August 2015 Newsletter

Fraternity & Sorority Political Action Committee newsletter

Issue link: http://www.epageflip.net/i/554801

Contents of this Issue


Page 0 of 1

the Fraternity and Sorority P O L I T I C A L A C T I O N C O M M I T T E E ΑΒΓ Δ Ε Ζ Η Θ Ι Κ Λ Μ Ν Ξ Ο Π Ρ Σ Τ Υ Φ Χ Ψ Ω Your Support of FSPAC is Important! Go to www.fspac.org and click the Donate button. Greek Advocacy Groups Endorse Safe Campus Act and Fair Campus Act Legislation T hree important Greek advocacy groups are endorsing the Safe Campus Act and Fair Campus Act Legislation that were introduced this July: • FSPAC, formed in 2005, is the largest PAC focused solely on higher education issues • National Panhellenic Conference (NPC), one of the largest organizations advocating for women, is the umbrella group for 26 national and international sororities. • The North American Interfraternity Conference (NIC), founded in 1909, represents 74 international and national men's fraternities. Both the Safe Campus Act of 2015, sponsored by U.S. Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.) and co-sponsored by U.S. Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas) and Pete Sessions (R-Texas), and the Fair Campus Act of 2015, sponsored by U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) and co-sponsored by U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks (R-Ind.) introduce meaningful and necessary reforms to the current system of investigating and adjudicating sexual assault allegations on college campuses. Both bills strengthen due process rights for all students affected by sexual violence—the accuser and the accused. They will help address the important issue of collegiate sexual assault by more effectively engaging local law enforcement to investigate crimes of sexual violence. They call for mandatory educational programs for students regarding sexual assault awareness, bystander intervention, and alcohol use and abuse. They also include rules to prevent universities from punishing student organizations or their members accused of any wrongdoing without first conducting a disciplinary hearing. NPC's news release detailed the benefits of both bills: The Safe Campus Act and Fair Campus Act address vital issues in a balanced and just manner that respects the rights of alleged student victims and all those affected by acts of sexual violence. In addition to addressing the rights of victims, the legislation would ensure that: • Institutions of higher education (IHEs) are empowered with the ability to select the standard of evidence to govern Title IX adjudications that is most appropriate for their campus—a right the Department of Education effectively withdrew from IHEs in 2011 without notice or comment. • All parties involved in a campus sexual violence adjudication have a uniform set of due process protections so they may choose representation by counsel who can safely confront witnesses and parties in an appropriate manner and have timely access to charges and all evidence. • Nearly every American college and university has a comprehensive framework to address complex issues related to sexual violence on campus and provides unprecedented protections to all students who are victims. • Education is provided on sexual violence prevention, by ensuring that IHEs implement appropriate learning and reporting strategies. • All relevant components of the campus sexual violence adjudicative process are separate and independent. In addition, the Safe Campus Act and Fair Campus Act are also the only pending legislative proposals that would help remove predators from campus by authorizing institutions of higher education to implement new comprehensive, safety, and security measures for alleged sexual violence victims in between a report regarding sexual violence and a disciplinary hearing. They are the only proposed pieces of legislation that will prevent IHEs from punishing student organizations such as fraternities and sororities without a hearing and due process protections for allegations against one or more members. They also strengthen the historic exemption under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX). Jean M. Mrasek, ΧΩ, NPC chairman said, "We believe sexual violence is one of the most pressing issues facing college and university campuses and students today. As one of the leading organizations of collegiate and alumnae women, we want to contribute to efforts and work collaboratively with others to help identify solutions to this important and complex issue." In an NIC press release, President and Chief Executive Officer Peter Smithhisler, ΛΧΑ, said, "These bills are not intended to diminish the important role colleges play in ensuring the well-being of their students. We believe sexual violence survivors should have the best possible access to the help they need, whether that's university provided counseling and other support or the skill and experience of professionally trained law enforcement applied to holding offenders accountable for their actions. The best way to protect all students is to equip law enforcement professionals to prosecute and incarcerate predators while allowing schools the opportunity to investigate and adjudicate lesser, noncriminal offenses, where an educational sanction may be most appropriate." The Safe Campus Act also restates the historic exemption of single-sex organizations under Title IX. FSPAC's President Vicki Nixon, ΔΓ, said, "Single-sex organizations are one of the great success stories of Title IX. Sororities are the largest women's leadership organizations on college campuses today because of Title IX, and we must resist efforts by those who seek to undermine the obvious value of single-sex organizations on campus." FSPAC's Executive Director Kevin O'Neill, ΛΧΑ, said, "Over the past several years, it has become increasingly clear that there is an urgent need to improve the current process of handling sexual assaults on campuses. Fraternity and sorority members have been leaders in seeking solutions to the most important issues facing students. Campus safety and preserving a student's constitutional rights on campus are among our top priorities. The Safe Campus Act includes numerous provisions that emphasize improvements in campus safety and engage law enforcement to bring more perpetrators of sexual violence to justice. It enhances the rights of all students in the campus adjudication system and reaffirms the importance of a student's right to be involved with a single-sex campus organization. We strongly believe that the Safe Campus Act proposes sound and effective solutions to address the current system's flaws. It ensures that each student and student organization involved in a sexual assault case is treated fairly." Check out these articles for more information: The Washington Post FIRE SFGATE Washington Examiner Real Clear Politics For more information: www.fspac.org/ www.npcwomen.org/ http://www.nicindy.org/

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of FSPAC - August 2015 Newsletter