New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law legislation to combat sexual assault on both public and private college campuses throughout New York. With a few exceptions, the provisions in the law will take effect within 90 days, on October 5, 2015.
The law mandates the notation of disciplinary action for sexual assault offenses on student transcripts and establishes a statewide definition of affirmative consent. Under the new law, institutions will also be required to adopt a student bill of rights, conduct campus climate surveys at least every other year, provide “onboarding” training to incoming students and transfers, report aggregate data to the DOE, and provide amnesty from the institution’s drug and alcohol policies to individuals who, in good faith, report sexual assault.
After signing the bill, Cuomo said: “A woman isn’t going to be made to feel guilty or complicit or fearful if she goes forward,” he said. “We’re not going to allow the schools to cover it up anymore. Those days are over.”
New York's legislation also provides more money for state police investigations into campus sex crimes and resources for victims, such as abuse hotlines. It provides amnesty to students reporting cases of sexual violence.
U.S. House of Representatives Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and singer Lady Gaga were among the bill's biggest supporters.