MSU Title IX Timeline: A History of Our Commitment

MSU implements expanded policy banning discrimination on the basis of sex, religion, or national origin, with subsequent revisions in 1977.

MSU Police Department policy begins requiring that all criminal cases investigated be referred to the Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office for review and determination of criminal charges.

MSU begins sponsoring eventually 13 women’s programs with the date they started noted as well – basketball (1972), cross country (1976), field hockey (1972), golf (1973), gymnastics (1974), rowing (1997), soccer (1986), softball (1972), swimming & diving (1971), tennis (1972), indoor/outdoor track & field (1973) and volleyball (1972).

Revision of MSU policy banning discrimination on the basis of sex, religion, or national origin.

MSU faculty and staff (particularly from the counseling center, graduate students and university officials) organized discussions and increased awareness of sexual assault.

Early 1980s
Women’s Advisory Committee to the Provost and the Women’s Advisory Committee to the Vice President for Student Affairs and Services developed institutional policy on sexual harassment that served as a model for many other institutions.

Early 1980s
Special programs on sexual assault and safety education established within the Division of Student Affairs and Services.

The MSU Counseling Center created the MSU Sexual Assault Program as a specialty unit within the MSU Counseling Center.

The first coordinator of the MSU Sexual Assault Program was hired and oversaw the 24-hour hotline, crisis intervention and referral, personal advocacy, individual therapy and educational outreach.

To help enhance representation of female experience and perspective at the institutional, conference and national levels and support women’s interests, the NCAA designated the primary woman administrator role in 1981 and then, in 1990 changed the designation to senior woman administrator title to more accurately depict the position/role.

The Sexual Assault Program established support groups for survivors of sexual assault.

The MSU Sexual Assault Program won a Victims of Crime Act grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, allowing the program to hire a volunteer coordinator to train and supervise volunteers as well as hire a part-time therapist.

Student Assault Crisis Intervention, a student organization advocating for survivors of sexual assault, was founded.

August 1992
MSU implemented a strategic diversity plan (MSU IDEA II) which identified 50 diversity initiatives, calling for the establishment of new guidelines and procedures for identifying and eliminating harassment in the academic community.

September 1992
A new Sexual Harassment Policy was implemented that identified examples of behavior, including physical assault, that were encompassed in the definition of sexual harassment. The Sexual Harassment Policy was issued by the Office of the President on September 1, 1992 and revised in May 1999, January 2011, and June 2011.

MSU Police developed the Sexual Assault Victim Rights and Response Guarantee. This guarantee, believed to have been the first in the nation, outlines what survivors can expect when reporting a crime. It has been widely copied and used as a model or template for law enforcement agencies across the country.

MSU Safe Place, a program that addresses relationship violence and stalking, was founded to serve students, faculty, staff, their spouses/partners and non-affiliated members in the Greater Lansing Area affected by relationship violence.

Safe Place hosted the inaugural Race for the Place 5k, to raise money and awareness regarding relationship violence.

Fall 1994
First MSU Safe Place volunteer training is held, covering a range of topics including volunteers in child care, crisis intervention and community education. MSU Safe Place also begins employing graduate social work interns for 16 hours a week under the supervision of staff.

The Violence Against Women Act provided further funding to MSU to create an outreach coordinator position in the Sexual Assault Program.

The MSU Sexual Harassment Policy is revised and all supervisors are trained.

A Department of Justice Grant increased MSU Safe Place staffing and allowed for the provision of extensive, ongoing advocacy services.

The Campus Relationship Violence Coordinating Council was established, and over the next three years its members researched bystander interventions and prevention best practices, through completing research and attending national trainings funded by the Department of Justice.

MSU began its biennial participation in the National College Health Assessment Survey, administered by the American College Health Association, to assess health issues related to college students including sexual assault experiences.

Capital Area Sexual Assault Response Team was founded by Sparrow Hospital’s Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner program and the MSU Sexual Assault Program.

MSU established a Task Force on Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence, with five charges:

  1. Provide a comprehensive literature review on sexual assault and relationship violence.
  2. Conduct an environmental scan of MSU and indicate which activities/programs currently in operation reflect best practices for reducing incidents of sexual assault and relationship violence.
  3. Comment on how greater synergy could be achieved among existing programs on campus and how these programs could be a part of a strategic initiative to better serve and inform the community regarding sexual assault and relationship violence.
  4. Recommend, where applicable, additional cost effective best practices that have a high probability of reducing the occurrence of sexual assault and relationship violence on campus, with particular focus on the areas of prevention, education, communication, and physical environment.
  5. Provide ideas on what would be the markers/indicators of a successful campus-wide sexual assault and relationship violence program.

The Task Force on Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence issued a final report, acknowledged that sexual and relationship violence occurs in same sex relationships and is also perpetrated by women against men. The Task Force encouraged the enhancement of student training and peer education through the development of a program that required incoming undergraduate students and transfer students participate in a two-hour sexual assault and relationship violence workshop.

The Violence Free Communities staff group was founded under the name “Violence Free Communities By Design.” Violence Free Communities was a collaborative effort, co-founded by the MSU Sexual Aassault Program and MSU Safe Place, with similar members and a focus similar to the Campus Relationship Violence Coordinating Council. Unlike the Campus Relationship Violence Coordinating Council, Violence Free Communities was open to faculty and students.

The Violence Free Communities group provided oversight of a translation project, which was used by MSU Safe Place and the MSU Sexual Assault Program for survivors. Interpreters were trained to support survivors of relationship violence and sexual assault.

Violence Free Communities was invited to represent MSU in a national project, called Prevent, to develop a prevention program, which later developed in to the SARV program.

The Research Consortium on Gender-based Violence was created at MSU to provide a collaborative state, national, and international practice and policy related to gender-based violence.

Center for Gender in Global Context launched.

Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence Prevention Program, a peer education-based program which conducts extensive workshops for incoming students in the residence halls, was established.

April 2011
Special hearing procedures were created, as well as additional new procedures including:

  • Revisions to the Sexual Harassment Policy
  • Creation of a specialized Anti-Discrimination Policy Hearing Board for student disciplinary cases
  • Creation of MSU Resource Guide on Sexual Assault as a Form of Sexual Harassment
  • Creation of University Reporting Protocols: Child Abuse, Sexual Assault, and Child Pornography
  • Protocol checklists for Residence Education and Housing Services and
  • Department of Intercollegiate Athletics for responding to claims of sexual harassment or sexual assault

The University created a Title IX Coordinated Response Team consisting of representatives from offices responsible for coordinating MSU’s response to student claims of sexual violence, including the Title IX Coordinator, MSU Police Department, Residence Education and Housing Services, and Student Affairs (representing the counseling, student judicial, and sexual assault advocacy offices). The team began weekly meetings to discuss all open cases, share information about each case’s progress, discuss necessary interim measures, coordinate support to the survivor, and work to assure a coordinated and timely University response.

SAFE, the Sexual Assault First-year Education e-Learning program, was designed to ensure that students understand, before arriving on campus, the consequences of sexual assault, how to intervene to prevent a sexual assault, and how to report a sexual assault. All incoming undergraduate students were required to participate in the on-line SAFE program.

Ninety-seven percent of all incoming undergraduate students participated in SAFE.

SAFE annual survey reported close to a third of surveyed students indicated that they were able to apply information they learned in SAFE sometime during the academic year. Specifically:

  • 6 out of 10 females and 4 out of 10 males indicated they applied basic safety practices outlined in SAFE.
  • 1 out of 5 males indicated that they used information learned in SAFE related to consent for sex.
  • Males who viewed SAFE showed a statistically significant increase in knowledge for preventing sexual assault in two important areas– the importance of bystander intervention in preventing sexual assault and revoking consent for sex.

Spring 2013
MSU initiated a sexual assault awareness campaign entitled “There is No Excuse for Sexual Assault” at a campus-wide symposium.

Spring 2013
The University also held a Title IX symposium entitled “Addressing and Preventing Sexual Assault” on campus.

The MSU Police Department developed a specific protocol on how sexual assault reports are investigated, including coordination with the University’s Title IX Coordinator and local law enforcement agencies. The department employs specially trained detectives and officers who take initial complaints of criminal sexual conduct and child abuse and who are assigned to follow up on those reports. These detectives and officers also serve as a point of contact for faculty, staff, and students for guidance and training about MSU’s reporting protocols. The Department provides a Sexual Assault Reporting Process document to all victims of sexual violence that includes a summary of the law enforcement and Title IX investigation processes, a victim’s rights notice, and information on personal protection orders and community resources.

June 2014
The MSU Police Department began trauma-informed training for all sworn officers. This training has continued and occurs annually,

July 2014
The Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct Policy Working Group was established in the spirit of continuous improvement to examine the policy and identify updates.

September 2014
MSU Police Department founded the Special Victims Unit, that Special Victims Unit (SVU) is dedicated to the investigation of:

  • Sex Crimes
  • Relationship Violence
  • Stalking and Harassment
  • Child Abuse
  • Vulnerable Adult Abuse
  • Missing Persons

Faculty of the Department of Human Development and Family Studies join the advisory board for the One Love Foundation and assisted in the development of a video focused on raising awareness of domestic violence among college students. Faculty members also consulted on the companion manual for parents pertaining to the One Love Escalation video.

President Simon allocates funding for two new therapist positions within the Sexual Assault Program. One therapist is hired in May 2015 and the other in November 2015.

January 1, 2015
The Office of the President expanded on the Sexual Harassment Policy and issued the Relationship Violence & Sexual Misconduct Policy. The Policy was revised on Sept. 8, 2015, and Aug. 31, 2016.

Spring 2015
AAU Campus Climate Survey is administered nationwide.

Spring 2015
MSU launches first mandatory online Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct training for all employees.

Spring 2015
The SARV Prevention Program launches the “Greeks Take the Lead” sexual assault and relationship violence prevention program for Greek-affiliated students.

April 2015
Office of Institutional Equity was created.

Fall 2015
Sexual Violence Advisory Committee created.

October 2015
MSU updates the Memorandum of Understanding with local law enforcement agencies to facilitate information sharing about reported incidents of relationship and sexual violence.

December 2015
MSU is awarded more than $12,000 to create the Bystander Network, which built a network of allies within local bars and cab companies, provided training, and distribution of promotional materials through Governor Snyder’s Let’s End Campus Sexual Assault grant program.

December 2015
MSU creates and hires a stand-alone Title IX Coordinator.

January 2016
Creation of soft interview rooms for survivors of sexual assault in MSU Police Department. These rooms are designed to help survivors feel as comfortable as possible when speaking with detectives.

Spring 2016
MSU hosts focus groups to gauge campus climate. The purpose of the groups was to access students’ and employees’ knowledge about what constitutes sex discrimination (including sexual and gender-based harassment, assault and violence); to gather information regarding their personal or observed experiences with sex discrimination while attending or working at the university; assess their view of the current climate at the university regarding these issues and any potentially problematic areas on campus (e.g., dormitories, athletic facilities); assess their knowledge and understanding of the university’s Title IX policies and procedures and to whom to report incidents of sex discrimination (including sexual and gender-based harassment, assault and violence); and to obtain their suggestions for steps the university could take to effectively address these issues.

August 2016
The website is created and released to the public, featuring information on how to report an incident, campus and community resources, university policies and procedures, education and awareness programs and how to get involved. Site includes claimant, respondent and mandatory reporting resource literature.

August 2016
Updated mandatory online Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct training launched with courses for undergraduate and graduate students.

September 2016
MSU releases its first-of-its-kind Title IX Annual report, detailing statistics surrounding relationship violence and sexual misconduct, as well as prevention efforts and resources. MSU reports that 97 percent of students and 92 percent of employees completed online Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct training during the 2015-2016 academic year.

October 2016
Tana Fedewa is hired as the new Sexual Assault Program Coordinator. The Victims of Crime Act provided funding for an Advocate position, bringing the Sexual Associated Program staff total to four full-time therapists, one volunteer coordinator and one program coordinator.

October 2016
The Victims of Crime Act provided funding for an additional therapist.

October 2016
Sexual Assault Program therapists started offering Trauma Sensitive Yoga to survivors of sexual assault. 

December 2016
MSU is awarded more than $37,000 to create a new Bystander Intervention workshop and awareness campaign through Gov. Rick Snyder’s Let’s End Campus Sexual Assault grant program.

The faculty of the Department of Human Development and Family Studies conduct research on gender roles and media, portrayals of abuse in film, men’s role in countering patriarchy, and experiences of sexual assault amongst college students across intersections of identity.

MSU conducted and participated in a number of research projects including:

  • Department of Human Development and Family Studies research study to examine sexual violence and intimate partner violence in college women with a disability.
  • Coordinated by the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, MSU participated in a multi-college bystander effectiveness evaluation.
  • A cross-university collaborative project is launched titled, The Abuse Litmus Test: A classroom tool to assess power and control in on-screen relationships.

Spring 2017
Student focus groups to gauge campus climate continue.

January 2017
The Victims of Crime Act funded a crisis counselor position.

February 2017
Updated mandatory Title IX online training launched for employees.

March 2017
MSU launches new sexual assault awareness and prevention campaign: “It’s On Us,” featuring a week of action including film screening of Audrey and Daisy, self-care programming, a pledge drive, and speaker Don McPherson.

March 2017
The first annual student leadership institute on topics of sexual assault and relationship violence was conducted with the focus of “engaging and empowering men to prevent campus sexual violence”. The four-hour institute focused on participants working toward concrete prevention steps to implement on MSU’s campus. The institute coincided with the university’s It’s On Us week of action.

May 2017
Launch of “Our Commitment” website to provide timely updates and communications to the MSU community about MSU’s response, prevention, and awareness efforts surrounding sexual violence.

June 2017
Tana Fedewa (Sexual Assault Program) and Andrea Munford (MSU Police) selected to serve on First Lady Sue Snyder’s Campus Sexual Assault Workgroup

June 2017
The Title IX Mid-Year report is released, detailing mid-year statistics surrounding relationship violence and sexual misconduct.

Anticipated August 2017
MSU SAP moved to a new location (Student Services Building Room 207), which will include a Survivor’s Lounge.