Engler announces workgroup to formalize recs. from MSU community
A plan for moving forward has been announced by MSU Interim President John Engler.
The Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct Expert Advisory Workgroup, that was announced Friday, aims to "formalize" the concerns, recommendations and calls to action the MSU Board of Trustees and Engler have been receiving from students, faculty and sexual assault survivors.
Once this input expressed across campus from various sources is formalized, the university's administration will then be able to establish a thorough response regarding relationship violence and sexual misconduct on MSU's campus.
Some of the expert advisory workgroup's goals include; the "implementation of immediate changes" in responses to reported incidents of sexual misconduct, a focus on prevention and a focus on making decisions that are more long-term when it comes to relationship violence and sexual misconduct.
“I’ve met with many MSU community members and groups in the three weeks since I arrived, and they’ve given me feedback on weaknesses in our current approach, as well as very constructive suggestions to improve our response to someone who has been the victim of a sexual assault,” Engler said in the press release. “We’re ready now to act on the advice we’ve been given.”
Multiple organizations across campus involved with sexual assault policy will be working with the workgroup. Programs like the Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence Prevention Program and MSU Safe Place, as well as institutions like the Title IX Office and the MSU Police Special Victims Unit, are some of these organizations included.
The leaders of these organizations, who are professionally trained and have expertise in handling sexual misconduct, will have a role in the workgroup. The press release states Engler aims to ensure that students, faculty and community members will also be able to engage with the workgroup and offer solutions in terms of the prevention of assaults and the response to them.
Through a "new interactive feature," the collaborative work will be updated on president.msu.edu. The workgroup will be chaired by Department of Psychology Professor Rebecca Campbell and other faculty experts in the Department of Psychology and School of Social Work.
Editor's Note: This article was updated at 6:15 p.m. with more information on the new workgroup.