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MSU officials applaud sexual assault survivors, outline new policies

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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) – President Samuel Stanley and Michigan State University have tried to make major improvements regarding the university’s response to sexual misconduct.

Michigan State University recently put out a statement about their new policies.

Officials also took a moment to acknowledge the courageous efforts of the various women who stepped forward to disclose their on-campus experiences with sexual assault:

“As we begin another spring semester at Michigan State University, we pause to remember that three years ago, 204 courageous women stepped forward over nine days in Ingham and Eaton counties to share their stories of sexual abuse. Their powerful testimonies continue to remind us that MSU failed survivors and our community. Their stories and voices challenge us to create culture change at MSU, and we know we have more work still to do.”

Per the release, here are some of the changes that have been made to achieve more equity and inclusiveness:

  • Implementation of a new RVSM and Title IX Policy that provides clarity and supportive measures that increase equity, accountability and transparency in the Title IX process and improves timeliness of the investigative and hearing processes.
  • Establishment of the Office of Audit, Risk and Compliance to ensure the university improves and maintains its commitment to the highest standards of ethics, integrity and responsibility.
  • Establishment of the Prevention, Outreach and Education Department within the Office for Civil Rights and Title IX Education and Compliance, which is dedicated to promoting safety and educating members of the campus community about sexual assault and relationship violence, eliminating violence on campus and empowering Spartans to become advocates for a nonviolent community.
  • Establishment of the RVSM Expert Advisory Workgroup of trusted leaders within the institution to be a resource to the MSU community by sharing knowledge and expertise on RVSM issues; gathering input, suggestions and ideas from the campus community to ensure diverse viewpoints are represented in all decision-making; and making recommendations for improving policies, protocols and programs that support a safe and supportive campus.
  • Mandatory RVSM training for all students each year. Require leadership, faculty and staff to complete training every two years.
  • Revision of the university’s Emeritus Policy to allow for revocation in cases in which behavior occurring or discovered after being awarded emeritus status is inconsistent with the expectations of the university.
  • Strengthening protections in MSU’s Travel and Lodging Policy to explicitly prohibit employees and students from sharing a room.
  • Improvements to the university’s Consensual Amorous or Sexual Relationships with Students Policy to ban consensual amorous or sexual relationships between undergraduates and faculty or academic staff.
  • Mandatory Diversity, Equity and Inclusion education and development for all employees and students that introduces our campus community to core DEI principles and establishes a baseline understanding of the importance of these principles in creating an inclusive and respectful campus for all.
  • Increasing support services for survivors through programs like the Sexual Assault Healthcare Program and a crisis chat that is staffed by trained volunteers in sexual assault crisis intervention.
  • Increasing patient safety and quality of care, MSU created the Office of the Executive Vice President for Health Sciences, aligning the university’s health colleges, clinical practices and student wellness programs. This improves collaboration in the health care programs and supports an accountable health care culture in addition to increasing research opportunities and fostering more cost-efficient clinical practices.

For a more detailed list of the actions listed above, click here.

The full press release can be found here.

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https://www.wilx.com/2021/01/23/msu-officials-applaud-sexual-assault-survivors-outline-new-policies/

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