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Lady Gaga Teams with NY Governor to Pass Campus Assault Bill

Lady Gaga (shown in March 2009 photo) joined forces with Gov. Cuomo in an open editorial letter, which urges the passing of aggressive campus sexual assault legislation.

Elizabeth Hoyt

June 09, 2015

Lady Gaga Teams with NY Governor to Pass Campus Assault Bill
It’s another pairing you wouldn’t expect as far as Lady Gaga is concerned. The pop star has teamed up with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to urge the passing of what’s being called the “Enough Is Enough” bill. The legislation combats sexual assault on college campuses in New York State.

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The two co-wrote an open letter, exclusively released on Billboard concerning sexual assault on college campuses. Through the open letter, Lady Gaga joins the New York governor in pledging support for his legislation, which details a sexual assault policy that would extend to all of New York’s colleges. The letter touches upon the issue saying, “It is a shocking reality that many in academia, government, and society in general still refuse to acknowledge.”

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The campus assault issue is not unique to New York – it is an issue across the nation.
However, according to Department of Education data released to Mother Jones, 14 New York State colleges (both public and private) are currently under investigation for the handling of sexual assault cases. That’s more than any other state in the country.

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Aggressive legislation in the state could serve as the first step towards tackling the issue across the nation. Sexual assault is an issue close to Lady Gaga, as she alluded in a 2014 radio interview with Howard Stern that she was a victim of sexual assault at age 19 by a producer. According to the letter, “too many college students experience sexual assault, too few of the assailants are prosecuted, and too often the survivors lack the resources they need to recover.” It continues, “Making a bad situation worse, college officials sometimes fear negative publicity against their school if assaults are reported to the police. Instead of involving law enforcement, these cases are often handled as campus disciplinary issues and many offenders avoid meaningful consequences.” Last year, the governor urged the public university system in New York to create a strong policy against sexual assault, which they did. However, New York state laws must pass legislation in order to extend the same policy to private colleges, forcing them to follow the same standards. The pair teamed up to create awareness of and pass the legislation with just nine days left before the state’s legislature closes on June 17. The letter explains that, “By passing legislation such as the bill currently before the New York State legislature, we can turn the tide on this issue so that students can realize their dreams on campuses that are safe spaces. That’s why we are joining together to take a stand against sexual assault on college campuses.” The two concluded the letter with a poignant phrase everyone can get behind regarding sexual assault on college campuses. “Quite simply, enough is enough.” You can read the open letter in its entirety on Billboard’s website.

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