appropriately when they do happen. While we need to push for federal legislation that would apply to all colleges and universities across the country, the Governor’s proposal is an important step that would make New York campuses safer for all students. I’m glad the Governor is making this a priority and I encourage state lawmakers to give this legislation the support it deserves.”
Congresswoman Louise Slaughter said, "The frequency of sexual assault in American institutions, including colleges and universities, is simply staggering. Every student deserves strong protection from sexual assault, and should be able to access law enforcement and the justice system if they are attacked. I am in full support of this effort and will do everything I can at the national level to assist in this campaign."
Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez said, "Students deserve to be safe on campus, protected from sexual assault. This proposal will help prevent these types of horrific attacks, and provide assistance to survivors of attacks when they are most vulnerable and need help.”
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