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Tuesday, February 25, 2014 - 3

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Tuesday, February 25, 2014 - 3

April 4, 2011


From Page 1
The University's sexual misconduct
policy explains how the University
responds internally to sexual harass-
ment and sexual assault allegations
against students, defining how the
institution internally handles alle-
gations. Though this procedure can
often parallel law enforcement and
judicial criminal proceedings, it oper-
ates separately.
An April 2011 mandate from the
Department of Education detailed
how universities must handle sexual
misconduct allegations and cata-
lyzed an 868-day marathon to update
the University's policy. Within five
months of the mandate's announce-
ment, the University implemented
its interim sexual misconduct policy
in August 2011. The University then
embarked on a two-year process -
which brought together the directors
of the Office of Student Conflict Reso-
lution, the Office of Institutional Equi-
ty, the Sexual Assault Awareness and
Prevention Center and a staff member
in the Office of the General Counsel -
to create the final, currently enacted
This new and currently active
policy took effect on Aug. 19, 2013,
completely overhauling how the Uni-
versity had historically dealt with
these allegations.
Before the new mandate
Before the interim policy was enact-
ed, the University only sanctioned
sexual misconduct perpetrators when
the survivor wanted to actively pur-
sue a case withthe University's Office
of Student Conflict Resolution. This
placed a high burden on survivors.
The old policy treated sexual mis-
conduct similarly to other violations
of the Statement of Student Rights
and Responsibilities. The Statement
details rules and procedures Uni-
versity students must follow and
outlines 20 broad categories of viola-
tions including ones related to sexual
assault, alcohol use and hazing. Not all
violations are legal offenses.
OSCR is charged with enforcing the
Statement, using a variety of formal
and informal resolution methods to
help resolve violations. Ifa student is
found responsible or accepts respon-
sibility for a violation, there are many
possible -sanctions ranging from- a
reflective essay to permanent separa-
tion from the University.
According to the most recent data
available, almost 75 percent of alleged
violations of the Statement were alco-
hol or drug-related. Having "restor-
ative justice circles" or other informal
resolution methods where conflicted
parties can come together can seem
appropriate for a someone caught
drinking alcohol. When someone is
accused of a more severe violation,
such as rape, it is not.
A Daily article published in Octo-
ber 2013 detailed one survivor's
experience under the old policy. The

survivor told the Daily about a "drain-
ing 12-hour process" where both the
survivor and the respondent were
questioned about the incident in the
same room.
OSCR data shows survivors did not
frequently move forward with the Uni-
versity process under the old policy. In
the 2009 to 2010 academic year, there
were only four allegations of sexual
misconduct and three in the 2010 to
2011 academic year. This compares to
62 for the 2011 to 2012 academic year,
the latest data available and the first
year for which the interim policy was
in effect. University officials, includ-
ing those in OSCR and SAPAC, said at
the time this increase is a direct result
of the policies changes.
Noting similar trends at colleges
across the country, the Department of
Education issued its April 2011 man-
date to ensure educational institu-
tions were properly handling sexual
misconduct allegations against stu-
The mandate required schools to
change their burden of proof for sexual
misconduct cases to a "preponderance
of evidence" standard, which means
more likely than not. This is the same
standard used for sexual misconduct
cases against faculty and staff.
The University previously used the
higher standard of "clear and convinc-
ing evidence" to determine responsi-
bility for cases of sexual misconduct.
OSCR still uses this higher standard
for non-sexual misconduct violations
of the Statement.
The Department of Education also
instructed schools to actively inves-
tigate all allegations of misconduct
against students.
An investigative model
The August 2011 interim sexual
misconduct policy changed the Uni-
versity's procedure from a complaint-
driven to an investigative-driven
model. This change shifted the burden
of pushing a case forward from the
complainant to the University.
The University should now inves-
tigate all cases of sexual misconduct
differently than other alleged viola-
tions of the Statement, according to
the interim policy.
To fulfill the new requirement, the
University created a new investiga-
tive position located within OSCR and
under the supervision of the Office
of Institutional Equity to investigate
allegations. Among other duties, OIE
investigates civil-rights abuses at the
According to OSCR Director Jay
Wilgus, OSCR did not have experi-
ence with investigations violations in
this manner because OSCR generally
works with all parties to come to an
agreement. He added that the work of
the investigator was dissimilar to the
work of other OSCR employees.
Figuring out when proceedings
were not well executed perfectly was
one of the main goals of the interim
policy. By 2012, the investigator role
was moved to be under OIE's domain
so the investigator and the investiga-
tions could benefit from being in an
office that does similar work.

This change was codified in the
August 2013 policy. OIE has hired
two full-time investigators to spear-
head these sexual misconduct cases.
AccordingtoAnthonyWalesby, associ-
ate vice provost for academic and fac-
ulty affairs and senior director of OIE,
these investigators have experience
dealing with similar sexual offenses.
Walesby is also the University's Title
IX coordinator and determines if a
violation of the misconduct policy has
occurred after an investigation.
Accordingto Walesby, investigators
reach out, if possible, to both the com-
plainant - the person who was alleg-
edly harmed - and the respondent,
the one being accused, and both are
told about the allegations. The inves-
tigators then interview them both in
private and gather other evidence such
as police reports or witness testimony.
The complainant and respondent are
never in the same room and either
one can chose to not participate in the
A controversy emerged in March
2013 when The Daily reported that
during the course of an investigation
the University apparently learned
of two possible allegations of sexual
assault against one individual but did
not forward this information to law
enforcement until a third allegation
emerged months later.
The interim policy did not mention
law enforcement or police. The August
2013 policy does state that the Uni-
versity is "committed to appropriate
coordination" and may "if requested
and appropriate" share information
with law enforcement and University
Walesby said these investigations
are required by the Department of
Education and that the University also
wants to ensure all allegations are
taken seriously.
Mandatory reporting
University employees are classi-
fied into three separate categories
for reporting sexual assault: those
who must report allegations of sexual
assault, those who cannot report alle-
gations of sexual assault, and those
who are encouraged but not required
to report allegations. The interim poli-
cy made reporting mandatory for some
University employees such as Univer-
sity Housing Residential Advisors and
security officers.
It also clarified that SAPAC, Coun-
seling and Psychological Services
and the Office of Ombuds are three
confidential locations where students
can speak freely without any risk of
unwanted reporting.
The mandated reported raised con-
cern that students could unwillingly
begin the process of an investigation
while telling someone they trust. For
example, ifa student tells an RA about
an incident in confidence, the RA is
required to report this information to
higher authorities.
SAPAC Director Holly Rider-
Milkovich said first-year students are
told "multiple times" about the poli-
cies and the confidential locations to
prevent accidental disclosures by stu-

Balancing survivor wishes and
community safety
The largest change between the
interim policy and the August 2013
one is how the University handles
cases when the survivor does not want
the University to proceed with an
Under the interim policy, an inves-
tigation could not continue after a
survivor asked for it to stop or did not
wish to participate. Under the current
policy, if this occurs, a review panel
determines if the investigation will
continue. The review panel consists
of a combination of law enforcement,
representatives of the University com-
munity and survivor advocates, and
is tasked with balancing the wishes
of the survivor with the safety of the
community as a whole.
Rider-Milkovich, Walesby and Wil-
gus said they believe this review panel
is innovative and indicative of how the
updated policy is unique to the Uni-
versity. According to them, the Uni-
versity could have taken a lesser policy
that would have legally fulfilled the
However, the University chose to
embark on the multi-year process to
create a specific to their needs, though
it often resulted in hours of discus-
sion and disagreement leading up to
the creation of the 20-page document.
They also conducted public and pri-
vate forums, consultations with sur-
vivors and interviews with previous
policy makers.
Regardless of the policy's legal
lingo, members of the University com-
munity must abide by it for it to be an
active agent of change.
The University has not released
details about the Gibbons case or other
sexual misconduct violations citing
federal student privacy laws and Uni-
versity policies. It is not clear whether
this will be the standard for all cases
moving forward or if it was a decision
specific to the situation.
Rider-Milkovich wrote an op-ed in
the Detroit News and spoke to the Uni-
versity's Board of Regents regarding
her beliefs of respecting privacy and
the sensitive nature of these cases. She
said keeping students' personal infor-
mation private is paramount.
"I am also proud that this Univer-
sity has withstood tremendous pres-
sure and not revealed private student
concerns and private student informa-
tion," Rider-Milkovich said. "From my
national leadership role I believe that
it was the right choice to make."
While for now it's impossible to
judge the effectiveness of the new
policy, in time experiences will be
shared and data made public, creat-
ing a fuller picture on the University's
progress with regard to sexual assault
and harassment on campus. The first
report regarding sexual misconduct
cases is due for release next fall and
is a requirement of the updated policy
The University's Sexual Assault Pre-
vention and Awareness Center staffs a
24/7 crisis line at (734) 936-3333.

AUgUSt l';, LU 1.J

From Page 1
ence with at the University are
the classes that are the 100-level
science classes, the natural sci-
ence requirement," Klausner
Klausner asked if there has
been any dialogue about potential-
ly changing some of the require-
ments of LSA students when the
University receives its new presi-
Coleman said there has not been
any discussion surrounding the
topic thatshe knows of, but profes-
sors design course selections with
the intent of giving students the
necessary knowledge to succeed
in upper-level requirements.
"The curriculum decisions
are really the purview of the fac-
ulty, and they decide a particular
sequence of courses," Coleman
said. "Those are drawn with the
idea that it is most helpful to the
student to have the sequence."
"I realize that it causes some
constraint," Coleman added.
Coleman encouraged students
to voice their frustration by writ-
ing to the dean of the depart-,
ment or school to have their issue
addressed further.
one student asked how the
administration is addressing the
concerns of the students of the
#BBUM campaign, an initiative
launched by the University's Black
Student Union in November to
shed light on the experiences of
Black students on campus.

"I was really touched by the
campaign and what students
said," Coleman said. "I don't think
anyone can read the flow of com-
ments without being touched."
The administration has been
meeting with student groups
every week to understand what is
being said and asked for, Harper
Affordable housing, new modes
of transportation and raising the
critical mass of the minority stu-
dent population were all issues
Harper said the University is
working on.
"I know the President-elect will
work just as hard as we all have,
and maybe bring some new ideas
to the table," Coleman said.
Harper said it is a collec-
tive effort that is going to create
change on campus. Harper added
that it is important for students to
stand up and voice their concerns
when they see something that
offends them on campus.
In an interview after the fire-
side chat, Harper spoke about a
social identity, bystander preven-
tion workshop that was recently
piloted for all incoming freshmen
called "Change It Up." The pro-
gram will feature issues of race,
ethnicity, gender, sexuality and
"The idea is to get students to
understand what it means to live
in a diverse community," Harper
said. "And to give students the
skills to say when I see something
that is contrary to our values, I can
change it up by intervening."
Engineering senior Ana Sosa,
who hails from Caracas, Venezu-

ela, said the University needs to
increase its awareness of current
anti-government student protests
in Venezuela. The violence has
resulted in 13 deaths and about 150
injuries, according to a report by
Reuters Monday.
Coleman encouraged Sosa to
write to and meet with James
Holloway, vice provost for global
and engaged education, to create
a more substantial plan of action.
Harper stressed how impor-
tant it is for students to raise their
concerns within college's student
boards, which are designed to lis-
ten to student concerns.
"Some of my best work has been
student work," Harper said.
Religious holidays and the ren-
ovations of student resident halls
were all initiated through student
activism, Harper said.
Students also raised questions
about study abroad programs,
community college transfer stu-
dent's processes and attendance of
student art performances.
"I thought they did a good job
with addressing the questions
that students asked," Engineer-
ing senior Anjali Saripalli said.
"I know that some questions
they weren't at liberty to disclose
everything happening fully, but I
think they did a good job address-
ing student's interest at least."
Coleman said the students
raised questions that touched on a
wide array of topics pertaining to
the University.
"I like to hear what experience
student's are having because that
can influence the way we do things
in the future," Coleman said.

LSA senior Sasha Shaffer, president of the Maize Rage Council (LEFT) and LSA junior Maegan Mathew (RIGHT) listen to
student concerns about the issues about the MSU basketball game line-up and the attendance ticket priority.

From Page 1
Duane London, a Maize Rage
member, said he thought the
Athletic Department did not
properly plan for the event.
"I think sometimes they just,
sitting in the office, they don't
think about what's going to hap-
pen out there on the site, and
it's just something they need to
improve on in the future," Lon-
don said. "I also don't think that
the Maize Rage handled it par-
ticularly well either by starting
the second line and causing a
second mass stampede."
He said priority seating might
be a possible improvement.

"I guess I don't really have a
perfect solution to offer, but it's
definitely something that we
need to discuss further and get
the athletic department and the
rest of the students involved as
well," he said.
Nursing junior Mary Wood,
a Maize Rage member, also said
priority seating would be benefi-
"I don't think that we should
have to wait outside and poten-
tially have people get hurt,"
Wood said. "I think that that
would eliminate a lot of safety
concerns and I think that it
would cut down on a lot of the
The meeting also covered
other related issues of security,
ticket policies and student seat-

"We got a lot done, and I
think obviously part of that was
driven by what happened yester-
day," London said. "I was really
impressed with the ideas that
people brought, and it seemed
like an hour just wasn't enough
at this point, which is not usually
the feeling I get after meetings."
Wood said she doesn't know
how she would have handled
such a difficult situation, but
poor communication was part of
the issue.
"It was interesting to hear
other people's perspectives on
it," Wood said. "I think it was a
positive forum for just getting to
tell your side of the story, which I
think alot of people wanted to be
able to do."




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