Up to date, years later

The University is part of a wave of colleges taking a second look at how they handle sexual assault — but only after years of national scrutiny.

The Aurora Center director Katie Eichele leads a group exercise at the Aurora Center's all-volunteer training at Elliott Hall on Feb. 4, 2014. The goal of the exercise was to keep balloons, representing sexual assault victims, off the ground and emphasizes how agencies have different policies regarding sexual assault victims and how easy it is for the victims to fall through the cracks with miscommunication between agencies.

Chelsea Gortmaker

The Aurora Center director Katie Eichele leads a group exercise at the Aurora Center’s all-volunteer training at Elliott Hall on Feb. 4, 2014. The goal of the exercise was to keep balloons, representing sexual assault victims, off the ground and emphasizes how agencies have different policies regarding sexual assault victims and how easy it is for the victims to fall through the cracks with miscommunication between agencies.

Bryna Godar

For the full experience, visit our project space for more graphics and data.

 

In an arena where few requirements are explicit, the University of Minnesota is one of many institutions struggling to find the best policy for addressing sexual assault on campus.

With weeks left before the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act, or Campus SaVE Act, takes effect, the University is bringing its policy in line with years-old federal recommendations. The President’s Policy Committee will finalize the changes March 7 in order for them to be in place by the March 14 deadline.

The University has long treated sexual assault like other student conduct cases, using an internal process to investigate, hear cases and sanction students found responsible.

At the University and across higher education, that process has drawn increasing scrutiny, with most campuses falling far short of federal expectations. At the University of Minnesota, some legal experts say, parts of the process haven’t been in compliance with the Title IX federal law that protects against gender-based discrimination.

Read the full story at our projects space, with most photos and interactive graphics.