MSU response team created to reduce sexual assault cases

WICHITA FALLS, Tx (RNN Texoma) - The MSU Sexual Assault Response Team (SAR-Team) was created to help form policies for sexual assault and misconduct on campus and inform students on how to report them.

There are ten members in the SAR-Team and it is made up of faculty members and campus police. The SAR-Team starts the process of investigating reported sexual misconduct or assault on campus after they look at what the complaint is and what is alleged.

"We decide who needs to be involved in the investigation again and we will decide an investigator," Jadine Buckley SAR-Team Co-Chair said.

The co-chairs keep the survivor and the accused informed in the process. Buckley said they call them either weekly or bi-weekly with updates on the investigation.

"We keep everybody updated to know that they haven't been put on the backburner and forgot about that it is still ongoing," Buckley said. "[We tell them] how the interviews are going and any possible time frame as they might be hearing the conclusion or decision."

Buckley said most of the policy changes will be implemented for the Fall semester but they want to make changes to the "no contact" and "ban" orders.

She said they want to simplify the differences between the two. 
 
"No contact doesn't mean they can't walk down the street and pass each other," Buckley said. "They just can't have any contact."

She said that means neither party can call or message each other, nor can they live in the same dorm facility or have the same classes. If its the only course available for both to attend, the survivors will be given the choice to take the courses online.

In a ban order, Buckley said the accused will not be allowed in certain parts of the school and any violations will be reported.

"[Campus police] will be notified that there was a violation of either one and also the Title IX Coordinator," she said.

Buckley said they will work to inform students on the resources available at MSU to report sexual assault and misconduct on campus. The university will hold several awareness events this month.

SAR-Team originated from a grant provided by the Texas Woman's University. It is the same grant that paid for a campus-climate survey and multi-disciplinary task-force.

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