BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  AB 2168
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          Date of Hearing:   April 22, 2014

                       ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON HIGHER EDUCATION
                                 Das Williams, Chair
                 AB 2168 (Campos) - As Introduced:  February 20, 2014
           
          SUBJECT  :   Public postsecondary education: California College  
          Campus Discrimination and Violence Prevention Task Force.

           SUMMARY :   Establishes the California College Campus  
          Discrimination and Violence Prevention Task Force (Task Force);  
          and, requires the Task Force, on or before January 1, 2016, to  
          recommended to the Governor and the Legislature steps that can  
          be taken to reduce incidents of discrimination, hate crime, and  
          campus violence on the campuses of the University of California  
          (UC), the California State University (CSU), the California  
          Community Colleges (CCC), and independent institutions of higher  
          education.  Specifically,  this bill  :  

          1)Specifies that the Task Force shall consist of 13 members who  
            reflect the ethnic and gender diversity of California and that  
            these members shall be appointed as follows:

             a)   Seven members appointed by the Governor;

             b)   Three members appointed by the Senate Committee on  
               Rules; and,

             c)   Three members appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly.

          2)Specifies that Task Force shall also consist of three  
            additional members appointed as follows:

             a)   One representative of the CSU Office of the Chancellor  
               to be appointed by the CSU Trustees;

             b)   One representative of the CCC Office of the Chancellor  
               to be appointed by the CCC Board of Governors; and,

             c)   One representative of the organization that represents  
               the largest number, as of January 1, 2015, of independent  
               institutions of higher education in California, as defined,  
               to be appointed by the organization.

          3)Requests the UC Regents to appoint a representative of the UC  








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            Office of the President to be an additional member of the Task  
            Force.

          4)Stipulates that the Task Force shall examine and make  
            recommendations to the Governor and the appropriate committees  
            of the Legislature, on or before January 1, 2016, on steps  
            that can be taken to reduce incidents of discrimination, hate  
            crime, and campus violence on UC, CSU, CCC and independent  
            institutions of higher education campuses in California.

          5)Sunsets on January 1, 2017, unless a later enacted statute  
            that is enacted before January 1, 2017, deletes or extends  
            that date.

           EXISTING LAW  : 

          1)Declares it a goal of public higher education that educational  
            equity be achieved through educational environments in which  
            each person, regardless of race, gender, gender identity,  
            gender expression, sexual orientation, age, disability or  
            economic circumstances has a reasonable change to fully  
            develop his or her potential (EC  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 set forth in  
            subdivision (a) of Section 422.6 of the Penal Code, equal  
            rights and opportunities in the postsecondary institutions of  
            the state (Education Code  66251). 

          3)Provides that 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; and 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 impairs the access of  
            students to equal educational opportunities (EC  66252).









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          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)The federal Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy  
            and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act) requires 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.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :   Unknown

           COMMENTS  :    Purpose of the bill  .  According to the author,  
          "There is nothing in existing law that requires all the higher  
          education segments to work together to identify best practices  
          [as it relates to campus climate] that can be replicated at all  
          campuses throughout the state.  Existing law simply requests the  
          UC Regents, the CSU Trustees, and the governing boards of CCD  
          [community college districts], adopt and publish policies on  
          harassment, intimidation, and bullying."  The author argues that  
          by creating a 13-member intersegmental task force that will  
          provide recommendations on campus hate, bias, discrimination,  
          and violence prevention, the Governor and the Legislature will  
          have the benefit of input from the UC, CSU, CCC and private  
          postsecondary institutions of higher learning.  

          The author's goal is for the Governor and the Legislature to use  
          the input of the Task Force in order to help develop statewide  
          policies that would apply to all the institutions of higher  
          learning in the state.
           
          Recent situations  .  Incidents in recent years and months at the  
          UC and CSU - targeting students of color, and the Lesbian, Gay,  
          Bi-sexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community, investigations of  
          racial and ethnic discrimination, and how sexual assaults and  
          violence have been handled - have greatly highlighted and  
          brought more attention to the need for the UC and CSU to address  
          climate challenges.

           Segment responses  .   The UC  seeks to create and nurture an  








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          atmosphere of respect and inclusion for all; in March 2014 the  
          UC (after a two-year system wide survey), released its campus  
          climate study.  The study found many things, including, but not  
          limited to the following:  1) 79% of all respondents were  
          comfortable or very comfortable with the campus climate at UC,  
          while 7% were uncomfortable or very uncomfortable; 2) more than  
          half of all respondents thought that the overall campus climate  
          was very respectful or respectful of various races/ethnicities  
          at UC; and, 3) more work must be done to address issues faced by  
          certain groups - underrepresented minority respondents were less  
          comfortable with the overall climate and workplace climate than  
          were white respondents and other people of color and transgender  
          respondents were less comfortable with the overall climate at  
          their campus than were men and women respondents.

          To note:  1) many UC campuses have hired staff focused on campus  
          climate issues; 2) many programs are offered to reduce the  
          impact of unconscious bias in hiring and promotions, and to  
          identify and remove institutional barriers to inclusion an  
          career development; 3) resource and student service centers have  
          been established at many campuses for certain populations (such  
          as undocumented students, veteran students, and LGBT students);  
          4) anti-hate initiatives exist at many UC campuses that seek to  
          educate students; and 5) many UC campuses have student-led and  
          cultural activities.

           The CSU  is committed to maintaining an inclusive community that  
          values diversity and fosters tolerance and mutual respect.  It  
          is CSU policy to provide equal opportunity for all persons  
          regardless of race, religious creed, color, national origin,  
          ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical  
          condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender,  
          gender identity, gender expression, age, sexual orientation, and  
          veteran status.  

          The CSU has policies in place to help ensure that their students  
          and faculty are protected; campuses must implement preventative  
          education programs and make available victim resources,  
          including comprehensive victim services.  Information regarding  
          these programs must be included in:  1) orientation programs for  
          new students, faculty and staff; 2) training for students who  
          serve as advisors in residence halls; and, 3) training for  
          student athletes and coaches.  

          Additionally, on a campus by campus basis, the CSU has created  








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          an advisory body of non-CSU experts to advise and opine to the  
          CSU how to strengthen and enforce existing polices, as well as  
          advise if there is a need to create more policies that will  
          allow the CSU to maintain its policy of protection for all.

           State response  .  Out of concern regarding recent campus climate  
          issues at various campuses of higher education, in the past few  
          years there have been several oversight hearings convened by  
          this committee to look at campus climate issues.  Additionally,  
          in the 2013-14 Legislative Session, the Speaker of the Assembly  
          created the Assembly Select Committee on Campus Climate; which  
          will convene several hearings in 2014 with the goal of  
          continuing to strengthen overall campus climate for our  
          postsecondary institutions of higher learning.

           Committee considerations  .  With the segments continuing to work  
          to ensure even more policies and protocols are in place ensuring  
          the safety of students and staff, and with the Legislature  
          recently creating a Select Committee on Campus Climate (having  
          already had a hearing this year and several more scheduled  
          throughout the year in various regions of the state), is this  
          the right time for a task force on these issues to be created?


          Additionally, as currently drafted, it is presently unclear as  
          to who would serve as the lead entity in the organization and  
          convening of the Task Force.  This measure is silent as to the  
          funding of the Task Force; what entity will be responsible for  
          the financial needs of the Task Force and where will the funds  
          come from?


          Should this measure pass out of this committee, staff recommends  
          that the author specify what entity will serve as the  
          administrator of the Task Force.  


           REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION  :   


           Support 
           
          None on file.

           Opposition 








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          None on file.
           

          Analysis Prepared by  :    Jeanice Warden / HIGHER ED. / (916)  
          319-3960