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October 16, 2014 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 2014-10-16

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Thursday, October 16, 2014 - 3A

New Michigan law helps
sexual assault investigators

Legislation calls for
tracking, forensic
Daily StaffReporter
In a follow-up to summer leg-
islation establishing rules for the
submission and collection of sex-
ual assault kit evidence, Republi-
can Gov. Rick Snyder signed into
law Tuesday a bill which calls for
the creation of a kit tracking and
reporting commission in order to
"develop guidelines and a plan to
implement a uniform statewide
system to track the location, lab
submission status, completion of
forensic testing, and storage of
sexual assault evidence kits."
Sexual assault evidence col-
lection kits - commonly referred
to as rape kits - are forensic
evidence collection kits used by
trained practitioners to find any
DNA that may have been left by a
suspect of rape. The new law, now
Public Act 318 of 2014, mandates
that the commission not only
implement a system of tracking
rape kits but also that it develop
an electronic database for victims
or their designees to track the sta-
tus of their test results, if they so
Further, Public Act 318 asks
that the commission "recommend
sources of public and private
funding to implement the plans
developed under this subsection."
This is in addition to $25,000 of
appropriated funding that will be
provided for the state's Depart-
ment of Human Services on an
annual basis.
"Too many victims have been
waiting too long for justice they
deserve," Snyder said in a release.
"By ensuring faster testing and
more organized record-keeping
we can improve public safety and
help put the minds of assault vic-
tims at ease."
This most recent law comple-
From Page 1A
ing themselves from the president
due to his plunging approval rates.
Wednesday, an ABC News/Wash-
ington Post poll reflected that 40
percent of Americans approve of
Obama's job performance - an
all-time low since the president
took office in 2009. Forty-four
percent of Americans approve
of his handling of the economy,
while 35 percent approve of his
handling of the threat of ISIL.
Political Science Prof. Michael
Traugott said in an interview last
week with The Michigan Daily
From Page IA
author and Educational Studies
lecturer at the University; com-
poser and lyricist Dave Barrett;
and Mark Clague, a professor in
the School of Music, Theatre &
Pasquale said his job as band

director is more than just control-
ling the music: It is about control-
ling the psychology of the crowd.
"We support the athletes by
keeping the audience engaged,"
Pasquale said. "Do they really
care if I play 'Take On Me'? Not
really. What they do care about is
the audience cheering them on."
Kinesiology senior Joe Ker-
ridge, who plays on the football
team, agreed with Pasquale.
"When you get out onto the
field, the canned music and the
band is great for us," Kerridge
said. "But once the game starts,
I am pretty sure I can speak for
most of the football players: We
don't really care what plays as

ments Public Act 227, which
Snyder signed into law this June.
That act provided for the estab-
lishment of a more streamlined
system of collecting and organiz-
ing forensic evidence in sexual
assault cases. Both public acts
have been in response to the
discovery in 2009 of more than
11,000 untested rape kits in a
Detroit Police Department stor-
age facility.
Debi Cain, the executive direc-
tor of the Michigan Domestic and
Sexual Violence Prevention and
Treatment Board, said in a release
that the Public Act 318 "sends
a powerful message to sexual
assault victims in Michigan that
our state is committed to making
justice for victims a priority."
State Rep. Jeff Irwin (D-Ann
Arbor) said in an interview he
supports Public Act 318, calling
it a step in the right direction,
but added that he hopes the act of
establishing a committee to over-
see rape kit collection processes is
not a substitute for action.
"The commission will be effec-
tive if one of its responsibilities is
to encourage state lawmakers and
future governors to actually put
the resources into filling some of
the holes at the local level," Irwin
He added that in many Michi-
gan localities, rape kits might go
unattended because there is more
work than there are resources to
do that work.
"Itis certainly more effective to
address local financial needs with
a small amountof state resources,"
Irwin said. "That is more direct
and effective in accomplishing
the goal than simply monitoring
the deficiencies at a local level and
Irwin also credited Wayne
County prosecutor Kym Worthy
for having lobbied the state gov-
ernment for years to make this
Holly Rider-Milkovich, direc-
tor of the University's Sexual
Assault Prevention and Aware-

ness Center, said one of Public Act
318's biggest points of success will
be the development of a tracking
system for survivors.
"The tracking of the kit is
another, I think, really important
component because it ensures
that, to the greatest extent pos-
sible, survivors understand where
that forensic information is in
the system, and that that forensic
information does notget lost," she
said. "So it's not only about track-
ing it, but also about keeping sur-
vivors informed."
Rider-Milkovich also high-
lighted Public Act 320, which
was also signed into law Tues-
day and requires that health care
personnel responsible for exam-
ining or treating rape survivors
inform patients of the availabil-
ity of forensic examination kits
and their subsequent right to use
She said the bills collectively
also give sexual assault survivors
a one-year grace period to decide
whether or not they want their
forensic results to move forward
to a law enforcement proceeding.
"All of these bills together
really are about greater account-
ability in the system to ensure
that this evidence is moving for-
ward in a timely fashion, that it
is being preserved appropriately,
and that survivors have infor-
mation about what happens to
the evidence that is being col-
lected from their bodies," Rider-.
Milkovich said.
Public Act 321 was signed into
law Tuesday as well, and requires
that individuals charged with
breakinglocal ordinances prohib-
iting prostitution, among other
penal code violations, be tested
for sexuallytransmitted diseases.
"Examination or test results
that indicate the presence of
venereal disease, hepatitis B
infection, hepatitis C infection,
HIV infection, or acquired immu-
nodeficiency syndrome must be
reported to the defendant," the
bill reads.

From Page 1A
percent in 2010. In this area, the
University has already surpassed
the Healthy Campus 2020 goal of
14.4 percent.
When asked about contracep-
tion, almost 87 percent of under-
graduates said they used any
method during their last vaginal
intercourse, while the Healthy
Campus 2020 goal is only 62.3
However, the University has
not yet met goals in reducing aca-
demic impairments from stress
and anxiety, binge drinking, hoo-
kah and marijuana use, increasing
the use of bike helmets and other
Campus sexual health
Sexual wellness and safety also
registered as an area of concern,
with the prevalence of students
who were sexually touched against
their will, sexually penetrated
without consent or in a sexually
abusive relationship all register-
ing higher than target levels. This
follows a July report by the Wash-
ington Post, based on data from
the U.S. Department of Education,
which found the University ranked
second nationally in reported sex-
ual assaults on college campuses
between 2010 and 2012.
Responses from two of these
groups - students who report-
ed being sexually penetrated
against their will and students
who reported being in a sexually
abusive relationship in the last 12
months -rose from 0.6 percent
to 1.6 percent from 2010 to 2014.
While Tucker said the small num-
ber of respondents in these cate-
gories - 1.6 percent correlating to
about 80 responses - necessitates

the use of other data sources, she
affirmed the University's commit-
mentto addressing the issue.
"The University is doing a tre-
mendous amount around sexual
misconduct," Tucker said. "We're
sharing this data with our part-
ners across campus and there will
be conversations I'm sure, and
there's also other opportunities
to triangulate (these results) using
other data sources."
This commitment, however,
has faced criticism from both stu-
dents and faculty. The University
is currently under investigation
by the U.S. Department of Educa-
tion's Office for Civil Rights for its
handling of sexual assault allega-
tions on campus.
Academic impediments
Tucker said one particular area
of interest for UHS was evaluat-
ing impediments to students' aca-
demic performance. After testing
30 different factors - including
elements such as work, death of a
family member, finances and alco-
hol abuse - the survey found that
students were most profoundly
influencedby stress and anxiety.
Students were asked whether
each of the test factors had con-
tributed to receiving a lower grade
or failing to complete an assign-
ment or class. Among undergrad-
uates, 31 percent reported stress
and 22 percent reported anxiety
as a contributing factor in such
decreases in performance.
The results fall in line with
national averages -inthe ACHA's
2013 nationally compiled results
of about 33,000 students, 27.9
percent reported stress and 19.7
percent reported anxiety as an
academic impediment.
The University offers several
campus resources, such as Coun-
seling and Psychological Services,

to help students combat these
issues and increasetheir academic
"College is a pressured environ-
ment," Tucker said. "There's high
expectations of performance and
accomplishment. Students often
enjoy that, but it comes with the
downside of feeling the stresses
associated with it."
AlcoholabuseinGreek Life
In light of efforts by the Uni-
versity's Greek system to combat
alcohol abuse, the surveyincluded
analysis of alcohol consequences
and protection strategies among
members and non-members of
such organizations.
The survey found significantly
higher rates of almost all unde-
sirable consequences of drinking
among fraternity and sorority
members versus non-Greek stu-
dents - injury, loss of memory,
unprotected sex, non-consensual
sex and trouble with law enforce-
Additionally, non-Greek stu-
dents were found significantly
more likely to employ protective
strategies regarding alcohol con-
sumption, such as tracking num-
ber of drinks, alternating alcoholic
and non-alcoholic beverages and
avoiding drinking games.
Tucker said UHS continues to
work with the Greek system to
address these harmful drinking
habits through offering services
such as sober monitor training
and "Stay inthe Blue" educational
Afullsummary ofthe results can
be view on the UHS website.
Editor's Note: Since incentives
were offered to select students who
participated in the survey, Michi-
gan Daily writers and editors who
reviewed this article have notpar-

that Obama's visit benefits the
candidates differently. Peters'
lead in the polls could buffer
negative pushback for appearing
with the unpopular Commander
in Chief, and the two politicians
support similar issues, including
the bailout of General Motors and
Peters made a point to boost
Obama last Friday as he discussed
the auto bailout - a decision some
Michigan Republicans did not
"Thank god President Obama
was there," Peters said on Friday.
Meanwhile, a visit from the
President could boost voter turn-
out for Schauer's campaign. Dem-

ocratic voter turnout for midterm
elections is often lower than in a
presidential election, so encour-
agement from Obama to get to the
polls could bolster Schauer's posi-
tion in the gubernatorial race.
"For Schauer, (Obama is) prob-
ably going to spend his time talk-
ing about turnout," Traugott said
last week. "In a tight race, that's
what each candidate is interested
The White House also
announced today that the presi-
dent would postpone campaign
stops scheduled for this afternoon
to hold meetings with Cabinet
members about the government's
response to the Ebola outbreak.

long as it's loud in there."
The panelists discussed the
balance between the marching
band's playing traditional songs
versus the loudspeaker system's
playing popular rock and rap
Bacon and Pasquale agreed
that piped-in music was impor-
tant to keep band music fresh
and to appeal to a younger crowd.
Pasquale mentioned that it wasn't
a battle between the University
Athletic Department and the
marching band.
"Understand this: When they
play it, they ask us first," he said.
Bacon did mention that he
believed piped-in music should
be played less.
"What you're selling at Foot-
ball Saturdays, I'm sorry, is not
Beyonce or Seven Nation Army,"
Bacon said. "It's the Michigan
Marching Band, the team, the
fans - that goes back a century.
What we're trying to do on a
Football Saturday is to step back
in time to the experience of your
grandparents and great-grand-

The panelists also discussed
the history and importance of
playing the Star-Spangled Ban-
ner before games. Ristovski said
it gave her a lot of pride to hear it
before every game.
"You think about all the peo-
ple that have fought and died;
for me, to be at the University
of Michigan playing basketball
gives you pride but also a lot of
gratitude," she said.
Pasquale said the anthem was
a special moment for fans to
"It's the only time that every-
bodyis on the same page," he said.
The panel also focused on
composer David Barrett, an Ann
Arborite who composed the
famous "One Shining Moment"
in 1987. The song has been used
as the theme song for the NCAA
Men's Basketball Final Four for
27 years.
"Strange as it may sound, I
wrote the entire lyrics on a napkin
while waiting for a friend to show
up to brunch," Barrett said. "And
then I rushed home and wrote the
song in twenty minutes."

From Page 1A
His administration has called it
a "strategic reinvestment." His
opponent, Schauer, has criticized
the initial reduction of funding,
pledging to restore funding com-
pletely and immediately if elected.
Snyder's reinvestment strategy
has generally been met with opti-
mism from institutions across the
state. The fluctuations in funding
follow an overall trend of cuts to
higher education funding over the
past decade, though none nearly as
individually severe as15 percent.
Jason Cody, a public affairs
specialist at Michigan State Uni-
versity, called the latest budget a
positive sign for higher education
by both the governor and the leg-
islature in a statement. The bud-
get is proposed by the governor
in conjunction with the budget
office, but needs approval from the
"This is a major step in the right
direction, continuing the positive
trend of increasing funding after
years of reducing state aid,"he said.
Officials from the University of
Michigan, Eastern Michigan Uni-
versity and the Presidents Coun-
cil, State Universities of Michigan
echoed Cody's sentiment. Other
state institutions did not reply to
requests for comment.
"Since (the 2011 cut) the news
has been good, it's been very
positive," said PCSUM Executive
Director Dr. Michael Boulus. "The
governor has made his intentions
clear that he wants to restore the
money he has cut over the next
year or two. It looks like we're out
of the woods in terms of having to
plan budgets and tuition around a
negative number."
Beyond the general reinvest-
ment strategy, several changes
to how appropriations are allo-
cated to universities have also
been implemented during Sny-
der's administration. As of the
2015 fiscal year, universities will
be measured across seven key
criteria, including number of Pell
Grant recipients, six-year gradu-
ation rates, degree completion
in critical areas, administrative
costs, research and development,
total degree completion and caps
on tuition. These metrics, first
implemented in 2012, represent a
mixture of recommendations and
modifications from both the gov-
ernor and the legislature, who also
play arole in setting the standards.
How much money they affect
has fluctuated, but currently,
roughly 50 percent of each year's
increase is based on meeting six
performance-based standards,
with all of that money subsequent-
ly beingcontingent on universities
stayingwithin a cap set on tuition
increases, the seventh metric.
Among the metrics, the cap on
tuition rate increases has proven

the most controversial. Though
most universities - with the
exception of Wayne State Uni-
versity's 8.9 percent raise in 2013
- have stuck to the limits set by
the governor and legislature, they
haven't seen much institutional
"We have long argued, and we
are not alone, that the decisions
about the University's budget
model and its financial well being
are ones that the University lead-
ership- and Iinclude inthatlead-
ership the very importantBoard of
Regents - should maintain," said
Cynthia Wilbanks the Universi-
ty's vice president for government
relations. "They are, after all, the
ones that are closest to the details
of the budget models and they
have ample opportunity to learn
and be involved in the discus-
sions around how the University
is going to manage, either through
difficult times or otherwise."
Over the past decade, tuition
and appropriations have together
come to make up almost 75 per-
cent of the state's public univer-
sities' operating revenue, with
raising tuition serving as one
recourse to budgetary issues such
as rising costs or negative trends
in state funding. At the University,
tuition is almost 70 percent of the
general fund budget as of 2012.
In a conference call with col-
lege newspapers Wednesday
afternoon, Snyder said he thought
the tuition increase caps had been
a successful measure. He added
that moving forward, he'd like to
focus on ways to help universi-
ties lower their costs, potentially
through efforts to consolidate
IT platforms between schools or
through schools purchasing need-
ed goods and services as a group.
"I want to work on a more
extensive dialogue with the uni-
versities and the community col-
leges themselves in being more
helpful on how to contain their
cost," he said. "There's ways we
can work together on doing pur-
chasing and buying and ways to be
more efficient and other ways we
mightbeable to provide resources
to help them manage their costs or
bringdowntheir costs."
Along with the tuition caps, uni-
versities are also evaluated under
six other performance-based met-
rics tied to roughly 50 percent of
each year's increases in funding. As
of the 2015 fiscal year, universities
will be measured on the number of
Pell Grant recipients, six-year grad-
uation rates, degree completion in
critical areas, administrative costs,
research and development, total
degree completion and the caps on
Within the measures, universi-
ties are also only compared to insti-
tutions considered their peers - an
aspect Wilbanks said was critical.
"We wanted to be compared
to institutions across the country
who were alike in many regards,

and by way of that similarity, the
public could judge, and certainly
policymakers could judge, how
the universities stack up with
institutions across the country
that were similar," she said. "And
that has been a useful tool."
Boulus said PCSUM, who along
with groups including the Busi-
ness Leaders for Michigan and
the state's universities helped to
define the peer-based metrics,
have overall been pleased withthe
final results.
"The governor made it clear to
us he's big on accountability and
he told us you can lead, or be led,
and we opted to lead," he said. "I
think we're very, very proud of
the fact that we really stepped up
to the issue of accountability and
transparency, and we did it in a
way thatwethink is fair."
Several institutions, including
Wayne State University and East-
ern Michigan University, while not-
ing support for the metrics being
used to evaluate performance, have
of being classed together with cam-
puses that have relatively fewer
lower-income students. The addition
of Pell Grants for the upcoming fis-
cal year, the newest metric, aims to
resolve that problem.
"Factoring in Pell Grant recipi-
ents supports institutions of oppor-
tunity, such as Eastern Michigan
and Wayne State, where thousands
of lower-income students attend
and succeed in achievinga degree,"
Geoff Larcom, EMU executive
director of media relations, said in
The second hallmark of the
governor's reforms to education
funding, caps on tuition hikes
which are contingent with receiv-
ing any of the performance based
funding, have proven the most
controversial. Though most uni-
versities have stuck to the limits
set by the governor and legisla-
ture, theyhaven'tseen muchinsti-
tutional support.
Snyder also pushed for several
cost management measures tar-
geted to a more individual level,
encouraging dual enrollment and
career and technical education
programs. He identified both in a
gubernatorial debate Sunday as a
priority for a second term.
While in office, the governor
has successfully proposed initia-
tives that increased the amount of
students and institutions eligible
for dual enrollment opportuni-
ties in the state, as well as initiat-
ing programs that match students
early with employers through
"Dual enrollment is the biggest
single saver for people because
that can bring down your costs by
25 percent on a bachelor's degree
and 50 percent on an associate's
degree," Snyder said. "It's an
opportunity to get a year of col-
lege done while you're still in high

From Page 2A
which halts discrimination in
1 housing and employment and pro-
tects the LGBT community.
"I don't believe in discrimi-
nation," Snyder said. "I'm being
proactive in terms of the employ-
ment discrimination issue in part

because that is something that can
be addressed from the legislative
point of view."
Snyder also made mention of
sexual assault on college cam-
puses. While no piece of legisla-
tion specifically deals with this
topic, Snyder discussed bills that
address sexual assault as a whole
in the state, such as legislation
passed Tuesday establishing rules
for the submission and collection

of sexual assault kit evidence. He
said rape on college campuses is
an issue.
"That's a real concern because
there's too much of that going on,"
Snyder said. "It's a discussion point
and concern that I think we're try-
ing to gather data and work with
the higher ed. community in par-
ticular and seeing what the situa-
tion is and how we can make our
campuses safer."


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