Campus Sexual Assault Policy: Problems and Progress Recap

Campus Sexual Assault Policy: Problems and Progress

On October 25, almost 250 people gathered at the University of Michigan North Campus Research Complex to participate in a two-day conference convened by CEW and many collaborators to address the persistent problem of sexual assault on college campuses.
In the context of the April 2011 “Dear Colleague Letter” issued by the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, Campus Sexual Assault Policy: Problems and Progress aimed to bring together institutional policy makers and community-based sexual assault response professionals to discuss and develop policies addressing student sexual misconduct under Title IX.
While the first day and second morning featured a full schedule of conference presentations, much of the second day was spent in small groups as campus teams worked to refine their policies and practices and to develop recommendations for institutional, state and federal policy-makers.
Campus Sexual Assault Policy: Problems and Progress has been a broadly collaborative project designed to address the following goals:
  • Counter prevalent myths that impede effective campus policy and response by presenting research on the realities of perpetrator and survivor behavior
  • Explore the impact on diverse survivors of both campus sexual assault and the policies and practices designed to address sexual violence
  • Provide opportunities for colleges and universities, especially those located in Michigan, to share experiences during and after the conference
  • Bring together college and university personnel with community-based sexual assault response professionals in order to promote improved collaboration and policy integration
  • Include representatives of the Office for Civil Rights and the Department of Justice to facilitate sharing of perspectives and experiences
  • Develop policy recommendations to be shared with professional organizations, institutions of higher education, and state and federal policy-makers in government agencies and legislative bodies
Following the conference, planners have begun the process of developing recommendations and, eventually, vetting them with partners on campuses, in the nonprofit sector, and in government.
Campus Sexual Assault Policy: Problems and Progress was supported by a grant from the UM National Center for Institutional Diversity and contributions by many other campus sponsors [link].  The Michigan Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence and the Michigan Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Prevention and Treatment Board were collaborating partners.
LINK to conference presentations and articles by conference presenters at http://www.cew.umich.edu/presenters-materials.