Colleges should be required to disclose annually the number of sexual-assault hearings on their campuses, as well as the outcomes of the proceedings and any sanctions, the watchdog group Security on Campus said on Friday at a Congressional Victims' Rights Caucus forum in Washington.
The group, which regularly lobbies for legislation it says will make campuses safer, proposed several "enhancements" to the major federal crime-reporting and anti-sex-discrimination laws known as the Clery Act and Title IX.
Beyond the annual disclosures, Security on Campus recommended extending the fine for colleges that violate the Clery Act, $27,500 for each offense, to those that fail to comply with Title IX. The federal government should consolidate enforcement of the two laws, the group said.
"The primary purpose of these provisions is to put in place a framework that will protect sexual assault victims and better enable them to continue with their education," S. Daniel Carter, director of public policy for Security On Campus, wrote in an e-mail message.
Sexual-assault hearings and their outcomes are inconsistent both within and across campuses, Mr. Carter said. His group proposed that colleges develop "comprehensive protocols for addressing sexual assaults" and use a "preponderance of the evidence" standard, rather than a stricter one, in hearings.
"This outline will help create a process that is fair to all involved and will help minimize the need for costly litigation brought by both victims and accused students," Mr. Carter said.
Security on Campus also proposed that colleges run education programs for students, to define sexual assault and consent.
The U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights has announced that it will step up enforcement of Title IX, but Mr. Carter said its measures would probably not be enough.
"We need things that go beyond that," he said in an interview. "This is too serious a problem."