Governor Andrew Cuomo visited Plattsburgh State Thursday to tout several focus points of his 2015 Opportunity Agenda, including SUNY’s new sexual assault prevention policy.

Cuomo acknowledged the increasing sexual assault problem across the state, especially on college campuses.

He revealed that 11 colleges across the state are under investigation for their handling of sexual assault cases.

To curb the problem, Cuomo said SUNY is at the forefront in implementing new prevention polices on its campuses.

He outlined key aspects of the policy, including a mandate on affirmative consent between those engaged in a sexual relationship as well as making interactions between victims and law enforcement more assessable and confidential.

“The policy is now in effect at SUNY, and we want to take that and try to apply it to all colleges in the state.”

The policy was officially announced Oct. 2, 2014, in response to the increased concentration on sexual assault in recent months.

The policy calls for other new practices including immunity for students who report sexual violence, new training programs for college authorities, awareness campaigns and a Sexual Assault Victims’ Bill of Rights.

No other statewide policy against sexual violence has been implemented in state colleges before.

Cuomo added that he hopes more states will follow in New York’s footsteps by putting similar policies in place.

“I believe that if you do this in the state of New York, you will see this policy go all the way across the nation. There are polices that when this state puts them in place, people notice,” Cuomo said.

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