Legislature passes campus safety bill in wake of McCluskey slaying

Legislature passes campus safety bill in wake of McCluskey slaying

(Scott G Winterton, KSL)

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SALT LAKE CITY — A proposal to improve campus safety across Utah's public colleges — inspired in part by the death of University of Utah student Lauren McCluskey — cleared its final hurdle in the state Legislature Wednesday.

The House passed SB134 in a 67-2 vote, sending it on to Gov. Gary Herbert's desk for approval.

McCluskey was killed near her dorm in October by a parolee she had briefly dated but stopped seeing once she learned he was a sex offender and more than a decade older than her. Her father, Matt McCluskey, urged lawmakers to support the bill earlier this month.

The bill's sponsor, Sen. Jani Iwamoto, says the bill would force greater accountability on colleges by requiring them to develop and publicize a plan to make sure those who are stalked, sexually assaulted or abused by a significant other can report the crime and get the help they need. The Holladay Democrat says the measure also seeks to improve campus culture by requiring all members of school-recognized clubs or sports teams to undergo bystander training.

According to the bill, it would cost $60,000 apiece for the eight colleges in the Utah System of Higher Education to make the changes, which would include hiring an employee to create curriculum, putting new procedures in place and conducting training. The Board of Regents, which oversees the eight schools, has said its existing budgets can absorb the cost of the requirements.


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