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Prepare for the July 1 SaVE Act Deadline

New Bipartisan Bill Proposes to Further Amend the Clery Act by Stiffening Penalties for Violations, Requiring Campus Climate Surveys, and Creating a Private Right of Action for Students

By July 1, 2015, all higher education institutions must be in full compliance with the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination (SaVE) Act amendments to the Clery Act, per the final regulations issued last October. See 34 C.F.R. Part 668; 79 Fed. Reg. 62752 (Oct. 20, 2014). The SaVE Act amendments seek to increase transparency about sexual violence on college and university campuses, enhance victims' rights and confidentiality during investigations and proceedings, set standards for handling institutional conduct proceedings, and set standards for campus-wide prevention educational programming.

In anticipation of that deadline, two lawmakers – Jackie Speier (D-CA) and Patrick Meehan (R-PA) – re-introduced a bipartisan bill on June 4 called the Hold Accountable and Lend Transparency (HALT) on Campus Sexual Violence Act. The bill proposes, among other things, to further amend the Clery Act to increase penalties for violations from $35,000 to $100,000 per violation and to provide students with standing to sue and recover compensatory damages from institutions that violate the Clery Act. The new bill also proposes to increase funding for the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights by $5 million, requires the Department to issue tougher monetary penalties for institutions that fail to comply with Title IX, mandates that institutions conduct biennial climate surveys, requires the Department to make publicly available on its website a list of the institutions under investigation as well as a copy of any relevant program reviews and resolution agreements, and requires colleges to sign memorandums of understanding with local police. Baker Donelson's Higher Education team will continue to monitor any developments pertaining to this bill as well as any other Title IX and Clery Act developments.

In light of the upcoming July 1 deadline and the prospect of harsher penalties for non-compliance, Baker Donelson stands ready to assist your institution with your Title IX- and Clery Act-related needs.

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