A Wyoming university has become the first university in the state to enact a new policy on campus sexual assault, requiring students to report allegations of sexual assault to campus police within 72 hours.
The policy was adopted by the Wyoming Faculty Senate, which meets on a monthly basis, and was adopted unanimously by the Senate’s Senate Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security, which will vote on the bill next week.
Under the new policy, students who report sexual assault will receive a letter from the university stating the student will be notified and asked to report the allegation to the university.
The University of Wyoming’s Sexual Assault Response Team will be responsible for contacting the accused and obtaining medical assistance.
The new policy comes after a number of high-profile campus sexual assaults in recent years, including a report from The Associated Press that found one woman was raped by two men on campus in 2015.
The Wyoming bill comes at a time when a national debate has erupted over the lack of action to curb sexual assault on college campuses.
The U.S. has experienced a sharp increase in the number of sexual assaults on college and university campuses in the past decade.
In March, the New York Times reported that a university in New York City, which is home to a major city university, had a record number of reported sexual assaults last year.
The Times reported the number was “the most in the country.”
The University System of Colorado in Denver, Colorado, in October adopted a “yes means yes” policy that requires students to submit a sexual assault complaint within 72 days of being assaulted, regardless of the circumstances.
In Wyoming, the new rule will be mandatory for all students at the University of the Wyoming, as well as for all of its students.
Students will also be required to notify the University’s Sexual Violence Response Team of any reported incidents.
The move comes as the number one-ranked university in Wyoming, Wyoming State University, has faced accusations of a cover-up of sexual misconduct allegations by several former employees.
The university said last month that former vice president of student affairs and dean of the School of Business, Dan Cottrell, had been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit a crime, a felony.
Cottrell resigned last week amid an internal investigation by the university’s Title IX office, the university said in a statement at the time.