Michigan State University provides accommodations to survivors outside of the investigation process. There is a health center that provides emergency contraception as well as STI testing and primary care. However, the student health center does not provide weekend services or have a sexual assault center and they refer survivors to a hospital in the community. The university has an advocacy center for sexual assault survivors on campus, provides information on local rape crisis centers, and specifies that campus police are trauma informed. Information updated as of August 18, 2017.
Michigan State University requires in-person sexual assault prevention training for students that includes bystander intervention. Their definition of sexual assault is inclusive and encompasses acts other than penetration and intercourse. They have an affirmative consent policy that meets all five of EROC’s requirements. They forbid retaliation against survivors but do not provide a definition for retaliation.
Reports of sexual assault are reviewed by the Office of Institutional Equity under the direction of the Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Investigations. The OIE determines a finding of responsibility. It is unclear who in the office makes this determination or how. A Sanction Panel separate from the investigators determines the sanctions for students, but it is unclear whether these decisions are made by majority vote or if they must be unanimous. Michigan State University lists possible sanctions and published aggregate information about imposed sanctions. They specify that both parties may have an attorney present at their own cost throughout the investigation process, but attorneys are discouraged from actively participating in the investigative procedures. The Vice President for Student Affairs and Services hears appeals where suspension or dismissal is a potential result, and an Equity Review Officer hears all other appeals. The appeal can be made to either the finding of responsibility, the sanction, or both. Sanctions go into effect within seven days of the expiration of the appeal period. Michigan State University provides a 60 day timeline for completing investigations. Investigators are said to be “professionally trained”, but not trauma informed. There is no mention of whether mediation is allowed for cases of sexual assault.
October 25, 2017
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