Spencer Solit's Media artifact


Reference to a current Michigan bill or law that relates in some way to your proposal:

Why this proposal will make a difference in the lives of students of all ages across Michigan, or a significant subgroup (by age, background, economic status, and/or region, etc.) of students in Michigan:

How and where did you learn about the issues underlying your proposal?

How has your service activity influenced your thinking about this proposal?

Link to your media artifact(s) giving background on the issue:




Talk directly with at least 3 real live people who have special knowledge about this topic or the impact your proposal would have, and summarize their comments. These may include people appearing in your media artifact (video, podcast, etc.).






Describe the specific issue or problem, being sure to provide sufficient context so that someone less familiar with the issue has a sense of the bigger picture, but know that your focus here is on a more detailed spelling out of the specific problem or issue that you’ve identified. (250 words minimum)

Sexual assault on college campuses is a horrific nationwide problem. It is even more alarming that the majority of attacks occur in the university run dorms during the first three months of school. The state of Michigan’s advanced education schools are a contributor to this problem.  At Michigan State University it was found that of all reported acts of sexual assault on campus, 43% took place in undergraduate housing.(Sierra Rehm 2017) Furthermore, Central Michigan University had the biggest increase in reported rapes in 2016, an increase of 18 from 14 from the previous year. And, note, Western Michigan and Grand Valley State also saw the number of attacks occurring in campus run dorms ( Brian McVicar 2017)Sadly, the University of Michigan is noted as having the second highest number in the nation according to a study by the Washington Post. (Allana Akhtar 2014)  While one may typically think that the majority of these cases occur at fraternity houses or bars, assaults happening in dorm rooms is actually higher than those occurring at fraternities, bars, university buildings, and other campus locations. The disportation number of attacks that occur in dorm rooms during the red zone is alarming.  The Red Zone, the first three months of school, overlaps with a number of incidents that make this time vulnerable such as back to school parties, excessive drinking, and students often on living on their own and experience freedom for the first time. (Redden 2016)The security of the dorm room must be amplified coupled with better awareness for violence for prevention during the early months of college.

  Potential Solutions:

Describe three reasonable, feasible potential solutions or approaches that would help address this problem.


Solution One: All students required to take a sexual assault awareness class Freshman year and 2 hours of a seminar in sophomore, junior and senior years.


Awareness is the key to preventing sexual assault in dorm rooms on college campuses.  A key component of to help raise awareness would be that all students are required to take a sexual assault awareness class during their first semester in college. This course will be taught by professors, law enforcement, as well students who are willing to be identified as assault victims. The goal of  this course is to alert new students’ attention and awareness to the issue and hopefully it will also prevent attacks from occurring. The reason that it should be within the first semester of freshman year is because that is what is referred to as the “red zone”. The red zone is the technical term that refers to the the first three months of school in which students are at an increased risk for sexual assault attacks. Incoming students are often away from home for the first time and the drinking and freedom can create incidents.  from when they arrive at campus until thanksgiving break. While the majority of victims of sexual assaults in the dorms are girls, there are plenty of cases against males too. The class is to raise awareness but also to give the students the tools to deal with the situations if they are confronted. Moreover, it will spotlight what happens to the attacker, hopefully deterring an incidents before they occur. At the University of Michigan it is required that students take AlcoholEdu & Haven Course, whose main purpose is to “better prepare you and all our new students to manage your transition to campus and help reduce your risk for personal harm while you are a member of this community.” As this is a step in the right direction, many students don't pay attention to the content and try to get it done as soon as possible since it is online, Thus, the  on line class coupled with the required class freshman year is a heavy arsenal to stopping these attacks. Then as sophomores, junior and seniors it is required that each student take an additional 8 hours of sexucal assault awareness and prevention seminars.






Solution Two: Check in systems when enter and exit dorm rooms


A proposed solution to stopping sexual assaults in the dorms is to implement check in and out  systems. This rule must apply to all hours of the day, not just evening hours. At the University of Michigan, students are required to swipe into the dorms using M cards, and then use room keys to enter rooms along with a code. However, 7 out of 10 sexual assaults are by someone victims know prior to the attack. So, if there is a log of everyone who enters and leaves the dorm, it could act as a deterrent. To prevent this issue, it can be proposed that one cannot have visitors or friends in rooms after a certain hours. In addition, if a person who enters is not a student, it would required that they show id and that id would be left with security until they leave the building. At the George Washington University it is required for students to submit forms when they are having non-student guests, as well as having them sign in with ID upon ever arrival in the dorm. However if  the student does attend the university, they just need to swipe their m card or school card when they enter the dorm at the front desk.






Solution three- mandatory workshops for members of greek life


At the University of Michigan, it was found that it is 2.5 more likely to be sexually assaulted if you are a member of greek life. Every sorority and fraternity should be required to host a workshop twice each semester educating their members on the issue of sexual assault in college and specifically how they are more likely to happen in the dorms. Many members of greek life chapters are freshman living in dorms. Sorority membership puts women at a higher risk of rape. 25 percent of victims surveyed were members of sororities, and boys in fraternities are three times more likely to commit an assault than students not in greek life.  At these workshops students need to be educated on what is a healthy relationship, what constitutes an assault, and what is consent. The workshops should clarify anything that could be a grey area, and should teach young men and woman. In order to make sure that these workshops are being taught efficiently and being led correctly, members of SAPAC( sexual assault prevention center) should facilitate and conduct the discussions.






Reaction or advice from a Topic Coordinator:

You must solicit a critique from a topic coordinator, and explain the impact that advice has had on the final draft of this proposal.


Research process:

Describe your research process — indicate who you talked to (including but not limited to consultants), what you read, what your thinking was, how it changed over time, and how your consultants changed your thinking. This description of your research process definitely could include “dead ends,” or ideas you had that didn’t ultimately bear fruit.  In short, we want to know what you did and how it led to your legislation, and we also want you to give us a window into your thought process.


Author contributions:

Please delineate--in detail--who made what contributions to the process and to the finished proposal? Who took on which responsibilities in researching ideas, drafting language, etc.?



The sections below should comprise your final proposal language, submitted for consideration by your peers and potential inclusion in the MSC Platform.

Preambulatory clauses

These set up the PROBLEM, but not the solution.




(Add more "Whereas" clauses if necessary.)

Operative clauses

These describe in detail, the solution you are proposing (not the problem itself; those should go in the "Whereas" clauses above).





(Add more "Resolved" clauses if necessary.)


What are three reasonable arguments against this proposal?




Costs and funding:

What will your proposal cost (in direct expenses, lost tax revenue, lost economic opportunity, and/or non-monetary costs)? How will you pay for your proposed legislation? Where will/could the funding for your proposal come from?  Who might object to dedicating resources to your proposal (competing interests)?  



These can include websites or other information you have found about the issue.


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