The Central Michigan University Presidential Title IX Advisory Board, appointed by President Bob Davies in December, has outlined priorities that will guide recommendations for how CMU can better serve its community members in response to the growing national crisis of sexual misconduct on college campuses.
Through meetings this semester, members of the campuswide board identified four key priorities related to sexual misconduct and/or gender discrimination at CMU: communications, resources, training and a campus climate survey.
The 19-member board — comprising staff, faculty, alumni and student leaders — developed working groups for each of the four priority areas. The groups developed recommendations from their respective areas, which are being reviewed by the advisory board as a whole. The final recommendations, intended to further advance CMU's commitment to addressing sexual misconduct on campus, will then be presented to President Bob Davies.
Katherine Lasher, CMU Title IX coordinator and executive director of the Office of Civil Rights and Institutional Equity, chairs the board.
"The board has worked quickly to put together innovative recommendations for the president that will help inform and guide the university," Lasher said. "I appreciate the board's commitment and insights — its work will have a meaningful impact here at CMU."
Campus climate survey
The campus climate survey, spearheaded by the Office of Civil Rights and Institutional Equity, was sent to main campus students in early April. The survey aims to provide a representatively sound sample of feedback from CMU students who attend the Mount Pleasant campus on three main areas, including:
- Awareness and perception of CMU's sexual misconduct resources and policies.
- CMU's sexual misconduct prevention, education and training.
- Student participants' personal experiences and prevalence of nonconsensual sexual misconduct, including while attending the university.
"The survey was launched to almost 16,000 students, and we have had an 18% response rate, which demonstrates the students' interest in improving the culture at CMU," Lasher said. "The data we gather will show us what we're doing right, but more importantly, what we need to work on and where we can improve."