SB679 (2020) Detail

Relative to policies on sexual assault in higher education institutions.


SB 679-FN - AS INTRODUCED

 

 

2020 SESSION

20-2957

04/06

 

SENATE BILL 679-FN

 

AN ACT relative to policies on sexual assault in higher education institutions.

 

SPONSORS: Sen. Hennessey, Dist 5; Sen. Feltes, Dist 15; Sen. Levesque, Dist 12; Sen. Rosenwald, Dist 13; Sen. Birdsell, Dist 19; Sen. Fuller Clark, Dist 21; Sen. Chandley, Dist 11; Sen. Watters, Dist 4; Sen. Cavanaugh, Dist 16; Sen. Morgan, Dist 23; Sen. Carson, Dist 14; Sen. Reagan, Dist 17; Sen. Bradley, Dist 3; Sen. Sherman, Dist 24; Sen. Soucy, Dist 18; Rep. Kenney, Straf. 6; Rep. Muscatel, Graf. 12; Rep. Alexander Jr., Hills. 6; Rep. Heath, Hills. 14; Rep. Abbas, Rock. 8

 

COMMITTEE: Judiciary

 

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ANALYSIS

 

This bill requires institutions of higher education to adopt and make available to students policies on dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking; to develop a task force and survey on sexual misconduct and report its findings; to appoint a campus safety advisor; to collaborate with law enforcement on the investigation and prosecution of sexual assault incidents; to establish confidential resource advisors; to develop awareness programming; and to undertake institutional training in the awareness and prevention of sexual violence on campus.

 

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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

20-2957

04/06

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twenty

 

AN ACT relative to policies on sexual assault in higher education institutions.

 

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

 

1  New Chapter; Dating Violence, Domestic Assault, Sexual Assault, and Stalking at Institutions of Higher Education.  Amend RSA by inserting after chapter 188-G the following new chapter:

CHAPTER 188-H

DATING VIOLENCE, DOMESTIC ASSAULT, SEXUAL ASSAULT, AND STALKING AT INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION

Adoption of Policies

188-H:1  Definitions.  In this subdivision:

I.  "Commission" means the higher education commission established in RSA 21-N:8-a.  

II.  "Director" means the director of the department of education, division of educator support and higher education.  

III.  "Division" means the department of education, division of educator support and higher education.

IV.  "Institution of higher education" means a public, private, non-profit, or for-profit school chartered, incorporated, or otherwise organized in this state legally authorized to award a degree at an associate level or above with an established physical presence in this state.

V.  "Reporting party" means a student or employee who reports an incident of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking to the institution.

VI.  "Responding party" means a student or employee who has been accused of an alleged incident of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

VII.  "Student" means an individual who is enrolled in a public or private degree-granting postsecondary institution of higher education whether part-time, full-time, or as an extension student, or who has taken a leave of absence or who has withdrawn due to being a victim of sexual violence or assault.

VIII.  "Sexual misconduct" means an incident of sexual violence, dating violence, domestic violence, gender-based violence, violence based on sexual orientation or gender identity or expression, sexual assault or harassment, and stalking.

188-H:2  Adoption of Policies Required.  

I.  Each institution of higher education shall adopt a policy on dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking that shall be made available, upon request, to an applicant, student, or employee of the institution and shall be publicly available on the institution's website in an accessible format not later than the first week of classes in each academic year.  The institution shall update the website annually.  The policy shall include, but not be limited to:

(a)  Procedures by which students and employees at the institution may report or disclose incidents of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking regardless of where the offense occurred.

(b)  Information on where to receive immediate emergency assistance following an incident of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking which shall include, but shall not be limited to:

(1)  The name and location of the nearest medical facility where an individual may request that a sexual assault evidence collection kit be administered by a trained sexual violence forensic health care provider, including information on transportation options and reimbursement for travel costs, if any.

(2)  The contact information on a community-based sexual assault crisis service and a community-based domestic violence agency and a description of the services provided by such service or agency.

(3)  The telephone number and website for a local, state, or national 24-hour hotline that provides information on dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking.

(4)  The potential medical costs associated with such emergency medical assistance and information on any programs that may financially assist a student with the cost of such procedure.

(c)  Descriptions of and contact information for the types of counseling and health, safety, academic, and other support services available from the institution within the local community or region or through a local community-based rape crisis center or domestic violence program, which shall include but not be limited to the name and contact information for a confidential resources advisor and a description of the role of and services provided by the confidential resources advisor and the name and contact information for the institution's Title IX coordinator.

(d)  The rights of students and employees to:

(1)  Notify or decline to notify law enforcement, including campus, local and state police, of an alleged incident of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.

(2)  Receive assistance from campus authorities in making any such notification.

(3)  Obtain a court- or institution-issued protective order against a respondent of the assault, stalking, or violence.  

(e)  The process for requesting supportive measures reasonably available from the institution which shall include, but not be limited to, options for changing academic, living, campus transportation, or working arrangements or taking a leave of absence in response to an alleged incident of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, how to request those changes, and the process to have any such measures reviewed.

(f)  The contact information for the closest local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies with jurisdiction over matters involved dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking and procedures for students to notify the institution that a protective order has been issued under state or federal law and the institution's responsibilities upon receipt of such notice.

(g)  A summary of the institution's procedures for investigating, adjudicating, and resolving dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking complaints, including clear statements advising students that:

(1)  The process shall be uniformly applied for all disciplinary proceedings relating to any claims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

(2)  Notice shall be given, upon such time as the institution decides to proceed with an institutional disciplinary process, to the reporting party and the respondent describing the date, time, and location, if known, and a summary of the factual allegations concerning the violation.

(3)  An investigation, including any hearings and resulting disciplinary proceedings, shall be conducted by an individual who receives not less than annual training on issues relating to dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, investigatory procedures and hearing procedures to protect the safety and rights of students and promote accountability and a trauma-informed response.

(4)  The reporting party of an alleged incident of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking and the responding party may be accompanied by an advisor or support person of their choice, which may include an advocate or counsel, to meet with the institution's investigator or other fact finder and may consult with an advisor or support person, which may include an advocate or counsel, during any meetings and disciplinary proceedings; provided, however, that the institution may establish rules regarding how the proceedings will be conducted which may include guidelines on the extent to which the advisor or support person for each party may participate in a meeting or disciplinary proceeding and any limitations on participation which shall apply equally to both parties; and provided further, that the institution shall adopt reasonable measures to provide for the involvement of the advisor or support person for each party but the availability of the advisor or support person shall not significantly delay a meeting or disciplinary proceeding.

(5)  The reporting party and the responding party shall be provided with a copy of the institution's policies regarding the submission and consideration of evidence that may be used during a disciplinary proceeding and shall have equal opportunity to present evidence and witnesses on their behalf during a disciplinary proceeding; provided, however, that each party shall be provided with timely and equal access to relevant evidence that shall be used in the determination of a discipline.

(6)  There shall be restrictions on evidence considered by the fact finder including, but not limited to, the use of evidence of prior sexual activity or character witnesses.

(7)  The reporting party and the responding party shall be informed in writing of the results of a disciplinary proceeding not later than 7 business days after a final determination of a complaint, not including any time for appeal, unless good cause for additional time is shown, and they shall be informed of any process for appealing the decision.

(8)  If an institution offers an appeal as a result of procedural errors, previously unavailable relevant evidence that could significantly impact the outcome of a case or where the sanction is disproportionate to the findings, the reporting party and the respondent shall be provided with an equal opportunity to appeal decisions regarding responsibility or sanctions.

(9)  The institution shall not disclose the identity of the reporting party and the responding party, except as necessary to carry out a disciplinary process or as permitted under state or federal law.

(h)  A summary of the institution's employee disciplinary process as it pertains to dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking.

(i)  The range of sanctions or penalties the institution may impose on students and employees found responsible for a violation of the applicable institutional policy prohibiting acts of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking.

Sexual Misconduct Climate Surveys and Task Force

188-H:3  Sexual Misconduct Climate Surveys.  Each institution of higher education shall biennially conduct a sexual misconduct climate survey of all students at said institution.  Each institution's sexual misconduct climate survey shall include a base set of common questions recommended by the task force on sexual misconduct climate survey and approved by the director, hereinafter described as the "base survey."  The director shall provide a copy of the base sexual misconduct climate survey to all institutions biennially.  Each institution shall also be permitted to append their own campus-specific questions to the base survey, provided that these questions do not require the disclosure of any personally-identifying information and are not unnecessarily traumatizing for victims of sexual violence.  Any campus-specific questions shall be approved in advance by the campus safety advisor.  Within 120 days after completion of a sexual misconduct climate survey, each institution shall submit a summary of the results to the director and shall also post a summary of the results on the institution's website in an easily accessible manner.

188-H:4  Task Force on Sexual Misconduct.

I.  There shall be a task force on sexual misconduct surveys.  The task force shall consist of the following members:

(a)  The chancellor of the university system of New Hampshire, or designee.

(b)  The chancellor of the community college system of New Hampshire or designee.

(c)  The director of higher education, division of educator support and higher education, department of education, or designee.

(d)  Two representatives of the private 4-year colleges in New Hampshire, with not more than one representative from any such college, appointed by the governor and council on recommendation by the New Hampshire College and University Council.

(e)  One member to be appointed by the governor and council as a representative from a for-profit college or university not a member of the New Hampshire College and University Council.

(f)   Two members to be appointed by the governor and council, who shall be residents of the state and shall represent private postsecondary career schools.

(g)  The commissioner of the department of health and human services, or designee.

(h)  The attorney general, or designee.

(i)  The following members, who shall be appointed by the governor, 3 of whom shall be  students attending a public institution of higher education in this state; 3 of whom shall be students attending a private institution of higher education in this state; 3 of whom shall be students attending an institution in the community college system of New Hampshire; one of whom shall be a representative of the university of New Hampshire recommended by the president of the university, one of whom shall be a representative of the community college system of New Hampshire recommended by the chancellor of the community college system;  4 of whom shall be representatives recommended by rape crisis and counseling centers located in an urban and rural region of the state;  one of whom shall be a researcher with experience in the development and design of sexual misconduct climate surveys; and one of whom shall be a researcher of statistics, data analytics, or econometrics with experience in higher education survey analysis; and 2 of whom shall represent Every Voice New Hampshire.

II.  The task force shall develop a base sexual misconduct climate survey for distribution to institutions of higher education and provide such institutions with any related recommendations respecting the content, timing, and application of the survey.  The task force shall deliver its base survey and related recommendations, including but not limited to, recommendations on achieving statistically valid response rates, to each institution of higher education no less often than biennially and for the first time by March 31, 2021.

III.  In developing the base sexual misconduct climate survey, the task force shall:

(a)  Utilize best practices from peer-reviewed research and consult with individuals with expertise in the development and use of sexual misconduct climate surveys by institutions of higher education.

(b)  Review sexual misconduct climate surveys which have been developed and previously utilized by institutions.

(c)  Provide opportunities for written comment from organizations that work directly with victims and survivors of sexual misconduct to ensure the adequacy and appropriateness of the proposed content.

(d)  Consult with institutions on strategies for optimizing the effectiveness of the survey.

(e)  Account for the diverse needs and differences of the state's institutions of higher education.

IV.  The base sexual misconduct climate surveys shall gather information on topics including, but not limited to:

(a)  The number of incidents, both reported and unreported, of sexual misconduct at the institution of higher education.

(b)  When and where incidents of sexual misconduct occurred.

(c)  Student awareness of institutional policies and procedures related to campus sexual misconduct.

(d)  Whether a student reported the sexual misconduct, and if so, to which campus resource or law enforcement agency such report was made, and, if not, the reason for the student's decision not to report.

(e)  Whether a student was informed of or referred to local, state, campus or other resources, or victim support services, including appropriate medical care and legal services.

(f)  Whether a student was provided the option of protection from retaliation, access to school-based accommodations, and criminal justice remedies.

(g)  Contextual factors, such as the involvement of force, incapacitation, or coercion.

(h)  Demographic information that could be used to identify at-risk groups including but not limited to gender.

(i)  Perceptions of campus safety among members of the campus community and confidence in the institution's ability to protect against and respond to incidents of sexual misconduct.

(j)  Whether the student has chosen to withdraw or taken a leave of absence from the institution or transferred to another institution.

(k)  Whether the student has withdrawn from any classes or been placed on academic probation as a result of the incident.

(l)  Other questions as determined by the task force.

V.  The base sexual misconduct climate survey shall collect anonymous responses and shall not provide the disclosure of any identifying information.

VI.  There shall be established within the division a data repository for all summaries of sexual misconduct climate surveys submitted by institutions of higher education to the division in accordance with this section.  An institution of higher education shall submit its sexual misconduct climate survey, accompanied by the raw data supporting such survey, to the director.  The director shall ensure that the sexual misconduct climate survey data submitted by all institutions will be available to the public in an easily accessible manner on the division's website.

VII.  Each institution of higher education shall publish on the institution's website in an easily accessible manner:

(a)  The results of the survey.

(b)  The annual security report required under 20 U.S.C. section 1092, otherwise known as the Clery Act.

(c)  A link to the division's statewide data on sexual misconduct climate survey data as set forth in paragraph VIII.

VIII.  The director shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, including deadlines for dissemination and collection of survey information, consistent with the purposes of this statute, and shall promote the effective solicitation to achieve the highest practical response rate, collection, and publication of statistical information gathered from the state's institutions of higher education.

Trauma-Informed Policies

188-H:5  Definitions.  In this subdivision:

I.  "Awareness programming" means institution-wide or audience-specific programs, initiatives, and strategies that increase audience knowledge, promote safety, and share resources to prevent and reduce the occurrence of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking.

II.  "Bystander intervention" means bystander intervention as defined in 34 C.F.R. section 668.46.

III.  "Clery Act" means the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act or Clery Act, 20 U.S.C. section 1092(f).

IV.  "Institution of higher education" shall have the same meaning as in RSA 188-H:1.

V.  "Primary prevention programming" means initiatives and strategies informed by research or assessed for value, effectiveness, or outcome that are intended to stop dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking through the promotion of positive and healthy behaviors.

VI.  "Reporting party" means a student or employee who reports an incident of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking to the institution.

VII.  "Responding party" means a student or employee who has been accused of an alleged incident of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

VIII.  "Sexual misconduct" means an incident of sexual violence, dating violence, domestic violence, gender-based violence, violence based on sexual orientation or gender identity or expression, sexual assault or harassment and stalking.

IX.  "Student" means an individual who is enrolled in a public or private degree-granting postsecondary institution of higher education whether part-time, full-time, or as an extension student, or who has taken a leave of absence or who has withdrawn due to being a victim of sexual violence or assault.

X.  "Trauma-informed response" means a response involving an understanding of the complexities of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking through training centered on the neurobiological impact of trauma, the influence of societal myths and stereotypes surrounding the causes and impacts of trauma, understanding the behavior of perpetrators and conducting an effective investigation.  All institutional services and protections afforded to reporting and responding parties in this section are applicable to all conduct which has a reasonable nexus between the misconduct and the institution.  In these cases, these services and protections apply regardless if the conduct occurred off campus, on line, or while studying abroad.

188-H:6  Trauma-Informed Policy.  Each institution of higher education shall:

I.  Adopt detailed and trauma-informed policies regarding dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking involving students or employees of the institution of higher education that comport with the best practices and current professional standards as determined by the higher education campus safety advisor, as defined in this section and RSA 188-H:7, and shall establish procedures for regularly reviewing and updating the policies.  The policy shall be developed in consultation with local, state, or national dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking victim advocacy, victim services or prevention organizations, and local law enforcement.

II.  Develop such policies in coordination with the institution's Title IX coordinator, and the community-based sexual assault crisis service center or a community-based domestic violence agency.  In addition, the institution may consider input from various internal and external entities including, but not limited to institutional administrators, personnel affiliated with on-campus and off-campus health care centers, personnel affiliated with on-campus, when available, and local, community-based rape crisis centers and domestic violence programs, confidential resources advisors, residence life staff, students, the department of state police and the police department and the district attorney having jurisdiction in the city or town wherein the institution's primary campus is located.

III.  Provide draft policies and substantive changes by electronic or regular mail to internal and external entities, with instructions on how to comment and a reasonable length of time in which comments will be accepted.  However, once an institution has adopted such policies as required by this section, the opportunity for review and comment by internal and external entities shall only apply to substantive changes in those policies.

IV.  Apply such policies, as applicable, relating to claims of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking to all students and employees in a culturally competent way.

Campus Safety Advisors

188-H:7  Campus Safety Advisors.  The director shall appoint within the division a campus safety advisor to facilitate and advance statewide campus safety at all institutions of higher education.  The advisor shall have relevant public safety policy experience including campus public safety policy experience.  The advisor shall coordinate, aggregate, and disseminate best practices, training opportunities, and other resources to enhance campus safety at institutions of higher education.  The director shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A to establish and implement the role and responsibilities of the advisor including, but not limited to, establishing minimum standards for campus security and safety issues.

Collaboration With Law Enforcement

188-H:8  Collaboration With Law Enforcement.

I.  Each institution of higher education shall adopt policies and procedures with local law enforcement agencies to establish the respective roles and responsibilities of each party related to the prevention of and response to on-campus and off-campus sexual assault.  Institutions of higher education and local law enforcement agencies shall develop policies and procedures that comply with all applicable state and federal confidentiality and privacy laws and:

(a)  Delineate sharing protocols for investigative responsibilities.

(b)  Provide protocols for investigations, including standards for notification and communication and measures to promote evidence preservations.

(c)  Coordinate training, programing, and requirements on issues related to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.

(d)  Ensure a campus escort service for reporting parties in order to move safely and comfortably between classes, extracurriculars, sports, and campus jobs.

(e)  Develop a protocol for sharing information about specific crimes, which may include a mechanism for sharing information anonymously, that:

(1)  Requires that the reporting party authorized or requested that such information be shared and is fully and accurately informed about what procedures shall occur if the information is shared; and

(2)  Is carried out in a manner that is consistent with the General Education Provisions Act 20 U.S.C. section 1221, and any other applicable provisions under state law.

(f)  Establish the methods for sharing the Clery Act reporting requirements and for facilitating the issuance of timely warnings and emergency notifications required by the Clery Act relative to crimes that may pose a serious threat to the campus or near campus communities.

(g)  Develop methods for notifying the appropriate district attorney's office.

(h)  Update such policies and procedures biennially.

II.  Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, a member of the department of state police or a local police department who acts as a first responder to a report of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking at an institution of higher education shall receive training in the awareness and prevention of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking and in trauma-informed response, subject to appropriation.

Confidential Resource Advisors

188-H:9  Confidential Resource Advisors.  

I.  Each institution of higher education shall establish a campus security policy that includes the designation of at least one confidential resource advisor who complies with the following:

(a)  The confidential resource advisor:

(1)  May have another role at the institution;

(2)  Shall not be a student or a Title IX coordinator; and

(3)  Shall be appointed based on experience and a demonstrated ability of the individual to effectively provide victim services related to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.

II.  The institution shall designate existing categories of employees that may serve as confidential resource advisors.  The designation of an existing category of employees shall not preclude the institution from designating a new or existing employee as a confidential resource advisor or in another confidential role.  An institution may partner with a local, state, or national victim advocacy organization to provide a confidential resource advisor under this section.  An institution that enrolls fewer than 1,000 students may partner with another institution within the state to provide the services under this section.  An institution shall ensure that any partnership entered into under this paragraph shall result in a confidential resource advisor being available to students within a reasonable distance to the student's institution.

III.  The confidential resource advisor shall receive training in the awareness and prevention of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking and in trauma-informed response and coordinate with on-campus and off-campus sexual assault crisis service centers within a reasonable time after being designated as a confidential resource advisor.

IV.  The confidential resource advisor shall inform the student or employee, including in written format:

(a)  Reporting options and the effects of each option.

(b)  Counseling services available on campus and through a local, community-based rape crisis center or domestic violence program.

(c)  Medical and health services available on campus and off campus.

(d)  Campus escort services for security.

(e)  Available academic and residence life accommodations.

(f)  Student loan counseling for students considering temporary permanent withdrawal or half time enrollment regarding loan deferment, forbearance, or other student loan programs.

(g)  The investigative and disciplinary process of the institution.

(h)  The legal process carried out through local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies.

(i)  That the institution's disciplinary process is not to be considered a substitute for the criminal justice process.

(j)  Any limits on the ability of the confidential resource advisor to provide privacy or confidentiality to the student.

V.  The confidential resource advisor:

(a)  May, if appropriate and if directed by the reporting party, assist the reporting party in contacting or reporting to campus or local law enforcement agencies.

(b)  Shall notify the reporting and responding party of their rights and the institution's responsibilities regarding a protection order, no contact order, and any other lawful orders issued by the institution or by a criminal, civil, or tribal court.

(c)  Shall not be required to report an incident to the institution or a law enforcement agency unless otherwise required to do so by state or federal law and shall provide confidential services to students and employees.

(d)  May attend an administrative or institution-based adjudication proceeding as the advisor or support person of the student's or employee's choice.

(e)  Shall not disclose confidential information without the prior written consent of the student or employee who shared the information.

VI.  Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit either party's right of cross examination of the advisor in a civil or criminal proceeding if the advisor testifies after written consent has been given.  A confidential communication shall not be subject to discovery and shall be inadmissible in a criminal or civil proceeding without the prior written consent of the party who shared the information.  Information provided to the confidential resource advisor shall not be released to a campus official or law enforcement officer or agency unless written consent has been given by the party.  A confidential resource advisor shall not act as a counselor or therapist unless the confidential resource advisor is licensed as a counselor in this state and the reporting party engages the confidential resource advisor in that capacity.

VII.  Notice to a confidential resource advisor of an alleged act of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking or a confidential resource advisor's performance of a service under this section shall not be considered actual or constructive notice of such an alleged act to the institution of higher education at which the confidential resource advisor is employed or provides contracted services.

VIII.  If a conflict of interest arises for an institution in which a confidential resource advisor is advocating for a reporting party's need for sexual assault crisis services or campus or law enforcement services, the institution shall not discipline, penalize, or otherwise retaliate against the confidential resource advisor for representing the interest of the reporting party.

Awareness Programming

188-H:10  Awareness Programming.  An institution of higher education with guidance from its Title IX coordinator, local law enforcement, and the sexual assault crisis service center or the community-based domestic violence agency shall provide mandatory annual dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking primary prevention and awareness programming for all students and all employees of the institution that shall include:

I.  An explanation of consent as it applies to sexual activity and sexual relationships.

II.  The role drugs and alcohol play in an individual's ability to consent.

III.  Information on options relating to the reporting of an incident of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, the effects of each option and the methods to report an incident of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, including confidential and anonymous disclosure.

IV.  Information on the institution's procedures for resolving dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking complaints and the range of sanctions or penalties the institution may impose on students and employees found responsible for a violation.

V.  The name, contact information, and role of the confidential resource advisor.

VI.  Strategies for bystander intervention and risk reduction.

VII.  Opportunities for ongoing dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking prevention and awareness campaigns and programming.

Training for Individuals and  Institutions

 Involved in the Disciplinary Process

188-H:11  Training for Individuals Involved in the Disciplinary Process.  An individual who participates in the implementation of an institution of higher education's disciplinary process, including an individual responsible for resolving complaints of reported incidents, shall have training or experience in handling dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking complaints and the operations of the institution's disciplinary process.  The training shall include, but not be limited to:

I.  Information on working with and interviewing persons subjected to dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking;

II.  Information on particular types of conduct that constitute dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking, including same-sex dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking;

III.  Information on consent and the role drugs and alcohol may play in an individual's ability to consent;

IV.  The effects of trauma, including any neurobiological impact on a person;

V.  Cultural competence training regarding how dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking may impact students differently depending on factors that contribute to a student's cultural background, including but not limited to: national origin, sex, ethnicity, religion, gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation;

VI.  Ways to communicate sensitively and compassionately with a reporting party of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking including, but not limited to, an awareness of responding to a reporting party with consideration of that party's cultural background and providing services to or assisting in locating services for the reporting party; and

VII.  Training and information regarding how dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking may impact students with developmental or intellectual disabilities.

188-H:12  Institutional Training.  Each institution of higher education shall ensure that its Title IX coordinator and members of its special or campus police force or the campus safety personnel employed by the institution are educated in the awareness and prevention of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking and in trauma-informed response.

188-H:13  Notice of Rights.  The institution of higher education shall provide both the accuser and accused student with written notice of the institution's decision to proceed with an institutional disciplinary process regarding an allegation of sexual misconduct within 24 hours of such decision, and sufficiently in advance of a disciplinary hearing to provide both the reporting and responding parties with the opportunity to meaningfully exercise their rights to a proceeding that is prompt, fair, and impartial; which shall include the opportunity to both parties to present witnesses and other evidence; and any other due process rights afforded to them under institutional policy.  The written notice shall include the information required to be posted on the institution's website pursuant to this chapter.

Reporting Requirements

188-H:14  Anonymous Reporting.  An institution of higher education shall provide a method for anonymously reporting an incident of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking that involves a student or employee of the institution.  This method shall include an online reporting option.  An institution shall notify its students and employees of the institution's obligations under state and federal law to:

I.  Investigate or address the alleged dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, including when the alleged act was reported anonymously.

II.  Assess whether the report triggers the need for a timely warning or emergency notification under 34 C.F.R. section 668.46(e), the obligations of which may, in limited circumstances, result in the release of the reporting party's identity.

III.  Disclose the identity of a reporting and responding party to another student, an employee, or a third party.

188-H:15  Data Reporting Requirements.  Annually, not later than October 1, an institution of higher education shall prepare and submit to the director, the commissioner of the department of health and human services, the clerks of the senate and house of representatives, and the chairpersons of the senate and house committees with jurisdiction over eduation a report that includes:

I.  The total number of allegations of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking reported to the institution's Title IX coordinator by a student or employee of the institution against another student or employee of the institution.

II.  The number of cases made by a student or employee of the institution against another student or employee of the institution investigated by local or state law enforcement agency, if known.

III.  The number of students found responsible for violating an institution's policies prohibiting dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking.

IV.  The number of students found not responsible for violating an institution's policies prohibiting sexual assault.

V.  The number of disciplinary actions imposed by the institution as a result of a finding of responsibility for violating an institution's policies prohibiting sexual assault.  The report shall provide information in an anonymous manner that complies with state and federal privacy laws.

188-H:16  Amnesty.  A reporting party or a witness that causes an investigation of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, or drug or alcohol use, shall not be subject to a disciplinary proceeding or sanction for a violation of the institution of higher education's student conduct policy related to the incident unless the institution determine that the report was not made in good faith or that the violation was egregious.  An egregious violation shall include, but not be limited to, taking an action that places the health and safety of another person at risk.

Enforcement and Penalty

188-H:17  Enforcement and Penalty.  Upon determination, after reasonable notice and opportunity for a hearing, that an institution of higher education has violated or failed to carry out any provision of this chapter or any rule adopted under this chapter, the director may impose a civil penalty upon such institution not to exceed $150,000, which shall be adjusted for inflation annually, for each violation.  The director shall use any such civil penalty funds to provide oversight of this chapter.

188-H:18  Memoranda of Understanding With Sexual Assault Crisis Centers.  

I.  An institution of higher education shall enter into and maintain a memorandum of understanding with a community-based sexual assault crisis center and a community-based domestic violence agency, funded by the department of health and human services to:

(a) Assist in developing the institution’s policies, programing, and training regarding dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking involving students or employees.

(b) Provide an off-campus alternative for students and employees of the institution to receive free and confidential sexual assault crisis services, including access to a sexual assault nurse examiner if available, or free and confidential domestic violence crisis services in response to dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.

(c) Ensure that a student or employee of the institution may access free and confidential counseling and advocacy services either on campus or off campus.

(d) Ensure cooperation and training between the institution and the crisis center or agency to ensure an understanding of the roles that the institution, crisis center, and agency should play in responding to reports and disclosures of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking against students and employees of the institution and the institution's protocols for providing support and services to such students and employees.

  II.  A memorandum of understanding may include an agreement, including a fee structure, between the sexual assault crisis center or domestic violence agency and the institution of higher education to provide confidential victim services.  Confidential victim services may include: case consultation and training fees for confidential resource advisors, consultation fees for the development and implementation of student education and prevention programs, the development of staff training and prevention curriculum, and confidential on-site office space for an advocate from a sexual assault crisis service center or domestic violence agency to meet with students.

III.  The commission may waive the requirements of this section in the case of an institution that demonstrates that it acted in good faith but was unable to obtain a signed memorandum.

2  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.

 

LBAO

20-2957

1/7/20

 

SB 679-FN- FISCAL NOTE

AS INTRODUCED

 

AN ACT relative to policies on sexual assault in higher education institutions.

 

FISCAL IMPACT:      [ X ] State              [    ] County               [    ] Local              [    ] None

 

 

 

Estimated Increase / (Decrease)

STATE:

FY 2020

FY 2021

FY 2022

FY 2023

   Appropriation

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Revenue

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Expenditures

$0

$266,000

$367,000

$175,000

Funding Source:

  [    ] General            [    ] Education            [    ] Highway           [ X ] Other - University System of New Hampshire

 

The Community College System of New Hampshire was originally contacted on November 5, 2019 and on December 6, 2019 for a fiscal note worksheet, which they have not provided as of January 7, 2020. 

 

METHODOLOGY:

This bill establishes, for institutions of higher education, policy and practice requirements that support the prevention of and response to sexual misconduct on campus.  Requirements would include adoption of specified policies; biennial administration of a sexual misconduct climate survey with state task force input and oversight; collaboration with local law enforcement; adoption of security policy; designation of a confidential resource advisor; mandatory awareness programming for students and employees; training of safety, security, Title IX, and disciplinary process staff; anonymous incident reporting capacity; and formal reporting to the Department of Education and to government officials.  A number of the actions required may already be taking place, could be expanded, or modified as needed generally within current budgets and the effort required at individual institutions would vary.  

 

The University System of New Hampshire states three provisions of this bill would result in significant expense to support compliance across most institutions: the administration of a biennial climate survey and annual mandatory awareness programming for students/employees, neither of which are currently conducted on a regular recurring basis by any institution, and the designation of a confidential resource advisor for Plymouth State University (PSU), Keene State College (KSC), and Granite State College (GSC).  The System has provided the following cost estimates on these three provisions (see detailed cost breakdowns below table):

 

 

FY 2020

FY 2021

FY 2022

FY 2023

Climate Survey

$0

$16,000

$192,000

$0

Awareness Programming

$0

$100,000

$25,000

$25,000

Confidential Resource Advisors

$0

$150,000

$150,000

$150,000

Total

$0

$266,000

$367,000

$175,000

 

Climate Survey

  • Create a survey to incorporate task force base questions
    • Eight (8) employees for 40 hours each at an estimated total personnel cost rate of $50/hour rate = $16,000.  This would be a one-time expense incurred in FY 2021.
  • Administer survey, analyze and report
    • Consultant for 480 hours at $200/hour = $96,000.  This would be a biennial expense, first incurred in FY 2022.
  • Survey participation incentive for validating response rate
    • Approximately 9,600 students (30% of 32,000 University of New Hampshire students) at $10/each = $96,000.  This would be a biennial expense, first incurred in FY 2022.

 

Awareness Programming

  • Online Education Module
    • Module development of $100,000.  This would be a one-time expense incurred in FY 2021.
    • Annual charge for an estimated 49,000 faculty, staff, adjuncts, and students (unduplicated 12-month headcount) of $25,000.  This would be an annual expense first incurred in FY 2022.

 

Confidential Resource Advisors

  • Contract with authorized crisis centers
    • $50,000 for each PSU, KSC, and GSC, for $150,000 total.  This would be an annual expense first incurred in FY 2021.

 

The Department of Education states it would incur no additional costs under this bill.

 

AGENCIES CONTACTED:

University System of New Hampshire, Community College System of New Hampshire, and Department of Education

 

Links

SB679 at GenCourtMobile
SB679 Discussion

Action Dates

Date Body Type
Feb. 20, 2020 Senate Hearing

Bill Text Revisions

SB679 Revision: 7982 Date: Jan. 14, 2020, 2:47 p.m.

Docket

Date Status
Jan. 8, 2020 Introduced 01/08/2020 and Referred to Judiciary; SJ 2
Feb. 20, 2020 Hearing: 02/20/2020, Room 100, SH, 11:00 am; SC 7