BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



          SENATE COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION
                              Senator Carol Liu, Chair
                                2015 - 2016  Regular 

          Bill No:             AB 1653            
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          |Author:    |Weber                                                |
          |-----------+-----------------------------------------------------|
          |Version:   |May 31, 2016                               Hearing   |
          |           |Date:   June 22, 2016                                |
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          |Urgency:   |No                     |Fiscal:    | Yes             |
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          |Consultant:|Olgalilia Ramirez                                    |
          |           |                                                     |
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          Subject:  Postsecondary education:  campus climate
          

          NOTE:  This bill has been referred to the Committees on  
          Education and Business Professions and Economic Development.  A  
          "do pass" motion should include referral to the Committee on  
          Business Professions and Economic Development.

            SUMMARY
          
          This bill requires the California Community Colleges (CCC) Board  
          of Governors (BOG) and the California State University (CSU)  
          Trustees, the governing body of each private postsecondary  
          educational institution in the state and encourages each  
          University of California (UC) campus, to each generate a report,  
          as specified, pertaining campus climate.

            BACKGROUND
          
          Existing law:

          1)   Declares it a shared goal of public education and  
               independent institutions of higher education to achieve  
               educational equity not only through a diverse and 
               representative student body and faculty, but also through  
          educational 
               environments in which each person, regardless of race,  
          gender, gender identity, 
               gender expression, sexual orientation, age, disability or  
          economic circumstances 







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               has a reasonable change to fully develop his or her  
               potential.  
               (Education Code  66010.2)

          2)   Provides that it is the policy of the State of California  
          to afford all persons, 
               regardless of disability, gender, gender identity, gender  
               expression, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion,  
               sexual orientation, or any other basis that is contained in  
               the prohibition of hate crimes, as specified, equal rights  
               and opportunities in the postsecondary institutions of the  
               state.  (EC  66251)

          3)   Declares that, consistent with specified federal law  
               provisions, all students have the right to participate  
               fully in the educational process, free from discrimination  
               and harassment and that California's postsecondary  
               educational institutions have an affirmative obligation to  
               combat racism, sexism, and other forms of bias, and a  
               responsibility to provide equal educational opportunity.   
               It also declares the Legislature's intent that each  
               postsecondary educational institution undertake educational  
               activities to counter discriminatory incidents on school  
               grounds and, within constitutional bounds, to minimize and  
               eliminate a hostile environment on school grounds that  
               impair the access of students to equal educational  
               opportunities.  (EC  66252)

          4)   Requests the UC Regents, CSU Trustees, and the governing  
               board of each community college district to adopt and  
               publish policies on harassment, intimidation, and bullying  
               to be included within the rules and regulations governing  
               student behavior within their respective segments of public  
               postsecondary education. (EC  66302)

          5)   Requires, through the federal law, colleges and  
               universities, as a condition of federal student aid program  
               participation, to publish annual campus security reports,  
               maintain crime logs, provide timely warnings of crimes that  
               present a public safety risk, and maintain ongoing crime  
               statistics. 
               (20 United States Code  1092(f))

          6)   Requires, beginning no later than January 1, 2004,  the  








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               State Auditor to audit at least six colleges every three  
               years regarding to evaluate the accuracy of their  
               statistics and procedures for complying with the Clery  
               Act's crime statistics reporting requirements. The State  
               Auditor is required to report the audit results to the  
               respective Chairs of the Assembly Committee on Higher  
               Education and the Senate Committee on Education.  (EC   
               67382)

            ANALYSIS
          
          This bill:

             1)   Requires the California Community Colleges (CCC) Board  
               of Governors (BOG) and the California State University  
               (CSU) Trustees, the governing body of each private  
               postsecondary educational institution in the state and  
               encourages each University of California (UC) campus, to  
               generate a report once every biennium of the legislative  
               session, beginning with the 2017-2018 Regular Session that  
               include, but is not limited to the following elements:

                  a)        New and recent administrative efforts intended  
                    to affect campus climate, reduce food insecurity and  
                    student homelessness.

                  b)        Recent campus program developments related to  
                    gender, race, ethnicity, 
                    national origin, religion, sexual orientation,  
                    disability, and gender identity that impact campus  
                    climate.

             1)   Requires the CCC BOG and the CSU Trustees, the governing  
               body of each 
               private postsecondary educational institution in the state  
               and encourages UC campuses, to:

                  a)        Each post the report on their respective  
                    Internet Web sites.

                  b)        Send the report to the Governor, the Attorney  
                    General, and the appropriate policy committees of the  
                    Legislature.









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                  c)        Create, review every two years thereafter,  
                    and, as necessary, update protocols, policies, and  
                    procedures regarding compliance with the federal  
                    Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and  
                    Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery) and federal the  
                    Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013  
                    (VAWR).

          3)   Requires California Community Colleges Board of Governors  
               to request, but not require, specified campus climate  
               information from community college districts and base its  
               report on data available from participating community  
               college districts. 

          4)   Defines "campus climate" to mean a measure of an  
               individual's experience within a learning environment,  
               specifically on the current attitudes, practices, policies,  
               and behaviors of campus life that impact the success and  
               retention of all members of a campus community.

          5)   Deletes the request that the California State University  
               (CSU) Trustees and each community college district  
               governing board adopt and publish policies on harassment,  
               intimidation, and bullying as part of their rules and  
               regulations governing student behavior and instead,  
               requires such action if the governing body expends funds to  
               support activities related to campus climate, as defined. 

          6)   Requests the University of California (UC) Regent adopt and  
               publish policies on harassment, intimidation, and bullying  
               to be included within their rules and regulations governing  
               student behavior.

          10)  Establishes if the Commission on State Mandates determines  
               that this act contains costs mandated by the state, the  
               state will reimburse applicable entities.

          STAFF COMMENTS
          
          1)   Source of the bill.  This bill is a result of the efforts  
               of the Assembly Select Committee on Campus Climate.   
               According to the author, "The select committee sought to  
               examine public safety protocols and practices of  
               California's higher education institutions while exploring  








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               solutions to encourage campus safety and promote healthier  
               campus climates.  The select committee's mission was to  
               ensure that the state's college campuses are safe and  
               welcoming environments for all students." The author  
               contends that, existing law does not specifically address  
               campus climate and that this measure would be the  
               appropriate next step in creating some type of oversight of  
               campus climate.  According to the author, the UC recently  
               conducted a systemwide campus climate survey which revealed  
               that every campus handles related situations differently.   
               As California's higher education systems continue to grow  
               and become increasingly diverse, students need to feel safe  
               on campus and knowledgeable about campus procedures,  
               policies, and services. 

          2)   Assembly Select Committee on Campus Climate.  Created by  
               former Speaker John Perez in 2014, the select committee was  
               a result of a number of incidents such as a 2013 case  
               involving an African-American student who experienced  
               on-campus racial bullying at San Jose State.  The committee  
               held four hearings throughout the state and heard from  
               systemwide representatives, university administrators,  
               faculty, university staff, students, community  
               organizations and policy experts.  The committee issued a  
               report with its recommendations in October 2014. Among  
               other things, the committee recommended that the University  
               of California (UC), California State University (CSU) and  
               California Community College (CCC) provide an annual report  
               to the Legislature on recent challenges and developments in  
               regards to campus climate. In 2015 the select committee  
               held two follow-up hearings. The first hearing, in  
               collaboration with the Joint Legislative Audit Committee  
               and the Assembly Higher Education Committee, focused on  
               sexual assaults and sexual violence on college campuses.  
               The second hearing provided insight into student food  
               insecurity as well as student homelessness issues. This  
               bill implements the 2014 report recommendations and  
               information from the 2015 hearings with the intent that  
               there be a certain level of oversight and that the  
               Legislature be kept informed of any major changes at  
               California colleges and universities. 

          3)   Related state audit. In July 2015, the Bureau of State  
               Audits (BSA) issued a report, California's Postsecondary  








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               Educational Institutions: More Guidance Is Needed to  
               Increase Compliance with Federal Crime Reporting  
               Requirements. The BSA visited six institutions to determine  
               whether their annual security reports issued in 2014  
               contained all required security policies and accurate crime  
               statistics for 2013. These included Fresno City College,  
               San Francisco State University, Shasta College, Stanford  
               University, University of California at San Diego, and  
               University of Redlands. They also surveyed 79 of the 573  
               campuses that reported no Clery Act crimes for 2013 to  
               determine whether their institutions' procedures for  
               compiling and distributing the statistics were sufficient.

               The BSA found that none of the six institutions were in  
               full compliance with the Clery Act requirements. In  
               addition, of the 79 campuses surveyed, while most indicated  
               that they have sufficient processes in place to help ensure  
               that they report accurate crime statistics, the BSA felt  
               that some institutions needed to strengthen their practices  
               for notifying students and employees of the availability of  
               their annual security reports.

               Among other things, the Auditor recommended the  
               institutions correctly report all applicable crimes and  
               disclose the required campus security policies by reviewing  
               and adhering to applicable guidance related to the Clery  
               Act, creating written procedures that clearly describe the  
               review process for reporting, and ensuring that they  
               include all crimes in their daily crime log. This bill  
               would require institutions to create and review policies,  
               and procedures regarding compliance with the federal Clery  
               Act and federal the Violence Against Women Reauthorization  
               Act.

          4)   Technical Amendment.  This bill is intended to capture  
               private non-profit higher education institutions, as  
               written the bill inadvertently references Education Code  
               (EC) section 94858 related to private for-profit  
               institutions. Consistent with the author's request staff  
               recommends that the bill be amended to reference the  
               appropriate EC section (66010(b)) for private nonpublic  
               higher education institutions rather than EC section 94858  
               as currently referenced in the bill.  









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          5)   Related and prior legislation.
               
               AB 1654 (Santiago, 2016), expands existing audit  
               requirements regarding the reporting of crime statistics by  
               California postsecondary education institutions by  
               requiring the State Auditor to include an evaluation of  
               institutions' compliance with state law governing crime  
               reporting and the development and implementation of student  
               safety policies and procedures.  AB 1654 was heard and  
               approved by this Committee with a vote of 9-0.

               AB 340 (Weber, 2015) similar to this bill, would have  
               required California State University and California  
               Community College and encouraged University of California  
               to report on campus climate efforts and submit the report  
               to the Governor, the Office of the Attorney General, and  
               the appropriate policy committees of the California  
               Legislature.  AB 340 was vetoed by the Governor whose veto  
               message read:
                    
                    "While I understand the desire to create a  
                    more vibrant, intellectually serious and  
                    inclusive campus environment at UC, CSU and  
                    the community colleges, each of their  
                    governing boards has already taken steps  
                    aimed at achieving these important goals. I  
                    believe the leaders of these institutions  
                    are committed to providing updates on  
                    current and future developments. 

                    Codifying a biennial report, as provided in  
                    this bill, is not necessary."
          
            SUPPORT
          
          California Faculty Association (CFA)
          California State Conference of the National Association for the  
          Advancement of Colored 
               People
          California State Student Association (CSSA)
          National Association of Social Workers, California Chapter 
          United Black Student Unions of California 









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            OPPOSITION
           
           None received. 

                                      -- END --