GURNEE, Ill. – Legislation backed by state Rep. Joyce Mason, D-Gurnee, to conduct surveys about sexual misconduct on college campuses passed out of the General Assembly last month. If signed into law, the measure will give the public a better understanding of the climate around sexual assaults at colleges and universities.
“Due to the nature of these crimes and the stigma around them, a large portion of sexual assaults are never officially reported to the police,” Mason said. “This lack of data is understandable and is no fault of any survivor, but it can make it more difficult to know where we should be targeting our prevention efforts.”
Mason helped pass Senate Bill 1610, which requires all higher education institutions in Illinois to conduct annual surveys of their student bodies about the on-campus climate around sexual assaults. The measure requires aggregate survey results to be posted publicly online. All individual responses would remain anonymous.
Senate Bill 1610 also creates the Task Force on Campus Sexual Misconduct Climate Surveys, which would be comprised of college students, representatives of sexual assault survivors, and representatives of organizations that advocate for domestic violence survivors, members of the LGBTQ community, and immigrant rights. The task force would also include individuals from higher education boards, representatives of the state’s executive branch and members of the legislature. The task force would be charged with creating a base collection of survey questions to be used for the campus-wide surveys. Senate Bill 1610 also allows colleges and universities to add additional questions to their surveys.
“With this legislation, we would finally have a clearer, more comprehensive picture of sexual misconduct on college campuses,” Mason said. “This new data would allow us to take more targeted action toward preventing these crimes and would help keep college students better protected at school.”
Visit Rep. Joyce Mason’s website
247-E Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
36100 Brookside Dr.
Suites LL 60
Gurnee, IL 60031