Michigan State University rolls out 5-year plan to prevent sexual assault, harassment

Advocates criticize plan

EAST LANSING, Mich.Michigan State University has released a five-year plan to prevent sexual assault and harassment on campus.

Inside the 72-page report, MSU is promising changes such as training volunteers to response to assault reports in campus neighborhoods, review investigations from the offices of Civil Rights and Institutional Equity to find issues and create a new group to find ways to address incidents beyond Title IX.

While the plan was praised by MSU’s workgroup and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, advocates for assault survivors said the plan falls short. They wanted outside eyes on the university’s internal working.

“They have denied the sister survivors an independent investigation by an independent firm. So this is just more of MSU policing itself and trying to paper over what happened there a few years ago. It’s not something that anyone should trust,” said Valerie von Frank, with Parents of Sister Survivors.

The plan comes shortly after the university’s board decided not to release thousands of pages of documents regarding disgraced Dr. Larry Nassar to Attorney General Dana Nessel, who was forced to close the case without those pages. It’s something advocates said speaks louder than MSU’s new plan.

“There needs to be change, so that won’t happen again. But I don’t see that change. I just don’t see it. We don’t see it,” Von Frank said.

Local 4 reached out to MSU for an interview but were unable to get one.

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