Campus Equality, Fairness, and Transparency Act

SAVE has developed a model bill designed to bring fairness to the campus sexual assault issue. Titled the Campus Equality, Fairness, and Transparency Act (CEFTA), the bill supports the rights and interests of both the complainant and accused student, and encourages the involvement of local criminal justice authorities. CEFTA can be introduced at both the federal and state levels.

The Campus Equality, Fairness, and Transparency Act consists of 10 sections:

  • Sec. 101: Provides clear definitions for a range of sexual offenses and codifies the Supreme Court’s Davis v. Monroe standard to define student sexual harassment, and states that allegations of sexual violence  preferentially should be referred to the appropriate law enforcement agency.
  • Sec. 102: Requires universities to implement policies to reduce the incidence of sexual conduct violations associated with alcohol and drug abuse, as originally delineated in the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989.
  • Sec. 103: Calls on universities to provide a range of educational, training, and support services for students, employees, and identified sexual assault victims.
  • Sec. 104: Mandates the provision of confidential advisors for both the complainant and accused student.
  • Sec. 105: Requires universities to use justice-centered investigative procedures, including the collection of evidence in an impartial and fair manner.
  • Sec. 106: Delineates a series of due process protections for the accused student and affirms the presumption of innocence.
  • Sec. 107: Calls on universities to enter into a memorandum of understanding with local law enforcement agencies.
  • Sec. 108: Promotes transparency by requiring universities to make their sexual assault policies and procedures publicly available.
  • Sec. 109: Clarifies the effect of CEFTA on existing laws and regulations.
  • Sec. 110: States the effective date as 12 months after enactment.

The Campus Equality, Fairness, and Transparency Act can be viewed HERE.

2017 REVISIONS

CEFTA was originally released in June 2016. As a result of continued reports of abuses by campus disciplinary committees and evolving case law, the model bill was revised in February 2017 to incorporate these changes:

  • Institutions must consider the interests and rights of both parties to assure a fair adjudication process and reliable results.
  • Allegations of “sexual violence” preferentially will be referred to the appropriate law enforcement agency of the jurisdiction where the institution is located.
  • Definition of “minor conduct infraction” was amended to include student conduct or student handbook violations.
  • Institutions shall not be obligated to initiate any investigation or disciplinary process that is not initiated by the express request of the complainant.
  • The institution shall not investigate an allegation as long as the criminal investigation or adjudication is pending.
  • The institution shall provide an appellate process for securing reversals of findings of responsibility, but not of a finding of non-responsibility, that is, no risk of “double jeopardy” for the accused student.
  • Institutions shall use no less than a “clear and convincing” standard for a finding responsibility.
  • Sanctions shall be commensurate with the conduct for which the accused student was adjudicated to be responsible.
  • Institutions shall create an Alternative Dispute Resolution process which the parties can voluntarily partake in without an institutional disciplinary proceeding.
  • The provisions of CEFTA would supersede any previous state or federal statute, rule, regulation, interpretation, guidance, resolution, or agreement to the extent that it is inconsistent.

EDITORIALS