ACTION IS LOUDER

| 1/25/15 8:32pm

Many students at Grand Valley State University are aware of the increasing number of reported sexual assault incidents on and off campus. The university seems to have taken a strong stance on the issue, repeating again and again that GVSU will not tolerate any sort of sexual assault.

The Lanthorn commends administration for communicating to students that they care about this issue. In fact, the university appears to have taken multiple steps to create a campus culture where sexual assault is not tolerated. The most recent action taken is the discussion of a new sexual misconduct policy.

However, that action was implemented back in November. To the Lanthorn's knowledge, there have been no attempts by university authorities to involve Laker community members in a review process. As of Nov. 21 of last year, GVSU's interim sexual misconduct policy went into effect before student input was received. This policy directly affects students more than any other population of the GVSU community – to put the interim policy in action without first consulting the party most affected is negligent on the part of the university administration.

In October, GVSU joined 85 other colleges and universities across the nation that are under federal Title IX investigation. While the university is adamant that the investigation is not a response to the Title IX complaint filed by a GVSU student, the implementation of an interim policy during a federal investigation should raise a few eyebrows.

It should raise a few more eyebrows to note that the university's Title IX officer is leaving GVSU while it is still in the midst of the investigation.

Currently, the GVSU Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) is working to create a more permanent policy for the handling of sexual misconduct cases. While we appreciate that the SART makes an effort to inform the community about resources available on campus for victims and other pertinent information, administration needs to do more than inform. They need to act.

This being said, we want to urge administrators to be prompt in their efforts to establish a sexual assault policy with maximum input from the GVSU student population. 

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