campus sexual assault

The Michigan Union covered in blooming ivy
Wikimedia Commons

There were fewer reported cases of student sexual misconduct at the University of Michigan last year. 

In the 2015-16 fiscal year, there were 157 reports of student sexual misconduct -- a drop from 172 reports in the previous year. 

MSU board
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan State University received 461 reports of sexual misconduct and relationship violence in the 2015-2016 school year.

That’s way up from the previous year, when the school estimates it got about 200 complaints.

So what’s changed? Jessica Norris, MSU’s Title IX coordinator, says there’s just generally more awareness on campus.

Flickr user/Devon Buchanan / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

It was a case that ignited the nation: Stanford swimmer Brock Turner was convicted of raping an unconscious woman behind an alley dumpster after a party.

Sue Snyder
Sue Snyder

First Lady Snyder announces her second annual summit to fight campus sexual assault.

Sue Snyder will hold the "Inform, Empower, Prevent: Let's End Campus Sexual Assault" summit this September after success last year. 

Anna Heaton is the press secretary for Governor Snyder and she says the first lady finds this issue to be a priority.

"Colleges are students' homes away from home and so this is just something, especially now in light of recent events nationally, that we need to continue making a priority," Heaton says.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - Emails obtained by a newspaper show the University of Michigan has repeatedly requested delays in turning over thousands of documents sought by federal investigators looking into sexual assault complaints on campus.

  The documents obtained by the Detroit Free Press  through a Freedom of Information Act request also indicated the university has sought to limit the scope of the ongoing investigation by the U.S. Department of Education by asking investigators to review fewer incidents than requested.

Allison Leotta
Tim Coburn

All across Michigan, high school seniors are donning their caps and gowns and getting ready to graduate. For many, the next big adventure is going away to college. 

Allison Leotta hopes that her latest book will prompt students and parents to be informed and do some extra research when choosing a college. In particular, she wants to encourage them to check into reported incidents of sexual assault on campus. 

Leotta is a crime and suspense writer. Her latest book, The Last Good Girl, comes out today. 

Kai Hendry/Flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/hendry/

Michigan’s two U.S. senators have signed onto a letter requesting additional funding to improve sexual assault prevention on college campuses.

U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters were among 22 senators requesting over $137 million for next year for the Office of Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education, as well as funding for 11 new employees at the Clery Act Compliance Team.

OCR handles investigations into possible Title IX violations by schools.  

University of Michigan campus
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The University of Michigan has updated its sexual misconduct policy to expand the school’s definition of unwanted sexual conduct and actions. 

You can read it here: University of Michigan Policy and Procedures on Student Sexual and Gender-based Misconduct and Other Forms of Interpersonal Violence. 

The policy will go into effect starting June 1.

The Michigan Union covered in blooming ivy
Wikimedia Commons

The University of Michigan is updating its policies on student sexual assault and misconduct, following a campus survey last summer in which 20% of female students say they had a "nonconsensual sexual experience."

Over the last year, University officials say they've been hearing from students about the school’s policies – what they’re concerned about, which rules confuse them, and what changes they’d like to see.

Here's what the University is saying so far about the changes, which will be released April 6th and go into effect in July.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Governor Rick Snyder has proposed spending $500,000 for campus sexual assault prevention programs in his budget.

  The grant money would be split among universities if lawmakers give it the green light.

  But some advocates say it's not enough for all of the programs they'd like to run. And some students at Michigan State University are critical of administrators and a university policy requiring employees to report sexual misconduct even when the survivor says he or she doesn't want the incident reported.

The Michigan Union covered in blooming ivy
Wikimedia Commons

The second University of Michigan Student Sexual Misconduct Annual Report, released this morning, revealed that there's been an increase in the number of sexual assaults reported to internal campus investigators.

According to the annual report, from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015 there have been 172 incidents of sexual misconduct reported to the university’s Office for Institutional Equity (OIE) compared to 129 incidents reported during the previous year.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A federal lawsuit accuses Michigan State University of mishandling sexual assault complaints.

The lawsuit is being brought by four women, all seniors at MSU, who claim the university dragged out investigations into their sexual assault complaints.    

The suit claims the university’s mishandling of the cases violated provisions of Title IX.  

Sixty days.  That’s how long universities are supposed to take to investigate sexual assault cases.

But at Michigan State University, those investigations can drag on for seven, eight, even nine months.

A recent federal report slammed MSU for taking too long to resolve sexual assault cases.

But a Michigan Radio investigation has found the problems at MSU go far deeper than that. 

Michigan Legislature
Michigan Municipal League

If you want to have sex with someone, it can't be presumed your potential partner shares your desire just because you're dating.

It can't be presumed based on someone's drunken actions.

It can't be presumed because that someone didn't say no.

The Michigan Union covered in blooming ivy
Wikimedia Commons

  Nearly 1 in 4 college women experience some form of sexual assault, according to a new survey from the Association of American Universities.

The survey polled 150,000 students at 27 schools, including the University of Michigan and Michigan State University.

And what’s interesting is that this survey indicates that sexual assault on campus may be even more prevalent than other, widely-cited studies suggest – for instance, the White House’s “Not Alone” campaign says 1 in 5 women are sexually assaulted while in college.

Coasters with sexual assault awareness messages are being distributed this month in Saginaw bars catering to a college age crowd.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

At 13 bars popular with local college students in Saginaw, bartenders are handing out sexual assault awareness messages along with the drinks.

The Saginaw County Sexual Violence Prevention Team and other groups have printed hundreds of bar coasters with sexual assault awareness messages in the form of popular songs with their lyrics slightly altered.

Jeremy Brooks / flickr http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

If some Democrats in Lansing get their way, all high school sex education classes would teach that “yes means yes” when it comes to sex.

The legislation says anything short of a conscious “yes” does not count as consent to sex.

The Michigan Union covered in blooming ivy
Wikimedia Commons

The University of Michigan has agreed to erase the findings of a sexual assault investigation against Drew Sterrett, a former student. In exchange, Sterrett will drop a lawsuit he filed against the university.

Sterrett’s case has made him kind of a poster boy for critics who feel universities are overcorrecting on college rape, with a lawsuit that details all kinds of alleged flaws in the school’s investigation process – like failing to include evidence from a roommate who was present while the sexual incident occurred.  

CMU's central campus.

Colleges are now legally required to train new students about sexual assault prevention and awareness.

That’s part of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act.  

And it turns out the training at Central Michigan University has been pretty popular for a while now.  

A lot of other colleges have hired CMU’s training group. The Navy even brought them to instruct groups of sailors and Marines.

So we thought, what better time to check it out?  

Michigan State University sign

This story was updated with a response from MSU at 5:05 pm on 9/2/15

Students started complaining about sexual harassment from a Michigan State University counselor – who was at times working with students seeking sexual assault counseling – back in 2009.

Michigan State University’s response was to hold a meeting between one of those students and the counselor.


Right now, college freshman around the state are getting training about sexual assault on campus.

At Central Michigan University, that even means going into the profile of perpetrators who commit acquaintance rape.

Jake Neher / MPRN

The state is asking colleges and universities to submit proposals to help prevent campus sexual assaults. It will award $500,000 in grants to help fund programs that are approved.

First Lady Sue Snyder is leading the effort. She detailed the grant process during a press call on Wednesday.

The Michigan Union covered in blooming ivy
Wikimedia Commons

The University of Michigan has released the results from its campus climate survey on sexual misconduct.

And while the vast majority of students said they feel safe on campus, 11% of students had an unwanted sexual experience in the last 12 months.

Jake Neher / MPRN

For the first time, Michigan will spend general fund dollars to prevent sexual assault on college campuses.

State lawmakers recently approved a budget with $500,000 dollars in grant money that programs can apply for.