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Eastern Michigan University Student Leaders Fight Sexual Violence

Oct 10, 2014

The federal government is investigating nearly 80 colleges across the country for the way they handled reports of sexual assaults.  

Credit EMU

Eastern Michigan University hasn't been targeted but the school's student body president recently discussed the issue with 89.1 WEMU.

Desmond Miller has made fighting sexual violence one of the top priorities for EMU's student leaders this school year. He's noticed a change in behavior at campus parties during his three years at Eastern. This includes male students now questioning other men when they appear to be harassing or aggressively approaching female students. 

Miller is working on advancing programs that use the power of friendly persuasion to stop sexual violence. "Peer to peer education, specifically for men and males to tell other males to say, 'Hey, you should ask for consent, or that was sexual harassment, or that was a little aggressive what you did,' so things like that," Miller says.

Miller may be seeing a change in attitude but the total number of reported sex crimes rose slightly in 2013 to 11 from eight reported in 2012.

The university stepped up efforts to reduce sexual violence at orientation this year, with a new "Yes Means Yes" campaign. New students watched a video to get a better understanding of what it means to ask for and give consent. How to react when witnessing inappropriate behavior was also part of the program.

Like 89.1 WEMU on Facebook and follow us on Twitter— Andrew Cluley is the Ann Arbor beat reporter, and anchor for 89.1 WEMU News. Contact him at 734.487.3363 or email him acluley@emich.edu.