Sen. Barnes to Introduce Legislation to Protect College Students, Address Sexual Assaults on Campus

 Bill Package To Hold New Jersey Colleges and Universities Accountable For Reducing Violence on Campus

TRENTON, NJ  – In response to recent reports stating that one in five women will be sexually assaulted while in college, Senator Peter J. Barnes, III today announced a bill package to hold New Jersey’s colleges and universities accountable for reducing violence on their campuses. The package improves reporting requirements of sexual assault cases to parents and students, ensures colleges are not sweeping cases under the rug and provides victims with a support system to help them through the trauma of sexual assault.

“College is supposed to be a place where our young people can learn and grow and become independent adults, but more and more often, women and even men are finding college to be a place of violence and fear,” said Senator Barnes, D-Middlesex. “We cannot continue to allow rape and sexual violence to occur on our campuses. Colleges and universities must step up to help prevent these actions and to protect those individuals who are victims of sexual assault.”

Sign Up for E-News

The first bill in the package would provide students at colleges and universities in New Jersey who have been sexually assaulted with a confidential advocate who can help them determine their options and provide guidance and support in the decision-making process. Rutgers University already has a similar program offering advocacy and support for those who are victims of crime through their Office for Violence Prevention and Victim Assistance. Additionally, Confidential Sexual Assault Advocates are available in each county throughout the state. This legislation would ensure that those individuals are available at each college or university campus in New Jersey.

“More often than not, victims of sexual assault are attacked by someone they know – a date, a friend or a partner – leaving them questioning who they can trust,” said Senator Barnes. “By providing these survivors with someone to turn to who can help them determine the best course of action for their individual situation, we can make sure these women and men know that they are not alone and empower these survivors to do what is best for them to recover.”

The second bill would require New Jersey colleges and universities to report annually on their website how many students have reported incidents of sexual assault by a fellow student.  Additionally, the legislation would require the institution to send the report to students prior to the beginning of the school year.

In a recent report by the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault, the White House announced a partnership with Rutgers University to pilot a survey that colleges and universities throughout the country can use to confidentially assess and evaluate incidences of sexual assault on their campuses.  Senator Barnes notes that this anonymous reporting tool will help colleges and universities more fully understand the extent of violence on their campuses.

“Colleges and universities are currently caught in a Catch 22 in regards to reporting sexual assaults and crimes on campus – for those who do the right thing and share with parents and students the rate of incidents they can be pegged as being unsafe. By requiring all colleges and universities in the state to report these details, we can  level the playing field, ensuring that all parents and students have information they can compare across the board regarding safety at schools,” added Senator Barnes.

The final bill, S-2317, would require colleges and universities to appropriately and effectively respond to reported incidences of sexual assault on campus. The bill would require that when a student reports to campus police or security an incident of assault perpetrated by an employee or someone holding a formal position within the college or university, then the university must report the assault to local police.

“Any appearance of impropriety when dealing with an accusation of sexual assault committed by a faculty or staff member can have a damning effect on the university,” said Senator Barnes. “There is simply too much on the line for the school if individuals believe that the college or university is sweeping an incident under a rug to protect their own. Reporting to local law enforcement will better ensure the involvement of an independent entity, which is beneficial for both the school and the student.”

Last week, the U.S. Senate introduced the Campus Accountability and Safety Act that would heavily fine schools that do not accurately report sexual assault crimes or those fail to investigate reports of sexual assault on their campuses. Senator Barnes notes that many of the same concerns for student safety are reflected in the proposed federal law, and that it is important that New Jersey tackles the problem of sexual assault at our college campuses as well. 

Peter J. Barnes III (born April 26, 1956) is an American Democratic Party politician, who currently serves in the New Jersey Senate, where he represents the 18th legislative district. He previously served in the General Assembly from 2007-2014. Barnes previously served on the Assembly Judiciary Committee (as Vice-Chair), the Appropriations Committee and the Environment and Solid Waste Committee.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

South Plainfield

The Athlete of the Week: Lanasia Neal Girls’ Bowling

This past week a few winter sports were getting underway.  The South Plainfield Girls’ Bowling Team has very high expectations.  They are currently ranked #10 in the State of New Jersey.  The team started the season with a win over South River on Thursday, and then took 5th in the very competitive Bob James Memorial Classic on Saturday.  Junior Lanasia Neal continues to ...

Letters to the Editor

Jim Giannakis says Thank you!

November 28, 2016

Dear Residents,

A few weeks ago we held our elections, it seems to me like only yesterday it was last year and I fell
short of victory. I was initially disappointed, however I realized after almost 10 years on our
Board of Ed, the year off served me well. I had a chance to step back and look at things from a
completely different perspective, as well as re-energize myself.

This year, I ...

Colin James Berry Admitted to Sigma Alpha Lambda at Rowan University

November 27, 2016

Colin James Berry was recently admitted to Sigma Alpha Lambda, a National Leadership and Honors Society at Rowan University.  Sigma Alpha Lambda is a national organization dedicated to promoting and rewarding academic achievement and providing members with opportunities for community service, personal development, and lifelong professional fulfillment.   Colin is a junior Marketing ...


Anne (Heinrich) Daugenti

December 8, 2016

South Plainfield - Anne (Heinrich) Daugenti died Tuesday December 6, 2016 at the Woodlands in Plainfield.

Born and raised in Elizabeth, Anne and her late husband Frank resided in South Plainfield for nine years. As a homemaker, Anne throughly enjoyed watching her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren grow. 

Anne is predeceased by her husband; Frank and both parents; Jacob and ...

Jason Auletto, 41

Jason Auletto, 41, passed away on Sunday, December 3, 2016 in South Plainfield.

Born in Plainfield, Jason had been a lifelong resident of South Plainfield graduating from South Plainfield High School in 1993.

Jay is survived by his daughters, Amanda and Olivia Auletto; his parents, Dominick and Joan Auletto; sister, Allison Auletto; nephew, Justin and several extended loving relatives and ...

Community Happenings

Adopt a Family in Need this Holiday Season

December 4, 2016

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – The South Plainfield Social Services Department is looking for volunteers to adopt/help a family in need this holiday season. Each year the South Plainfield community comes together and assists dozens of less fortunate families.

If you are new to assisting those in the program, basically you are asked to come to the South Plainfield Social Office located at ...

Hughes, Martson Named South Plainfield High School’s 2016 Homecoming Queen and King

December 9, 2016

(Editor's Note: Gabby Mine is a senior at South Plainfield High School and an intern for TAPinto South Plainfield.) 

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Homecoming can be described as a fall prom with the ladies wearing their finest dresses, the men dressed to impress and everyone focused on socializing, dancing, eating and having a good time.

South Plainfield High School’s ...

South Plainfield Knights of Columbus - Breakfast with Santa - Sun 12/18 9am to 11am

November 25, 2016

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - The South Plainfield Knights of Columbus located at 334 Hamilton Blvd will be hosting Breakfast with Santa on Sunday, December 18th from 9:00 am to 11:00 am at the Knights hall. Complimentary pictures with Santa are included in price, please bring wrapped present if you want Santa to give to your child.

Cost of the breakfast is $5/person or $15/family. Breakfast includes ...

Pedestrian Struck by a Motor Vehicle

The South Plainfield Police responded to a pedestrian struck by a motor vehicle on Wednesday evening, November 30, 2016, at approximately 6:11 p.m.  Vonzo Daniels of Plainfield was struck and severely injured by a vehicle travelling south bound on Plainfield Avenue at the intersection of Wood Street as he attempted to cross the roadway.

The investigation revealed that Daniels was crossing ...

Qualified Purchasing Agent (Part-time)


Qualified Purchasing Agent (Part-time) – South Plainfield, Middlesex County.  The Borough seeks a Qualified Purchasing Agent to oversee the purchasing methods in accordance with prescribed laws, rules, regulations and standards. The candidate will assist the Administrator and Clerk in the preparation of bid documents, procurement of materials, and make recommendation for the ...

Upcoming Events


Sat, December 10, 1:30 PM

South Plainfield

South Plainfield Public Library presents: ...


Sun, December 11, 1:00 PM

East Jersey Old Town Village, Piscataway

Seasonal Traditions Holiday Program: The Township ...

Arts & Entertainment Government


Sun, December 11, 2:00 PM

South Plainfield

South Plainfield Public Library presents Wild New ...


Sun, December 18, 9:00 AM

Breakfast with Santa, South Plainfield

South Plainfield Knights of Columbus - Breakfast ...

Sat, December 24, 10:30 PM

St. Francis Episcopal Church, Dunellen

Christmas Eve Service at St. Francis

Religions And Spirituality

Sun, December 25, 10:00 AM

St. Francis Episcopal Church, Dunellen

Christmas Day Service at St. Francis

Religions And Spirituality


Diegnan Bills Focusing on School Security Policies Now Law

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Two pieces of legislation sponsored by Senator Patrick Diegnan improving school security measures which include design plans and training drills was signed into law today.

“These laws are about putting safety first and we need to make sure the schools that house our children and educators are built emergency ready,” said Senator Diegnan ...

Three Sisters, Three Queens by Philippa Gregory

Three Sisters, Three Queens by Philiippa Gregory (Touchstone of Simon and Schuster, 2016)


When one reads an historical novel by Philippa Gregory, s/he is transported magically through the power of words to that era. Given the turbulence of the recent political scene in America, returning once again to the complicated and violent Tudor reign helped me to escape the ugliness of the ...


We figure a few of you have already sent out all of the cards, bought all of the needed gifts, finished the decorations and can relax as the rest of the Holiday season goes on.  As for the rest of our audience (about 99.5% of it) who haven’t finished, take a break with news from South Plainfield Library:

We’ll start off with a couple of programs coming up this weekend.  ...

South Plainfield Columbian Squires - Annual Hiking trip

The South Plainfield Columbian Squires went on their yearly mountain hike on November 25th to the Tammany Trail (also known as the Red Dot trail) at the Delaware Water Gap.

The Squires hike started with a slight incline, but soon reached a more steep and very rocky terrain through the forest. They passed a rocky bluff, overlooking the Delaware River at 400ft, but they only had another 800ft ...

The Mommy’s Review - Dear Evan Hansen

I want to tell you everything about Dear Evan Hansen, the new Broadway musical that just opened at The Music Box theater. But I also want to tell you nothing about Dear Evan Hansen, because I don’t want to spoil anything. Let’s see how I can do this…

Dear Evan Hansen is about an anxious, painfully shy high school senior whose therapist wants him to write encouraging letters ...

Press Releases

Creative Cookie Crafting @ The South Plainfield Public Library

December 8, 2016

The South Plainfield Public Library held a cookie decorating craft for children ages 9 – 12 years old. This “Tween Time” event was held on Tuesday December 7, 2017 and featured 4 seasonal designs: Santa’s Hat, a reindeer, an ornament, and a melted snowman. The Santa’s hat was made with a strawberry and an Oreo. The reindeer was made with a sugar cookie, chocolate ...