HDFS During This Time: Our Pledge and Promise

In this time of profound crisis involving the deeply troubling actions of Larry Nassar, we as the Department of Human Development and Family Studies have returned to and reflected upon our fundamental department mission and are pledging to further support and innovate to improve campus climate pertaining to sexual assault.  Our department mission is to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals, families and communities through applied community-engaged research and outreach.  As a department, we are actively engaged in research, outreach and clinical services to address sexual assault and violence prevention at all levels of the social ecology—individual, relational, community and societal.  Our faculty and students are exploring fundamental prevention and response strategies for sexual assault through their research, are serving on University-level committees to address positive youth development and campus climate, and are leading innovative trauma-informed clinical programs to open dialogue and healing for sexual assault survivors.
 
The crisis within our University has prompted our promise and pledge to do more.  As the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, we pledge to further support and innovate to improve campus climate pertaining to sexual assault through the following actions:
 

  1. We will sponsor a department-wide trauma-informed conversation for all faculty, staff and students, on Friday, February 2, 2018 from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. in Room 9 of the Human Ecology Building.  The discussion will be led by clinically-trained HDFS faculty and those specializing in sexual assault.  Additional details regarding the content and format of the department-wide discussion will be provided early next week. 
     
  2. We will offer free clinical sessions within our Couple and Family Therapy Clinic through the end of Spring 2018 semester.  To schedule a session, please visit https://hdfs.msu.edu/clinic or call 517-432-2272.
     
  3. We will continue to sponsor department programs that support and empower women, an evidence-based approach that protects against sexual assault.  This includes continuing to lead the Women’s Leadership Institute in partnership with the College of Social Science.
     
  4. We will identify and offer skills-building opportunities for faculty, staff and students in effective bystander behaviors, an evidence-based approach that has shown to positively change social norms and behaviors.
     
  5. We will continue to sponsor department conversations and programs to advance social justice for all.
     
  6. We will pursue conversations across the University to advance cross-unit efforts and support. 
     
  7. We will make prominently available in our HDFS Student Advising Offices the following resource information:
     
    MSU Sexual Assault Program:  http://endrape.msu.edu/
    MSU Safe Place:  http://safeplace.msu.edu/
    MSU Counseling and Psychiatric Services:  https://caps.msu.edu/
    MSU Office of Institutional Equity:  https://oie.msu.edu/
    MSU Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence Program:  http://studentlife.msu.edu/sarv
    MSU Our Commitment:  https://msu.edu/ourcommitment/

In addition, we welcome your insights and feedback on conversations and areas where we can be better and best support you. 
 
Sincerely,
 
Amy Bonomi
Professor and Chair
Human Development and Family Studies
Michigan State University

Students in class