Senior officials from the U.S. Department of Education will testify Thursday before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on the Department's efforts to address campus sexual violence.
Appearing at the hearing will be Catherine E. Lhamon, assistant secretary for civil rights, and James L. Moore, Clery Act compliance manager with the Department's Federal Student Aid office. The committee, chaired by U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, will examine, "Sexual Assault on Campus: Working to Ensure Student Safety."
Lhamon's civil rights office enforces Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in all education programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance. Moore's Clery Act Compliance Division enforces the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act. That law requires colleges and universities participating in federal financial aid programs to maintain and disclose campus crime statistics and security information.
The Obama administration is committed to putting an end to sexual violence—particularly on college campuses. Earlier this year, the president established the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault to strengthen federal enforcement efforts and provide schools with additional tools to combat sexual assault on their campuses.
As part of that work, the Education Department released in April updated guidance describing the responsibilities of colleges, universities and schools receiving federal funds to address sexual violence under Title IX. The guidelines provide greater clarity about the requirements of the law around sexual violence. And last week, the Department proposed changes to the Clery Act that would require higher education institutions to comply with new campus safety and security related requirements aimed at curbing sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking.