Continuing her work to address student sexual assault, state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, has introduced a bill that would permit community colleges to extend their jurisdiction beyond their campus borders for sexual assault and other serious student conduct violations.

Senate Bill 186 would allow community college districts to use their disciplinary process to expel or suspend students for off-campus behavior that is determined to be “egregious,” such as sexual assault, physical abuse, threats of violence, arson-related offenses, sexual harassment, stalking and hazing. UC and CSU campuses already have such extended jurisdictions in place. But as a result of current law, community colleges have had no 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 — so that they know that whether they are in the classroom or a few miles from it, they must behave appropriately.”

The bill would limit the ability of community college districts to expel or suspend students to egregious acts only. In addition, this bill is meant to complement but not supersede the criminal justice process.

Last year, Jackson, with Sen. Kevin de León, was the joint author of Senate Bill 967, 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.

Jackson is chair of the California Legislative Women’s Caucus, a bipartisan group of female legislators advocating on behalf of women, children and families in California. She 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.