The White House has announced tough new rules for future presidential and vice presidential visits to colleges and universities. Starting now, President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, their spouses and members of their Cabinet will no longer visit universities that fail to address sexual assault.
The Washington Post reported the news on Sunday, and it comes less than a month after Biden penned an emotional open letter in response to the conviction of Brock Turner, a former Stanford University student found guilty of three felony counts of sexual assault and sentenced to six months in jail, of which he is only likely to serve three. The victim in that case, who remains unidentified, published a powerful victim impact statement on BuzzFeed. Biden responded to that survivor, writing:
"We will speak of you — you who remain anonymous not only to protect your identity, but because you so eloquently represent 'every woman,'" he wrote. "We will make lighthouses of ourselves, as you did — and shine. Your story has already changed lives. You have helped change the culture."
In April, Biden spoke exclusively to Mic about his new program called "It's On Us," an effort to teach bystanders to intervene in the moments before potential sexual assaults. There are 256 ongoing investigations into how campuses handled sexual assault cases, according to Juliet Eilperin at the Washington Post.