Michigan State University President Samuel L. Stanley, Jr., M.D., in conjunction with the Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct Expert Advisory Workgroup, plans to meet with sexual assault survivors in a series of meetings in September and October to listen to their concerns and input about needed improvements at the university.
Stanley said he knows meeting with survivors is important in his transition to MSU and upon arrival he sought the workgroup’s assistance in organizing a series of meetings. He is hopeful that providing an early notification of the meeting times and locations will allow more survivors to attend and participate.
“Listening to survivors is a top priority of mine – I know I have a lot to learn,” Stanley said. “As my leadership team starts to work on a strategic plan for the university, safety and care for students are core pillars of that plan. All survivors of relationship violence and sexual misconduct have a voice that needs to be heard. For anyone who feels comfortable in meeting with me, or wants to share their thoughts, I hope this can be a helpful dialogue.”
Three meeting have been initially planned:
- MSU community of sexual assault survivors, including students, faculty and staff – Monday, Sept. 30 at the MSU Union Ballroom, 6-8 p.m.
- Survivors who wish to discuss the Nassar case – Tuesday, Oct. 8, East Lansing Public Library, 6-8 p.m.
- An online, web-based meeting for survivors who may not feel comfortable attending a meeting in person – Wednesday, Oct. 16 via Zoom, 6-8 p.m.
Survivors are welcome to bring a parent or support person with them if they choose. Representatives from the MSU Sexual Assault Program also will be on hand to provide support for survivors or family members. Stanley will attend all the meetings along with Dr. Rebecca Campbell and Lt. Andrea Munford, who were recently appointed as special advisers to the president on relationship violence and sexual misconduct issues. University Ombudsperson Shannon Lynn Burton, a neutral, independent, confidential and informal conflict resolution resource, will be a moderator for the meetings.
An RSVP portal has been set up to help gather approximate number of attendees for the meetings, ensure room space is adequate and plan for light refreshments. All information is anonymous.
Out of respect for survivors’ privacy and to ensure a safe space for confidentiality, media are not invited to participate in the meetings.
Later this fall, the results of the campus-wide climate survey conducted in Spring 2019 will be available. That feedback, together with the input from these meetings with survivors, will be reviewed by Stanley and the Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct Expert Advisory Workgroup to develop a strategic plan for sustainable culture change at MSU.