White House, Universities Fighting Campus Sex Crimes - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

White House, Universities Fighting Campus Sex Crimes

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(WLNS) - The president has created a "task force" because of how often sexual assault has become a problem on college campuses.

That includes the one right in our own backyard.

6 News Joe Khalil took a comprehensive look at how m-s-u responds to the issue from administration down to student.

Sexual assault is one of those issues that everyone was aware of, but nobody seemed to want to acknowledge just a few years ago.

That's not the case now. Universities across the country, including MSU have stepped up their efforts to prevent sexual crime. That includes taking them seriously and making students more aware of what sexual assault is.

For many it's an uncomfortable issue to speak up about, but it's one Paulette Granberry Russell at MSU says the university is taking head-on.

"I think we are doing a much better job than we were four years ago,” said Russell, Director, MSU Office of Inclusion.

The university brought the issue to light with the “No Excuse for Sexual Assault” campaign.

The campaign provides resources for victims and Russell says most importantly, educates students to prevent sexual crimes before they happen.

"Is it a call to students? Absolutely, but I think it's a call to the broader community as well."

On MSU’s campus, students have taken ownership of the issue.

"What I wanted to do with this documentary was put a face to the survivors and put a face to the statistics,” said Laura Swanson, Producer, ‘Every Two Minutes’ Documentary.

Laura Swanson is among a group of students who created the documentary ‘Every Two Minutes’, which profiles the stories of 17, not victims, but survivors of sexual assault.

"Nobody wants to be the one to step up and speak out and claim that they're a survivor. To hear their stories one after the other after the other and to realize that although they are all different the patterns are so much the same."

Patterns Russell says fall on everyone to change.

"All of us have a responsibility to prevent, stop, and intervene."

By no means is sexual assault gone from campuses. The federal office for civil rights is still investigating MSU and U of M as well as a number of other universities to make sure they are properly handling these cases.

Russell says she's confident they'll be satisfied with their findings.

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