MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The University of Minnesota will take on a new initiative to address sexual assault prevention on campus.

The announcement came Thursday night during President Eric Kaler’s State of the University speech.

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Late last year, the University found itself making national headlines when 10 Gopher football players faced allegations of sexual assault.

“Recently, our Twin Cities campus — like too many across the nation — has been at the center of sexual assault news and conversation because of the reported behavior of some of our students and faculty,” Kaler said.

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Kaler announced the new prevention protocol based on the recommendations of an ad hoc group tasked with assessing the education and response to sexual assault on campus.

He laid out a five step plan.

  1. Mandatory training for faculty and staff on campus.
  2. Enhanced training and additional education for students after their first year.
  3. A long-term public health and awareness campaign.
  4. A President’s advisory committee that would report to Kaler directly.
  5. A system to evaluate and measure their sexual assault prevention, education, advocacy and awareness efforts.

“We all know that even with these kinds of actions, we will not eliminate sexual misconduct on campus. Unfortunately, attitudes and behaviors that underlie violence against women are deeply ingrained in our culture. Some students, faculty and staff may come into our community with belief systems that will be difficult to change. But what we can do, is stand firm on our values and effectively articulate the behaviors we expect and the culture we want to create,” Kaler said.

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