Heated debate over the Campus Safety Act

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Should colleges handle allegations of sexual assault on campus or should they have to turn cases over to law enforcement? That is the debate raging right now at the State Capitol.

Lawmakers held a committee meeting on the issue Tuesday afternoon. A senate judiciary subcommittee unveiled a host of changes to House Bill 51, also known as the Campus Safety Act, but many people at the hearing still have concerns.

The meeting was pack with parents, students, and rape advocates all sharing their thoughts on the measure.

House Bill 51 would require universities to report allegations of sexual assault to certified law enforcement instead of handling them through on-campus disciplinary procedures.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Earl Ehrhart said his biggest concern is that these cases cannot be handled properly on campus and can rob students of due process.

But Grace Starling, a rape survivor and founder of Students Against HB 51, fears the bill’s mandatory reporting requirement would hurt victims.

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