Speak Out Now to Protect College Students


Wednesday, January 30, is the last day to submit comments on a proposed regulation that addresses how college campuses address allegations of sexual assault and harassment.

The Trump administration has proposed a new Title IX regulation that would roll back Obama-era protections for college students who have experienced sexual harassment or assault. Title IX is a federal law that prohibits sexual discrimination in any federally funded education program or activity.  Under existing regulations, colleges and universities must have policies and procedures to address allegations of sexual assault and harassment. The proposed regulation would weaken the existing regulations by narrowing the definition of sexual harassment, limiting the circumstances in which the protections are applicable, and by changing the standard of proof. For more information on the proposed rule, see the ACLU’s statement.

Regulatory advocacy is an important aspect of policy creation and commenting on a proposed rule is a key way for advocates to speak out on issues of importance. Regulatory advocacy is not lobbying, so 501(c)(3)s, including public charities, community foundations, and private foundations, may engage in unlimited amounts of advocacy on proposed rules. 501(c)(3)s may draft and submit comments, they may sign on to comment letters drafted by other organizations, and they may encourage members of the public to submit comments on a proposal. None of the work that goes into drafting and submitting a comment on a proposed rule or the time spent encouraging members of the public to submit comments needs to be tracked as a lobbying expenditure.

The National Women’s Law Center has prepared comments that individuals can submit to express their opposition to the proposed erosion of these important protections for college students.  You can submit comments without changes or add your own concerns. Click here to submit your comments.

Time is running out, so make your voice heard today!