Understanding the Campus SaVE Act

Campus SaVE Act FAQs

Posted on 20 August 2014 |

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What is the relationship between Title IX and the Campus SaVE Act?

These are two separate regulations with overlapping concerns that are intended to be complementary. The Campus SaVE Act is an amendment to the Jeanne Clery Act, and will be implemented per the Clery Act’s guidelines, but because of its overlap with Title IX, each institution’s Title IX coordinator and/or deputy coordinators should be involved in the implementation.

Where can the full text of the Campus SaVE Act, including the training requirement for all new students and employees be found?

The Campus SaVE Act is Section 304 of the re-authorized Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), and the version passed by Congress on March 19, 2013 can be found here. 

The education requirement will be codified at 20 USC § 1092(f)(8)(B)(i)(I), but many sources may not include it yet. The Campus SaVE Act requires that higher education institutions have an intimate partner violence policy which should cover stalking, date violence, sexual violence, and domestic violence. It also provides provisions for improving victims’ rights and promoting prevention programs.

Learn more about our comprehensive Campus SaVE Act/Clery Act training solution

When is an updated campus safety and security reporting handbook expected?

After the final regulations are released, the US Department of Education is expected to issue a revised version of the Handbook for Campus Safety and Security Reporting. This should be sometime in 2014 or 2015, and the new version should be available here. Until the new handbook is ready, all covered institutions are expected to make a “good faith” compliance effort.

What are the standards for training new students and employees?

Until the publication of the new handbook, we won’t know exactly what the new standards for training are, though implementing guidelines should have some instructions. At a minimum, the new standards will likely cover the new prevention campaign guidelines, such as:

  • The definition of consent in sexual relationships
  • Instructions for reporting sex offenses
  • Guidelines for bystander intervention, including the applicability of “Good Samaritan” laws
  • Risk reduction strategies

There will also likely be guidelines for refresher and ongoing training requirements.

Does domestic violence apply to roommates?

It depends. Each state has different laws and definitions. Sometimes, roommates may qualify as cohabitants, and thus would qualify for domestic violence protection from each other.  Generally, regulations define domestic violence by reference to the relationship between the abuser and the victim.  Relationships that qualify under varying state laws include:

  • Former or current spouses or intimate partners
  • Family and household members
  • Share a child in common
  • Persons in a situation similar to spouses (such as domestic partners or cohabitants)
Does stalking cover electronic communication?

Stalking is defined by its effect. If it makes a victim “fear for his or her safety or the safety of others; or…suffer substantial emotional distress,” it can be considered stalking. This means it can be done in person, or over any current or future form of electronic communication, including phones, email, and social media.

How does the Campus SaVE Act apply to crimes that occur off campus?

The Campus SaVE Act applies to sexual violence that occurs on campus, on public property, and on non-campus property. The provisions for protecting the rights of victims, the accused, and accusers are applicable no matter where the act occurred.
The goal is to create a campus that is safe from sexual violence, and this can only be accomplished if all the members of that campus are free from threats that may adversely affect their academic performance and professional opportunities, whether these threats originate on campus or off.

Do both the accused and accuser have a right to appeal the outcome of a disciplinary proceeding?

Yes, 20 USC § 1092(f)(8)(B)(iv)(III)(bb) requires that institutions have an appeal policy for both parties.

Does FERPA require that disciplinary results contain the basis for an outcome in the final results?

No, but FERPA allows institutions to disclose this information in order to provide substantiation for the decision. We do not know what disclosures the Campus SaVE act will require. In the interim, institutions should make sure they are including sufficient information that parties can make informed decisions about the best course of action (such as whether to appeal) following the outcome.

Are accommodations required even if the victim does not pursue any additional action, such as a disciplinary proceeding or criminal investigation?

Yes. The act explicitly notes that victims do not have to pursue action via law enforcement. The only requirements are that the victim reports the incident to the institution, requests accommodation, and that accommodations be reasonably available.

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