BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



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

          Bill No:             AB 2732              
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          |Author:    |Chang                                                |
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          |Version:   |February 19, 2016                       Hearing      |
          |           |Date:    June 8, 2016                                |
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          |Urgency:   |No                     |Fiscal:    |Yes             |
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          |Consultant:|Olgalilia Ramirez                                    |
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          Subject:  Public postsecondary education:  mandatory orientation  
          for students


            SUMMARY
          
          This bill requires the California State University (CSU)  
          Trustees and requests the University of California (UC) Regents,  
          to provide, as part of established campus orientations,  
          educational and preventive information about cyberbullying to  
          students at all campuses of their respective segments. 

            BACKGROUND
          
          Existing law:

             1)   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.  (Education Code  66302) 

             2)   Requires the governing board of each community college  
               district and the CSU Trustees, and request the UC Regents  
               to, in collaboration with campus-based and community-based  
               victim advocacy organizations, provide, as part of  
               established campus orientations, educational and preventive  
               information about sexual violence to students at all  
               campuses of their respective segments; and, specifies that  







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               for a campus with an existing on-campus orientation  
               program, this information shall be provided, in addition to  
               the sexual harassment information required to be provided,  
               as specified, during the regular orientation for incoming  
               students.  (EC  67385.7)

            ANALYSIS
          
          This bill requires the CSU Trustees and requests the UC Regents,  
          to provide, as part of established campus orientations,  
          educational and preventive information about cyberbullying to  
          students at all campuses of their respective segments. 

          STAFF COMMENTS
          
          1)   Need for the bill.  According to the author, as frequent  
               users of social media and digital technology, college  
               students are vulnerable to cyberbullying.  The author  
               asserts that this new form of harassment has been linked to  
               suicide, alcoholism and depression among college students.   
               According to a University of Washington study on college  
               age women, cyberbullying and its effects have been studied  
               largely in middle and high school students but attention is  
               needed in the college population.  This bill seeks to  
               ensure California State University (CSU) and University of  
               California (UC) students are aware of cyberbullying and its  
               prevention. 

          2)   Existing efforts to address student conduct.  CSU and UC  
               have policies on student conduct and discipline procedures  
               that, among other things, prohibit harassment, intimidation  
               or terrorizing conduct, on or off campus.  Both CSU and UC  
               indicate that each campus works to ensure that students  
               become familiar with their campus' student conduct policies  
               and are aware of available resources for reporting  
               misconduct. It's unclear whether this information is  
               provided to students at the beginning of the year during  
               orientation.  However, staff notes that existing law also  
               requires CSU and requests UC to include sexual harassment  
               information during the regular orientation for incoming  
               students. This bill would add cyberbullying to the list of  
               required information at orientation. 

          Given that UC and CSU standards for student conduct address  








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          harassment, intimidation and other forms of student behavior,  
          should efforts solely focus on cyberbullying?  Is legislation  
          necessary to define which issues are covered as part of college  
          orientation? 

          3)   Efforts to address bullying in K-12 education.  Current law  
               prohibits discrimination in public schools on the basis of  
               disability, gender, gender expression, nationality, race or  
               ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or any other  
               characteristic that is contained in the definition of hate  
               crimes.  Additionally, the California Department of  
               Education (CDE) is required to monitor whether school  
               districts have adopted a process for receiving and  
               investigating complaints relating to discrimination,  
               harassment, intimidation, and bullying.  Existing law  
               authorizes schools to suspend or expel students for acts of  
               bullying, including communications made in writing or by  
               means of an electronic act.  The CDE is further required to  
               develop an online training module on bullying and  
               cyberbullying for school staff, school administrators,  
               parents, students, and community members. 
           
          4)   No definition for cyberbullying.  This bill does not define  
               cyberbullying. Existing law, however, define bullying by an  
               "electronic act," for k-12 to mean the creation or  
               transmission of a communication originated on or off the  
               school site, by means of an electronic device including but  
               not limited to a telephone, wireless telephone, or other  
               wireless communication device, computer, or pager.   
               Although this bill provides no definition for  
               cyberbullying, college campuses may need greater  
               flexibility to keep pace with digital technology as it  
               evolves. 

            SUPPORT
          
          American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees  
          (AFSCME)
          California College and University Police Chiefs Association 
          California State Student Association 

            OPPOSITION
           
           None received.








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