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U of M releases campus survey and new draft policy on sexual misconduct

The University of Michigan Union
Wikimedia Commons
University of Michigan student union

The University of Michigan has released a draft umbrella policy to address the problem of sexual and gender-based misconduct. 

It expects to implement the policy in early 2020 after a comment period.

U of M spokesman Rick Fitzgerald said a significant change from previous policies is that the definitions of prohibited conduct are consistent across the university community. 

"That way there's no confusion about what is considered inappropriate," said Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald said the same definitions would apply to students, faculty and staff across U of M's Ann Arbor, Dearborn, and Flint campuses and Michigan Medicine.

The university has also released the results of a 2019 campus survey of its Ann Arbor students about sexual assault and misconduct. It was one of 33 universities to take part in a second national campus climate survey on this topic sponsored by the Association of American Universities. The 2019 AAU survey follows a 2015 AAU survey, in which the U of M also participated.

Just over one-third of undergraduate women reported in the extensive survey that they had experienced nonconsensual sexual touching or penetration since enrolling at the U of M. That's down about 4% from the 2015 survey. 

"We want our campus community to be as safe as possible. Ideally, we'd like to see zero cases," said Fitzgerald. "Until then, we want to have policies and procedures that are in place that are fair to everyone involved and that address what is a significant problem on campus."

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