Assembly approves bill to increase reporting of on-campus incidents

Assembly approves bill to increase reporting of on-campus incidents
From left, UC Berkeley students Sofie Karasek, 20, Meghan Warner, 20, and Iman Stenson, 19, attend a press conference at the Graduate School of Journalism in Berkeley on Feb. 26, 2014. Thirty-one female students have filed a federal complaint against the university, claiming Cal violated federal anti-discrimination laws by failing to protect them against sexual harassment and assault. (JANE TYSKA / MCT)

The Assembly unanimously approved a measure Wednesday that would require college officials to relay reports of certain on-campus incidents to local law enforcement.

The bill, by Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles), comes at a time when universities across the country are under scrutiny for allegedly underreporting or not fully investigating sexual assaults and other such incidents occurring on campus.

"Campuses are not bubbles. They should not be treated that way," Gatto said on the Assembly floor. "We should make sure every crime that occurs on-campus is investigated with the same dignity and the same vigor as a crime that happens in our streets and in our homes."

Under the bill, when a victim reports a certain violent crime, such as a sexual assault or a hate crime, to campus officials, the college or university would have to immediately disclose that report to local law enforcement.

If the victim requested anonymity, he or she would not be identified when law enforcement is notified.

The measure passed the Assembly 76-0. It now heads to the Senate.