Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in all education programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance. According to statistics from the U.S. Department of Education, college campuses reported over 5,000 forcible sex offenses in 2013; however, a recent study shows that the actual number of offenses may be at least six times that number. In that time, there were 388 forcible sex offenses reported by campuses in New York State, of which over 50 were in New York City.


A 2007 campus sexual assault study by the U.S. Department of Justice found that around 1 in 5 women are targets of attempted or completed sexual assault while they are college students.


In January 2014, in response to the epidemic of campus sexual assaults nation- wide, the White House released Not Alone: The First Report of the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault. The report provides a list of steps and recommendations for institutions of higher education to improve their handling of sexual violence cases and effectuate greater transparency and enforcement of federal and university regulations. 

Ending campus sexual assault requires a multi-faceted approach. Solutions include:


  • clearer campus sexual assault policies

  • widely available comprehensive sexual assault education programs like prevention and bystander training

  • a resource shift from risk-reduction strategies to prevention strategies

  • consistent and clear reporting and investigation practices

  • survivor-centered response to sexual assault

  • adequate support resources for survivors of sexual assault

  • and creating a culture-shift on campuses that addresses the root cause of sexual assault

Centered around ensuring students have access to pursue their education in a safe and accountable academic environment, the USS has:


  • provided testimony at an October 2014 joint New York City Council Hearing discussing the prevalence of sexual assault on New York City college campuses and a proposed local law

  • provided written recommendations to the University's Office of General Counsel on the new “Policy on Sexual Misconduct

  • participated in a Sexual Assault Prevention Student Roundtable held by the National Campus Leadership Council and facilitated by Valerie Jarrett, who currently serves as the Senior Advisor to President Obama, and Tina Tchen, the Executive Director of the White House Council on Women and Girls

  • engaging in the Safe and Healthy Relationships Project through coordinating and consultation with CUNY School of Public Health’s Healthy CUNY program

  • held a student-led panel discussion to addressed the intersected issues of campus sexual assault, Title IX, and changes in New York State law to protect students from sexual violence during the annual New York State Assembly and Senate SOMOS El Futuro Conference on March 20-22, 2015

  • organized a panel titled Campus Sexual Assault and Intimate Partner Violence: Community, Advocacy, and Legal Perspectives during the City College of New York’s 3rd annual Women’s Leadership Conference on March 7th, 2015

  • adopted a resolution on May 3, 2015 calling on the CUNY administration to review their current implementation process, and communicate with student governments concerning campus sexual assault prevention, intervention, and support services

  • attended several of Governor Cuomo's Enough is Enough press conference.

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University Student Senate

Phone: 646.664.8844 Fax: 666.664.8863

The University Student Senate (USS) of the City University of New York (CUNY) was founded in 1972 with the mission of preserving the accessibility, affordability, and excellence of higher education within the City University of New York; the organization is charged with protecting the rights of the student body, furthering the cause of public higher education and promoting the general welfare of its student constituents and the University. The USS delegates are responsible for the representative governance of the 500,000 students of the 24 CUNY campuses.