Campus Sexual Assault Workgroup announces recommendations for consortium pilot project, best practices for prevention

Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018

LANSING, Mich. — Recommendations for a pilot project to better investigate reports of campus sexual assault and a framework of best practices for prevention were announced today by the Campus Sexual Assault Workgroup. In May, Gov. Rick Snyder and First Lady Sue Snyder asked the workgroup to identify best practices for prevention and a model to enhance the investigative process for reports of sexual misconduct on Michigan’s campuses.

“Identifying innovative ways to investigate and respond to reports of sexual assault on campus is critical in order to ensure these incidences are handled swiftly, comprehensively and appropriately,” Gov. Rick Snyder said. “I thank the individuals who served on this workgroup for lending their expertise to help create a framework to pilot a new approach to handling reports of sexual misconduct. I’m hopeful this pilot will help streamline the investigative process so students and survivors know their reports are being handled the right way.”

The consortium subcommittee was comprised of subject-matter experts with experience investigating campus sexual assault cases in either the Federal Title IX system or within the criminal justice system. Their recommendations for a framework to pilot a Consortium on Campus Sexual Assault (CCSA) include:

  • Having an outside independent attorney investigator leading the CCSA who will work with local law enforcement personnel to ensure that the pilot program is rooted in local control and the culture of the region served;
  • Establishing potential pilot project locations;
  • Convening an Advisory Board comprised of the community constituents whose work interacts with the CCSA. The Advisory Board also would participate in, arrange, and provide training for CCSA staff.
  • Including participation from an educational institution that has limited investigatory resources in at least one of the pilots;
  • Having all Title IX criminal sexual conduct matters handled by the CCSA once higher education institutions voluntarily opt-in as members of the CCSA Pilot Project.

Potential locations for the pilot project are being explored.

The prevention subcommittee was tasked with developing a roadmap of best practices for preventing campus sexual assault. Recommendations include:

  • Securing senior leadership commitment and engaging community stakeholders;
  • Assessing current strengths and areas for targeted improvement related to policies, programs, and procedures for sexual assault prevention and response;
  • Solidifying strategic SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused, time-bound) goals to drive prevention plans;
  • Implementing and evaluating prevention plans; and
  • Sharing outcomes and recommendations with senior leadership and community stakeholders.

“I’m confident this roadmap of best practices will help colleges and universities develop comprehensive ways to prevent sexual assault from happening in the first place,” First Lady Sue Snyder said. “I appreciate the experts who put in the time and effort to create a model that institutions can implement to help make Michigan’s campuses safer for students and survivors.”

To view a summary of the Michigan Consortium on Campus Sexual Assault pilot project, click here.

To view the Michigan roadmap for sexual assault prevention, click here.

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If you are a survivor of sexual assault and need to talk with a counselor, call Michigan’s 24/7, free and confidential hotline: 1-855-VOICES4.