Students at the 64 state universities across New York State will now be protected by a uniform sexual assault policy.
SUNY trustees passed a resolution on Thursday requires both parties to give consent before engaging in sexual activity, and standardizes reporting policies. The resolution also outlined an immunity policy to protect those reporting sexual assaults, police and staff training, campus assessments and a public campaign that focuses on prevention and bystander intervention.
Last month, a SUNY released a report that found 238 sexual assault cases were reported during the 2013-2014 school year, and 145 verbal cases.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office announced the new measures on Thursday morning.
“There has been an epidemic of sexual violence in this country that is truly disturbing and it is plaguing our college campuses,” Cuomo said in a prepared statement. “It is time for New York to take what is a difficult, uncomfortable topic and lead the way, and that is exactly what this resolution passed by the SUNY Board of Trustees today will do.”
The governor said he now intends to work toward similar sexual assault standards at private colleges in the state.