Combatting Relationship and Sexual Violence

In addition to the two strong survivor-support programs we have had on campus for many years, the MSU Sexual Assault Program and MSU Safe Place, we have dedicated significant new resources to strengthen our efforts to combat sexual and relationship violence – and we have made significant strides. Nonetheless, sexual assault and relationship violence are still problems on our campus and in society at large, and it is clear that more needs to be done.

We understand that there is no quick fix. This is a challenging problem and requires serious, strategic and long-term focus. Learn more below about our immediate next steps. 

  • The University Policy on Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct is clear: MSU is committed to maintaining a learning and working environment for all students, faculty and staff that is fair, humane and responsible — an environment that supports career and educational advancement on the basis of job and academic performance. Relationship violence, stalking and sexual misconduct are not tolerated at MSU.
  • Interim President John Engler has convened an expert advisory workgroup of MSU leaders with deep expertise in the areas of relationship and sexual violence. The workgroup is tasked with gathering ideas and input from students, faculty, staff and alumni and working closely with other organizations, committees and units on campus to bring diverse viewpoints to the table as it advises the president on policies and programs to make MSU a national model of safety and inclusiveness for all.
  • MSU strengthened its policy on mandatory reporting obligations. As part of an annual review of its Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct Policy, MSU enhanced the policy to address violations of mandatory reporting obligations. Employees who fail to report relationship and sexual violence allegations as required by the policy are subject to discipline, up to and including termination.
  • MSU directed more resources to its Sexual Assault Program. The program now has an 11-person staff, including five therapists who provide individual and group therapy, a crisis counselor and approximately 70 volunteers. The program is currently seeking a second, MSU-funded crisis counselor. Services offered continue to expand as the program provides free group therapy sessions and operates a 24-hour crisis hotline.
  • MSU has hired Kroll, a leading global independent, third-party investigative services firm, to assist with investigations and reduce the response time for complaints filed under MSU’s Title IX Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct Policy. Investigators will be used, as needed, to handle complex complaints and to reduce the time between filing and finding.
  • MSU’s Title IX policies are compliant with all applicable legal requirements. MSU hired an independent third party to conduct a review of MSU’s Title IX policies and procedures. In addition to finding MSU’s Title IX policies compliant with all applicable legal requirements, the review found MSU to be at the forefront of a number of practices. The reviewers also made recommendations for improvement, which MSU is implementing. A second phase of review, taking place in spring 2018, is looking at awareness and outreach, prevention and education programs, and crisis and advocacy support services.

Resources and Information

Title IX Program
Title IX Annual Report
Policy: Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct
Mandatory Reporting Guide
Larry Nassar Information
Student Claimant Resource Guide
Frequently Asked Questions