SUNY is the first school system in the country to support a bi-partisan senate bill that would force colleges to better address sexual assault on their campuses.
The bill is spearheaded by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand who says that sexual violence affects one in five college women.
The law would create an annual nationwide survey asking students about their experience with sexual assault.
It would also penalize schools that don't give support to victims trying to report crimes.
Gillibrand stood alongside victims who said they had to go public with their stories when their schools failed to punish their attackers.
"They much prefer to maintain their image over our safety. And with an attitude like that we'll never make progress."
"Starting today we are lifting the burden off the shoulders of survivors and placing it firmly on the shoulders of our colleges and universities."
Gillibrand says she hopes to change the incentives for schools so that they will report and address sexual assaults, despite fears that enrollment numbers would suffer.