MSU releases annual Title IX report
MSU's Title IX office released its second annual Title IX report Sept. 29. The report details sexual misconduct and relationship violence complaints MSU received during the 2016-17 academic year.
MSU's Title IX office, the Office of Institutional Equity, or OIE, released its first annual Title IX report Sept. 29, 2016 and released its first mid-year Title IX report Aug. 6, 2017. The newest annual report details incidents from Aug. 16, 2016 to Aug. 15, 2017.
There were 718 incidents detailed in the 2016-17 report under MSU’s Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct, or RVSM, policy. In comparison, there were 461 incidents detailed in the 2015-16 annual report and 201 incidents in the 2014-2015 year.
Of the incidents, 202 were sexual assault, 166 were sexual harassment, 93 were stalking, 82 were dating violence, 42 were domestic violence, 35 were multiple incidents, 28 were sexual contact, 28 were sexual exploitation, 22 were unknown and 17 were RVSM retaliation, as indicated by a bar chart in the report.
In comparison, the 2015-16 report saw 177 sexual assault incidents, 72 relationship violence incidents, 132 sexual harassment incidents, 67 stalking incidents, four multiple violations and seven retaliation incidents.
Jessica Norris, MSU's director of Title IX and ADA compliance and education programs, said in a press release she believes these increased numbers are due to increased awareness among the student body, not an increase in incidents.
“Our goal is to foster a culture where individuals who report feel supported and have resources and options for addressing incidents,” she said in the release. “We believe the increase in reports that we are seeing is reflective of our efforts to encourage individuals to report and access resources.”
Of the 718 incidents in the 2016-17 report, 74 were formally investigated, 19 were listed as pending and 625 were not investigated for a variety of reasons.
Four-hundred and fifty-one were not investigated due to "non-participation," where the complainant either did not want to move forward or did not follow-up with investigators, 101 were cases MSU did not have jurisdiction over, 50 cases did not meet the standards outlined in the RVSM policy and 23 were resolved through administrative closure. 19 cases were listed as pending.
In comparison, in the 2015-16 annual report, 66 incidents were formally investigated and 378 were not. 289 were not investigated because the complainant did not want to move forward or did not follow-up with investigators, 50 were non-jurisdiction cases, 27 cases did not meet RSVM standards and 12 were resolved through administrative closure.
Average time to complete investigations reduced to 80 days from 104 days in 2015-16. Average time to complete the student conduct process, or the disciplinary process, reduced to 48 days from 57 days in 2015-16.
There were a total of 44 sanctions in the 2016-17 academic year. Of those, 20 were sanctions against students: 11 students were placed on probation, five students were dismissed from MSU and four were suspended.
Of the 22 sanctions against university employees, 10 were cases where the employee was terminated, resigned or retired before the investigation was completed. Six employees were terminated, three were disciplined, one was dismissed, one was placed on probation and one was suspended.
The other two cases were not affiliated with the university and were marked as "other" and "university contact restriction."
In comparison, the 2015-16 annual report saw 31 sanctions, where 23 cases were students, seven were university employees and one was not affiliated with the university.
The report also detailed RVSM incidents by location, MSU's engagement with the national It's On Us campaign, additional resources to the OIE office and provided statistics on the number of resources currently at MSU Safe Place, MSU police, the Sexual Assault Program and more.
Follow The State News for more updates on the report.