Let's talk sex: the community's take on MSU's sexual assault policy

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By Jalen J. Smith
Entirely East Lansing

Michigan State University is responding to a 2014 report that it is a campus where sexual assault take place. MSU in response to a federal investigation is implementing a campus wide policy that changes the way MSU handles its sexual assault cases. The new policy is quite simple, any and all assaults reported to or made aware of by an MSU faculty member will be subject to immediate police investigation.Through the new policy, MSU and its employees agree to take all sexual assault cases seriously regardless of sexual orientation, gender or race.

Early last year, MSU was accused of something Jason Lucas, an East Lansing local views as an, “unacceptable” mishandling several of its sexual assault cases as far back as 2010. According to a U.S. Department of Education report, MSU along with several other universities as being investigated for open Title IX sexual assault investigations. http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/us-department-education-releases-list-higher-education-institutions-open-title-ix-sexual-violence-investigations

As a result MSU has initiated a new sexual assualt policy that requires all sexual assaults claims reported to faculty and staff members associated or employed with MSU on the campus premises to be reported to the police.

“Our young girls once again have a voice without the feeling they can be sought after for such claims,” said Elizabeth McDonald, an East Lansing local and MSU parent “I’m glad to know my daughter can walk around MSU and feel safe at all times.”

MSU’s sexual assault policy is being taught across the campus including to several Residential and Hospitality service members. Patrick Palmers, an East Lansing resident and former RHS team member said, “This type of formal training about RHS is something that I never received while employed there, I am glad to see them making a change in the right direction. Sexual assault is something I never really thought deeply about before but with this issue being so prevalent in my community, I feel better connected than ever to these issues.”

Lucas said, “The best part about this policy in my opinion is it’s anonymous nature, I think MSU does a good job of expressing those values and ensuring to young people that it’s not your fault and there are resources here to help you.”

In addition to the new sexual assault policy MSU also requires all of its freshman to attend a Sexual Assault and Relationship Prevention Program http://studentlife.msu.edu/sarv MSU is also expected to host Sexual Assault prevention programs open to the public in the coming academic year. In the meantime, check out MSU’s Resource Guide on Sexual Assault for more info.
http://inclusion.msu.edu/equity/Sexual%20Assault%20Resource%20Guide.pdf

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