Joe Biden takes the stage during the third day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, on July 27, 2016.
Paul Sancya—AP
August 1, 2016 4:01 PM EDT

Vice President Joe Biden called on university presidents Monday to help “change the culture” on campuses in terms of responding to reports of sexual assault.

“That message starts from the president on down at the university,” Biden said in a conference call with university officials. “It really, really matters.”

Biden said there is no justification for students to be sexually assaulted on campus and that schools must do a better job of responding to sexual assault complaints. He said universities must gather their own information through surveys to understand the specific issues on their campus.

“You can’t pretend,” he said. “You can’t pretend you don’t know.”

Biden helped spearhead the creation of the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault. In 2014, the task force launched the It’s On Us campaign, which asks people to take a pledge to intervene to prevent sexual assaults and create an environment where survivors of sexual assault are supported.

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