On July 1, 2015, California colleges, universities, and postsecondary schools are required to bolster their compliance with new state laws regarding policies concerning sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. This new law requires, among other things, that Cal Grant Fund higher education recipients enter into agreements with local law enforcement and report crime statistics. 

The new California law requires that colleges, universities, and postsecondary institutions, including religious institutions, adopt detailed and victim-centered policies concerning sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking incidents against students that occur both on and off campus as a condition to receiving state funds.

Additionally, schools must adopt affirmative consent as the standard for disciplinary proceedings for sexual assault. This standard must be determined by a preponderance of the evidence. Cal. Ed. Code §§ 67385-67386.

Many California-based secular and non-secular colleges, universities, and postsecondary institutions in receipt of state dollars must enter into a memorandum of understanding  with local law enforcement agencies to clarify operational responsibilities for investigations and with existing on-campus and community-based organizations.

Also, campuses must refer students to services or make services available to students for counseling, health, mental health, survivor advocacy, legal assistance, and resources both on and off campus. Cal. Ed. Code §67381.

The new California law also requires all institutions of higher education receiving funds for student financial assistance to compile statistics and submit a report about crimes committed on campus that involve violence, hate violence, theft, destruction of property, illegal drugs, or alcohol intoxication.

Campuses must also report noncriminal acts of hate violence yearly to the California Legislative Analyst. Cal. Ed. Code §67380. The new law expands the scope of which acts must be reported pursuant to the federal Clery Act.

This section does not apply to California community colleges unless funding is made available by the legislature for implementation or to institutions with fewer than 1,000 full-time enrolled students. Cal. Ed. Code §67380.

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Ogletree Deakins is an industry leader in higher education legal practice. Our attorneys have decades of experience advising and defending public and private, religious and secular colleges, universities, and vocational schools.

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