Thursday, June 21 , 2018, 11:49 am | Overcast 65º

 
 
 
 

Jackson Bill to Expand Community College Jurisdiction for Sex Assaults Passes Out of Committee

A bill by state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, that would permit community colleges to extend their jurisdiction beyond their campus borders to discipline students for sexual assault violations passed out of the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday. The vote was 7-0.

Senate Bill 186 would allow community college districts to use their disciplinary process to expel or suspend students for sexual assault and sexual battery. UC and CSU campuses already have such extended jurisdictions in place. But as a result of current law, community colleges have had little recourse when inappropriate student behavior occurs outside campus boundaries.

“I have heard from community college leaders that this is a tool they would like to have in place so they can keep their students and communities safe. This is particularly important in a place such as Isla Vista, where we have UC students and community colleges students living next to each other, but being held to different standards," Jackson said. “This will level the playing field for all students, regardless of where they are enrolled, send a clear message about sexual assault and help ensure that victims feel safe enough to stay in school.”

This bill is meant to complement but not supersede the criminal justice process.

Last year, Jackson was the joint author of Senate Bill 967 with Sen. Kevin de León, known nationally as the "yes means yes" bill. SB 967 makes California the first state in the nation to define affirmative consent and require institutes of higher education to educate students about consent and sexual assault.

SB 186 now heads to the Senate Rules Committee.

Jackson represents the 19th Senate District, which includes all of Santa Barbara County and western Ventura County.

— Lisa Gardiner is the communications director for state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson.

 

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