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Michigan universities won’t change sexual assault policies right away

Eastern Michigan University
Flickr - http://bit.ly/1rFrzRK
Eastern Michigan University

The Trump administration recently announced new guidance for how college campuses should handle sexual assault complaints. But Michigan universities won’t be changing their policies right away.

The Trump administration rescinded the Obama-era guidance on campus sexual assault last week.

The new guidance isn’t mandatory, and officials say it’s temporary until they come up with new rules.

Daniel Hurley is the CEO of the Michigan Association of State Universities. He said Michigan campuses will keep their current policies for now.

“While the university officials are looking at those rules, I don’t foresee any knee-jerk reactions,” Hurley said.

A part of the guidance lets schools use a higher standard of evidence when judging sexual assault accusations. Another allows schools to use mediation for an informal resolution of a sexual assault case.

Hurley said state universities have been trying to improve the culture of sexual assault on campus for years. He explained that when incidents occur, the schools want, “to make sure that both due process is involved as well as victims’ rights are adhered to at the highest level.”

Hurley said a committee will meet and go through the new guidance section by section.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos says she wants to strike a balance between the rights of victims and the accused.

For more information on the new guidance, see the Department of Education’s Q&A on Campus Sexual Misconduct.

Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County. Eventually, Cheyna took her investigative and interview skills and moved on to journalism. She got her masters at Michigan State University and was a documentary filmmaker, podcaster, and freelance writer before finding her home with NPR. Very soon after joining MPRN, Cheyna started covering the 2016 presidential election, chasing after Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and all their surrogates as they duked it out for Michigan. Cheyna also focuses on the Legislature and criminal justice issues for MPRN. Cheyna is obsessively curious, a passionate storyteller, and an occasional backpacker. Follow her on Twitter at @Cheyna_R
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