June 19, 2014 at 11:54 pm

Colleges get new rules on dating violence

Washington — The Obama administration wants colleges and universities to compile statistics on stalking, dating violence and domestic violence as part of its ongoing effort to curb sexual assaults on campuses.

The Education Department proposed a new rule Thursday designed to provide a better picture of these problems.

The proposed rule change falls under the Clery Act, which requires colleges and universities to report crime statistics on or near their campuses and provide warnings in a timely manner if safety is threatened. The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 signed by President Barack Obama amended the Clery Act by extending additional rights to campus victims. Victims’ advocates have said the statistics, as currently compiled, don’t paint an accurate picture of the extent of sexual crimes on campuses.

“These new rules strengthen schools’ capacity to provide safer college campuses for students and to keep everyone better informed about campus security policies and procedures,” Education Secretary Arne Duncan said.

Among the other proposed rule changes:

■Adding gender identity and national origin as categories of bias under the Clery Act’s definition of hate crimes.

■Strengthening confidentiality protections for victims.

■Requiring colleges and universities to ensure that disciplinary proceedings in these types of cases are “prompt, fair and impartial” and that both the accuser and the accused have an equal opportunity to have an adviser of their choice present at these hearings.

The rule was developed by a committee that included survivors of sexual assault, advocacy groups, law enforcement and college personnel.