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SUNY Supports Bill Combating Sexual Assaults On Campus

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — New York’s public university system is the first to support a bipartisan federal effort that would strengthen colleges and universities’ assistance for sexual assault victims while establishing penalties for non-compliance.

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and State University of New York officials are set to announce SUNY’s support in Manhattan.

Gillibrand is a primary backer of the Campus Accountability and Safety Act.

The bill creates new standards for training and calls for an anonymous annual survey of students to provide a full accounting of campus sexual assaults at colleges and universities.

College campuses reported nearly 5,000 forcible sex offenses in 2012. New York colleges reported 365 of them.

SUNY is the largest university system in the U.S. with nearly a half-million students at more than 60 campuses.

In May, the U.S. Department of Education revealed its list of 55 colleges under investigation for the first time — though no details of the complaints — as the Obama administration sought to bring more openness to the issue of sexual violence on and around the nation’s campuses.

New York schools on the list include City University of New York Hunter College on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, Hobart and William Smith Colleges in upstate Geneva, Sarah Lawrence College in Westchester County, and SUNY Binghamton.

Princeton University in New Jersey, and the University of Connecticut, were also on the list.

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