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Brown Demands Universities and Colleges Get Off the Sidelines on Campus Hate Incidents

November 1, 2017
Press Release
Independent review confirmed 154 total hate incidents at more than 120 campuses since 2016 election

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Last week, Congressman Anthony G. Brown (MD-04) introduced the Creating Accountability Measures Protecting University Students Historically Abused, Threatened, and Exposed to Crimes Act (CAMPUS HATE Crimes Act). The bill proposes a comprehensive approach to ensure universities officials are held accountable for hate crimes and hate-based incidents that occur on their campuses. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, hate groups are specifically “targeting college campuses” where “you're dealing with people who may be just starting to form their ideas about the world.” Following the indictment of Lt. Richard Collins III’s murderer with a hate crime and the overall demonstrable rise of hate speech and violence on college campuses over the past 12 months, Congressman Brown drafted the legislation to better ensure students are not exposed to hate-speech, hate symbols or acts of racially motivated violence on campus.

“Our universities and college campuses should not become bastions of hate-speech and bigotry. These are public institutions that must do their part to combat the rising tide of hate across the country,” said Congressman Brown. “We must push back against extremists efforts to target the developing minds of young students and ferment intolerance, hatred and violence. As we continue to seek justice for Lt. Richard Collins and his family, we must not wait for another tragedy to take action. This bill is about ensuring we stand up straight, look hate in the eye, and let it know that it has no place in our campuses, classrooms or schools.”

Brown’s legislation takes a multi-pronged approach to curb hate crimes on college campuses.

First, the bill mandates accreditors assess an institution of higher education’s (IHE) preventative measures regarding hate crimes during the accreditation process. In order to be eligible for Title IV funding, an IHE must annually distribute the following materials to students and faculty:

  • Standards and conduct that clearly prohibit hate based crimes on campus property or during official functions;
  • Descriptions of the applicable legal sanctions under local, state, and federal law for perpetrating a hate-based crime;
  • Description of any counseling, medical treatment, or rehabilitation programs that are available to students or employees; and
  • Descriptions of campus policy in terms of what options students have to switch dorms, classes, etc. should they feel unsafe in those spaces due to a hate crime

In addition, an IHE must conduct an internal review of the processes every four years to:

  • Determine effectiveness and create changes as needed;
  • Determine number of hate based crimes;
  • Determine number, type, and severity of sanctions that imposed by institution; and
  • Ensure sanctions are consistently enforced.

Further, the bill requires the U.S. Secretary of Education to:

  • Perform periodic review of a sample of programs in place;
  • Recommend programs and actions they found successful on campuses; and
  • Respond and impose sanctions on IHE’s that do not comply.

H.R. 4093 also directs the Education Secretary to disseminate need-based grants to IHEs to:

  • Develop, implement, operate, improve, and disseminate programs of prevention, and education to reduce and eliminate hate-crimes, or provide aid to victims of hate-crimes; and
  • Create a higher education center for hate crime prevention and response that will provide training, technical assistance, evaluation, dissemination, and other associated services to assist the higher education community, including law enforcement and other support staff.

Lastly, the bill codifies the above provisions into the Program Participation Agreements (PPA) between the IHE and the U.S. Department of Education. The PPA is binding document an IHE provides to the Education Department agreeing to meet Title IV requirements before Federal Student Aid can be awarded. In addition, in order to unify the reporting process of hate-based incidents on college campuses, the bill amendments to Clery Hate Crimes Act to require campus authorities to inform local law enforcement, regardless of jurisdiction, of all reported hate crimes.

Representatives co-sponsoring the bill include:

Karen Bass (CA), Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX), Sanford D. Bishop Jr (GA), Earl Blumenauer (OR), G. K. Butterfield (NC), Andre Carson (ID), Yvette Clarke (NY), Emanuel Cleaver (MO), James E. Clyburn (SC), Elijah E. Cummings (MD), Danny K. Davis (IL), Val Butler Demings (FL), Mark DeSaulnier (CA), Debbie Dingell (MI), Keith Ellison (MN), Dwight Evans (PA), Marcia L. Fudge (OH), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D.C.), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX), Pramila Jayapal (WA), Hakeem S. Jeffries (NY), Hank Johnson, Jr. (GA), Robin L. Kelly (IL), William Lacy Clay Jr. (MO), Brenda L. Lawrence (MI), Al Lawson, Jr. (FL), Barbara Lee (CA), John Lewis (GA), Mike Quigley (IL), Jamie Raskin (MD), Bobby L. Rush (IL), Terri A. Sewell (AL), Mark Takano (CA), Bennie G. Thompson (MS), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL), Maxine Waters (CA) and Frederica S. Wilson (FL).