Campus sexual assault has been more visible in the news this past year, especially since Rolling Stone's "A Rape on Campus," story, the backlash, and its retraction. Since then, states and universities have been grappling with the definition of "consent," attempting to put rules in place to protect people going forward. Jon Krakauer has published Missoula to much acclaim, making the dispiriting process of those who must toil their way through the criminal justice system that much more visible. There has been a shift away from blaming victims of sexual assault (though the mindset does still exist) and a shift toward holding alleged perpetrators accountable for their actions.
And now, a Senate committee is considering legislation that would address some of the components of campus-based sexual assault.
The bill being considered would require colleges to provide confidential advisers to students who report sexual violence. It would also require the dissemination of student surveys every two years as a means of gaining insight into the atmosphere of sexual assault at various universities. The results would then be published online as a resource for parents and students. The bill would also establish new penalties for schools that fail to follow federal laws related to campus safety and gender discrimination.
You can read more about this legislation here.