SECTION 1. Section 10 of chapter 15A of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2014 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting before the definition of “community college” the following definition:-
“Affirmative Consent”, is a knowing, voluntary, and mutual decision among all participants to engage in sexual activity. Consent can be given by words, or actions, as long as those words or actions create clear permission regarding willingness to engage in the sexual activity, silence or lack of resistance, in and of itself, does not demonstrate consent. Consent must be ongoing throughout a sexual activity and can be revoked at any time. The existence of a dating relationship between the persons involved, or the fact of past sexual relations between them, should never by itself be assumed to be an indicator of consent. The definition of consent does not vary based upon participant’s sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.
SECTION 2. (a) As used in this section, the following words shall, unless the context clearly requires otherwise, have the following meanings:-
“College”, any institution within the public system of higher education as set forth in section 5 of chapter 15A of the General Laws or any independent institution of higher education.
“Task Force”, the task force established pursuant to this section to review the feasibility of establishing a State Assault Review Board
“Board”, Massachusetts Assault Review Board
(b) There is hereby established, pursuant to section 2A of chapter 4 of the General Laws, a task force to review the feasibility and effectiveness of the creation of a Massachusetts assault review board. The task force shall consist of 12 members as follows: the house and senate chairs of the joint committee on higher education, or their designees, who shall serve as co-chairs of the task force; a member of the senate appointed by the senate minority leader; a member of the house of representatives appointed by the house minority leader; the commissioner of the department of higher education, or a designee; the chair of the board of higher education, or a designee; the attorney general, or a designee; and 5 members to be appointed by the governor, 1 of whom shall be a representative of the University of Massachusetts recommended by the president of the university, 1 of whom shall be representatives of the Massachusetts state universities recommended by the council of presidents of the Massachusetts state university system, 1 of whom shall be a representative of the community colleges recommended by the Massachusetts Community Colleges executive office, and 2 of whom shall be a representative of private colleges and universities recommended by the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts, Inc. The task force shall meet at a time appointed by the chairs of the joint committee on higher education.
(c) The task force shall:
(1) Investigate and study, in consultation with groups deemed necessary and proper by the chairs of the task force, the feasibility of the creation of a board to serve as an impartial point of view and resource for colleges and universities through judicial proceedings involving on-campus assaults both externally and internally. Such investigation and shall include a review of : (i) ways in which said board could help schools increase efficiency and robustness of their response; (ii) ways in which said board could create a fair and prompt system by which to adjudicate complaints; (iii) any additional criteria as established by the task force.
(2) Make legislative recommendations for best implementation procedures to establish a state assault review board including: (i) board membership; (ii) responsibilities; (iii) best practices and protocols for the board to collaboratively work with any college; (iv) an assessment of the support staff that would be necessary for the board to achieve its responsibilities;
(3) Recommend the most effective way for the commonwealth to establish and maintain a database consisting of best practice protocols and policy recommendations relative to campus safety, including recommendations relative to prevention, reporting and, response proceedings.
The task force shall meet within 90 days of the effective date of this act and file a report containing its findings and recommendations, including legislative recommendations, if any, with the clerks of the house and senate on or before February 1, 2019. Prior to issuing its recommendations, the task force shall conduct at least 1 public hearing to receive testimony from members of the public.
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