This bill would hold campus rapists accountable by marking their transcripts

It’s called the Safe Transfer Act, and we’re here for it

If a new bill called the Safe Transfer Act passes, students who have violated their current college or university’s sexual violence policy will have their transcripts noted when transferring universities.

Congresswoman Jackie Speier, a Democrat from California, filed the bill in order for the new university and its students to protect themselves and be aware of someone who previous committed sexual misconduct. Even if the case is still pending, it will be noted. If the case is dismissed, it will not be.

The Safe Transfer Act is not only to prevent students who have committed sex crimes in the past from committing others, but it also serves to let other students know that if you commit sexual assault it is unacceptable — and you won’t be able to run to another school and forget about it. Or do something like it again.

“My bill will ensure that students who try to transfer schools to avoid the consequences of their violent acts will, at a minimum, face the same consequences as students who transfer because they’ve cheated on an exam,” said Speier in a statement.

Think about it: It’s pretty disgusting how a student who cheats on a test or commits plagiarism has that permanently noted on their records, while students who commit horrible sex crimes get off with a clean record. Why is plagiarism held at a higher regard than rape or sexual assault?

In a press release, Rep. Speier mentions Valdemar Castellano as one of the reasons why we need to pass the Safe Transfer Act. Castellano was a student at Vincennes University who allegedly held hostage and raped a classmate in 2013. After being expelled, he was able to transfer to the University of Northwestern Ohio where he was arrested and charged with sexual imposition — he allegedly grabbed another student’s breast and tried to undress her — just a few months after arriving. After those charges were dropped, he left the University of Northwestern Ohio and transferred to another school.

Castellano attended three universities within three years and managed to conceal his history of aggressive sex crimes at each one of them — and that’s not OK.

Without the bill, campuses are helpless in what could potentially be preventable. People who violate and commit crimes towards innocent people should not be allowed to start fresh — because, after all, their victims certainly don’t have that luxury.

Detractors say the bill is too harsh, and could even dissuade victims from reporting assaults for fear of ruining the lives of their assailants. But proponents are quick to note that the proposal does take into account the rights of the accused by notifying them that the disclosure is occurring. Their university must also give them the opportunity to see the entry on their record, and they can add a written statement if they would like.

Attorney Andrew Miltenberg, who opposes the bill, told Buzzfeed that it “really leaves very little in the way of protections for the accused.”

The bill is supported by End Rape on Campus, the National Organization for Women and the Association of Title IX Administrators.

Virginia and New York are currently the only two states that require the universes to list the students sexual offenses on their transcript. If the bill is passed, it will require universities in every state to hold students accountable for sexual violence and assault by marking their transcripts. It will help enact more preventable methods for sexual assault, and strengthen the notion that it is taken seriously on college campuses.

Florida State University