Fetterman, Casey, Cassidy introduce bill to combat discrimination at universities
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Fighting hateProtecting Students on Campus Act

Fetterman, Casey, Cassidy introduce bill to combat discrimination at universities

“No student should face hostility or violence for who they are, what they look like, where they’re from or what they believe.” — Sen. John Fetterman

Pennsylvania Sens. John Fetterman and Bob Casey Jr. (Official government portraits)
Pennsylvania Sens. John Fetterman and Bob Casey Jr. (Official government portraits)

Pennsylvania Sens. John Fetterman and Bob Casey, and Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), introduced legislation today addressing discrimination on college and university campuses.

The Protecting Students on Campus Act “would inform students of their right to file a civil rights complaint with the Office for Civil Rights in the U.S. Department of Education if they experience discrimination based on their race, color, or national origin,” according to a news release.

The act would require colleges and universities that receive federal funding to post on their homepage a link to OCR’s website where students can submit complaints and also would require those schools to post materials on how to file OCR complaints in physical locations on campus and online.
Additionally, the act would require OCR to brief Congress monthly on the number of complaints OCR receives, how OCR will address those complaints and how long they have been pending.

The act would require an audit of the colleges and universities that report the highest number of discrimination complaints relative to their student population and prohibit OCR from dismissing complaints due to resolutions by another civil rights enforcement agency.

Fetterman said he was “proud to introduce this bill with my colleagues to empower students facing discrimination to take action and hold universities accountable in protecting students.”

“Diversity is our strength as a country,” he said. “No student should face hostility or violence for who they are, what they look like, where they’re from or what they believe.”

“Discrimination should never stand in the way of a student’s education,” Casey said. “Our students deserve accountability when they’re made to feel unsafe in the classroom.”

The bipartisan legislation comes amid “rising antisemitic, anti-Arab, and Islamophobic activity on college campuses and nationwide following the October 7th attack on Israel by Hamas militants and Israel’s ensuing bombardment of Gaza,” the news release states. PJC

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