State of Michigan Aims to Fight College Campus Sexual Assault

College campus sexual assault

In 2013 there were 159 reported sexual assaults in Michigan’s public and private college campus.
~ Reported By the Detroit Free Press

Earlier this week, the Detroit Free Press published an article that reported Michigan’s governor Rick Snyder has pledged $500,000 to fight sexual assault on Michigan’s college campuses.

The money has been budgeted for 2016. It will be used to put into place best practices and prevent sexual assault on college campuses in Michigan. The pledge took place during the Let’s End Campus Sexual Assault summit. Michigan First Lady Sue Snyder sponsored the summit.

The number of sexual assaults reported in 2013 was a 62% increase from 2001. In Michigan, there aren’t any statewide standards on how the universities should respond to campus sexual assault. That means that each university sets their own policy within the federal guidelines.

Inconsistencies Among Michigan Universities

According to another article by the Detroit Free Press,

“Federal regulations largely permit individual universities to determine how they handle the incidents, leading to a fragmented system critics say is often more concerned about protecting a school’s reputation than the survivor.”

For example, when sexual assault is reported, Michigan State University requires staff to immediately call the police. The University of Michigan allows the survivor to choose whether they would like the police involved.

In a different article by the Free Press, we learn that Western Michigan, the survivor has the choice whether to call authorities or not. At Eastern Michigan, the policy is to call the police.

While the question of whether or not to call the police is only one part of the discussion, it points out the inconsistencies among Michigan’s universities.

Inconsistencies in Punishments for Campus Sexual Assault

College campuses everywhere are getting scrutinized for how they handle campus sexual assault.

The Free Press reported that some college administration order the accused student to write a 500-word essay.

On the other side of the spectrum, there is a University of Michigan student who was expelled from school after being accused of sexual assault. He says he was denied due process and is now suing U of M because of it. For more on that story, please see, Student kicked out of U-M says he was denied due process.

Outside of college campuses, someone who is accused of rape or criminal sexual assault faces a lot more than a 500 word essay. That person faces jail or prison time. They also face a lifetime having to public register on the sex offender’s registry. To find out more about criminal sexual assault, please see, The Truth About Criminal Sexual Assault.

A Clear Problem

No one can deny that campus sexual assault is a clear problem. There is much debate on how to handle these assault cases.

Your Turn

As Michigan looks to fight college campus sexual assault, what do you think? Should there be a mandate for campus administration to involve police? Should the survivor choose whether to involve the police? Should Michigan have a state standard for universities to follow? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.