Oregon Lawmakers Want To Examine Sexual And Racial Discrimination On College Campuses
A bipartisan group of Oregon lawmakers unveiled a proposal this week that would create a new panel to examine sexual and racial discrimination on college campuses.
If approved, Senate Joint Resolution 30 would create a committee of Senators and Representatives that would hold hearings and create proposed legislation to be considered during upcoming legislative sessions.
Sen. Sara Gelser, D-Corvallis, said during an online press conference that the proposal is meant to shed light on an important issue.
“As a legislature, we have an obligation to make sure that all of our public institutions, all of our taxpayer-funded institutions, are open and transparent, and are doing everything that they can to have safe and respectful cultures,” she said.
Another of the resolution's sponsors, Sen. Kim Thatcher, R-Keizer, said the intent is not to punish universities for the way they've handled harrassment and discrimination issues in the past.
"The goal is to diagnose the issue, provide a workable path forward, and make our campuses safe and respectful for everyone," said Thatcher.
Lawmakers who support the measure point to a recent lawsuit against OHSU in a sexual assault case as an example of a public institution falling short of protecting its students.
The proposal to create the new committee would have to be approved by a full vote of the Oregon House and Senate.