GV joins statewide effort to reduce sexual assault

GVL / Courtesy - Marlene Kowalski-Braun 
Marlene Kowalski-Braun, Sue Snyder, and Theresa Rowland

GVL / Courtesy – Marlene Kowalski-Braun Marlene Kowalski-Braun, Sue Snyder, and Theresa Rowland

Allison Ribick

Originally published 3/26/15

A new, statewide initiative is seeking to reduce sexual assault on university campuses, and two Grand Valley State University staff members have taken the steps to allow GVSU be a part of it.

Marlene Kowalski-Braun, assistant vice provost for Student Affairs, and Theresa Rowland, interim Title IX coordinator, have gotten involved in the initiative.

“We recognize that sexual violence is an issue that impacts an entire community,” Rowland said. “We take this issue seriously, and continuously work toward effectively responding to, addressing and preventing sexual violence on campus.”

Sue Snyder, wife of Gov. Rick Snyder, is primarily leading the movement and is planning on hosting a statewide conference around efforts in addressing and preventing sexual violence on campus, Rowland said.

“We hope that, through collaborating with and learning from other colleges and universities, we will strengthen our response and prevention efforts on campus,” Rowland said.

Other leaders of the initiative are state senators Tonya Schuitmaker and Rebekah Warren, and state representatives Laura Cox and Marilyn Lane.

On March 18, Kowalski-Braun and Rowland attended a kick-off meeting in Lansing, where representatives of Michigan’s public universities and the leaders of the initiative met.

“GVSU continues to work collaboratively with various campus and community partners to increase awareness, provide education and training to address sexual violence, and strengthen response to and provide an equitable process in investigating reports of sexual violence,” Rowland said.

Rowland noted that the initiative is still early in the planning process, and said that she hopes to learn of more details soon.

“Through this statewide conference, we are looking forward to the opportunity to share our experiences and engage in discussions with other campuses in the work that they are doing to address sexual violence,” Rowland said.

[email protected]