Patricia Huerta 0

Michigan State University Human Sexuality Class and Supporters Demands for Change

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We, the students in Dr. Megan Maas' Human Sexuality course (HDFS 445) and their supporters, demand that Michigan State University enact sweeping changes to ensure the physical, mental, and educational safety of all students, faculty, and staff. We have thoughtfully and carefully constructed a list of demands that we believe will have long-term benefits for all levels of the university community. Our demands are:

  • We demand evidence-based sexual assault and sexuality education.
    • This education must occur in-person and not simply online. These programs need to include engaging content, such as social media, pop culture, and regular updates to course material, to truly elicit the participation and comprehension of participants.
    • This education must include all members of the university community, namely students, faculty, and staff.
    • Students, faculty, and staff should also implement this education into K-12 schools, because education regarding these matters needs to occur prior to students coming to campus.
    • This education should also feature information about bystander interventions to arm our students, faculty, and staff with intervention methods.
    • Information specifically educating participants on gender and power dynamics should be included within the programs.
    • There should be a general training that is required for everyone, and students, faculty, and staff should then be required to select two addition targeted trainings:
      • Athletes
      • Greek life
      • LGBTQ
      • Heterosexual women
      • Black students
      • International students
      • Differently-abled students
      • Graduate students
  • We demand that a course on adult life skills become a new General Education (GE) requirement. We have labeled this course Adulting 101. Course content should include information on:
    • Positive sexuality and sexual violence prevention
    • Finances
    • Interpersonal communication
    • Nutrition and exercise
  • We demand that all investigations into university misconduct be investigated by third party investigators, who are unaffiliated with the university and members of its community. All reports should be reviewed by individuals or organizations outside the university and its constituents to ensure the validity of investigations and responses to findings. The primary purpose of these investigations is to first and foremost protect the well-being of students, faculty, and staff, not just those individuals in particular groups or athletic organizations.
  • We demand an investigation into the successful inter-collegiate trainings occurring at other universities in an effort to emulate the outstanding work of these universities.
  • We demand reform around the presentation and experiences associated with the Academic Orientation Program (AOP).
    • The participants of these programs must be viewed as competent, intelligent adults.
    • The programs must include transfer students.
    • The programs must feature smaller groups for the education components to enhance dialogue and comprehension of the material.
    • These programs must include comprehensive sexual education due to the absence of comprehensive sexual education in schools prior to university attendance.
  • We demand that the university instill mandatory dialogue classes, which would be offered in a variety of subjects areas and explicitly provide opportunities to discuss sexual misconduct, gender issues, etc.
  • We demand that the procedures around mandated reporting be clarified and made more accessible for the greater university community.
    • More specifically, students, faculty, and staff demand detailed information on the procedures and actions that occur following a report.
    • We also demand that some protection be alloted to individuals that report misconduct. Otherwise, people may feel too frightened about being the whistle blower to report, therefore perpetuating the cycle.
  • Finally, we unequivocally demand that enhancements be made to the university environment to enhance the safety students, faculty, and staff experience on campus.
    • We demand the creation or utilization of an app to help university members seek and receive assistance immediately, better lighting throughout campus, safe rides (a phone number to call to be picked up from anywhere and taken home), and campus escorts for walking at night.

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