NMU Delegation Attends Sexual Assault Summit
Fourteen NMU students, faculty and staff members attended the Let’s End Campus Sexual Assault summit co-hosted by Michigan First Lady Sue Snyder and four bipartisan legislators. The June 8 event in Lansing focused on best practices for informing students, empowering survivors and bystanders, and preventing sexual assault on campuses. The Snyder administration also announced a proposed $500,000 state budget allocation for 2016 to support new and innovative initiatives in the fight against campus sexual assault.
Pictured are (front left to right): Mike Bath (Public Safety), Alan McEvoy (Sociology/Anthropology), who also gave a panel presentation, Mary Brundage (Dean of Students), Janet Koski (Human Resources) and Kelly Larmour (First Year Programs). Back row: Kerri Schuiling (incoming Provost), student Luke Ogle, Gary Bice and Jeff Korpi (Housing and Residence Life), Carl Bammert (Intercollegiate Athletics/Rec Sports), graduate student Emily Stulz and Marie Aho (Counseling Center). Photo provided by Deanna Hemmila (Government Relations), who also attended along with Ann Marie Wellman (ASNMU).
McEvoy participated in a breakout session on measuring the effectiveness of sexual assault initiatives on campus. His presentation, “Using ‘Soft’ Measures,” addressed data that could be gathered for the purposes of program development, training, policy review, complaint response and victim services. McEvoy also recommended that universities develop a checklist for internal and external review that employs several considerations related to education efforts, victim services and investigation/adjudication. Examples include: Is there an effort to assess changes in knowledge, beliefs, and behaviors as a result of educational programming? Do all students know to whom they could report an incident? Is “victim empowerment” a guiding principle of campus policies and procedures? Does policy language provide clear definitions of sexual misconduct and of consent to guide investigators and campus hearing boards?
“Although it was not a complete list of helpful ‘soft’ data, it is important to understand that hard data on what universities are doing well or poorly regarding the multifaceted problem of sexual violence is absent,” McEvoy said. “University personnel understand they have both a moral and a legal duty to ensure the welfare of students, faculty and staff. A comprehensive, multidisciplinary team approach is an affirmative step toward creating a safe environment for all.”