Chapter 28B.112 RCW

CAMPUS SEXUAL VIOLENCE

Sections

28B.112.005Findings.
28B.112.010Disciplinary processes.
28B.112.020Availability of institutions' policies, procedures, and resources.
28B.112.030Campus-affiliated advocatesConfidentiality of records.


Findings.

The legislature finds that the issue of campus sexual violence is a serious issue for many students as well as poses a challenge to all of our institutions of higher education. Several high profile cases in recent years garnered national attention, with more than ninety colleges and universities nationwide currently under investigation by the United States department of education's office for civil rights for violation of Title IX relating to how they have handled sexual violence cases.
In 2014, the White House convened a task force designed to protect students from sexual assault. The task force has recommended that schools conduct campus climate assessments and provided a sample memorandum of understanding for institutions to enter into with local law enforcement.
At the same time, the federal government and several states have moved forward to address campus sexual violence policies regarding prevention, investigation, and disciplinary action. These actions include the statewide adoption of policies at the public four-year universities in New York and all schools receiving state financial aid in California. It also includes new requirements included in the federal violence against women act amendments to the Clery act, 20 U.S.C. Sec. 1092(f).
The legislature further finds the state's public two and four-year institutions of higher education are taking steps to improve their institutional policies around campus sexual violence, including being represented at a statewide conference held in October 2014.
In order to complement federal policy and ensure the safety of all our students, the legislature finds it necessary to establish minimum standards for all institutions pertaining to campus sexual violence policies and procedures and encourages institutions of higher education to share with all students and current employees, especially survivors of sexual violence, the protections, resources, and services available to them if they are a victim of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking. Institutions should endeavor to prevent retaliation and prevent the student from having to undergo unnecessary or duplicative retellings of the incident.



Disciplinary processes.

All institutions of higher education shall refrain from establishing a different disciplinary process on the same campus for a matter of sexual violence, based on the status or characteristics of the student involved in that disciplinary proceeding, including characteristics such as a student's membership on an athletic team, membership in a fraternity or sorority, academic year, or any other characteristics or status of a student.



Availability of institutions' policies, procedures, and resources.

(1) Institutions of higher education shall make information available on an annual basis to all current and prospective students and employees regarding the institution's policy and procedures, the responsible employee to receive complaints, and compliance with campus sexual violence confidentiality and reporting requirements set forth in 34 C.F.R. Sec. 668.46(b)(11)(iii).
(2) Institutions of higher education shall make the resources in subsection (1) of this section and other information and support available on a confidential basis to all campus sexual assault survivors, regardless of whether the survivor chooses to proceed with a formal report of sexual assault.



Campus-affiliated advocatesConfidentiality of records.

(1) Survivor communications with, and records maintained by, campus-affiliated advocates, shall be confidential.
(2) Records maintained by a campus-affiliated advocate are not subject to public inspection and copying and are not subject to inspection or copying by an institution of higher education unless:
(a) The survivor consents to inspection or copying;
(b) There is a clear, imminent risk of serious physical injury or death of the survivor or another person;
(c) Inspection or copying is required by federal law; or
(d) A court of competent jurisdiction mandates that the record be available for inspection or copying.
(3) The definitions in this subsection apply throughout this section and RCW 42.56.240(16) unless the context clearly requires otherwise.
(a) "Campus-affiliated advocate" means a "sexual assault advocate" or "domestic violence advocate" as defined in RCW 5.60.060 or a victim advocate, employed by or volunteering for an institution of higher education.
(b) "Survivor" means any student, faculty, staff, or administrator at an institution of higher education that believes they were a victim of a sexual assault, dating or domestic violence, or stalking.

NOTES:

FindingIntent2017 c 72: "The legislature finds that the state, along with the federal government and the state's public colleges and universities, plays an important role in protecting college students on and off campus from violence, including sexual assault. This role includes protecting students from repeat offenders and ensuring that survivors can trust that their college or university has education record protocols that prioritize their safety on and off campus.
The legislature commends the final report produced by the task force established by Substitute Senate Bill No. 5719 in 2015. The task force brought together experts across a range of fields to highlight ways in which both institutions of higher education and the state can enact stronger policies around the issue of campus sexual assault. As representatives of our state's public colleges and universities said two years ago, this subject needs to be a high priority for the state and existing state law has gaps that need to be fixed. Therefore, the legislature intends to enact changes based on several recommendations contained within the report to the legislature." [ 2017 c 72 § 1.]