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April 3, 2015

Sexual Assault Program celebrates 35th anniversary

The Michigan State University Sexual Assault Program celebrated its 35th anniversary of providing direct services and advocacy for victims of sexual violence in the greater Lansing Community and awarded its annual Teal Ribbon Award to the College of Communication Arts & Sciences on April 2 at the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum.

President Lou Anna K. Simon was in attendance, as well as local elected officials, university staff, community members, and students.

“Michigan State University is proud of the legacy of service the Sexual Assault Program has provided for our community,” Simon said. “Sexual assault, in all its forms, is a serious problem on American college campuses, and ours is no exception. That’s why programs like this are so vital to our community ­– to bring awareness to the issue, while providing direct response services to students and the greater Lansing area.”

The Sexual Assault Program responds to victims of sexual violence and supports others who are impacted including family and friends. They provide individual therapy and support groups to MSU students, as well as a 24-hour sexual assault crisis line and advocacy services offered to the greater Lansing community. More than 100 student and community volunteers staff the crisis line and provide advocacy services.

The annual Teal Ribbon Award was established in 2008 to recognize and honors campus efforts to promote awareness and prevention of sexual violence in the MSU community. The teal ribbon is the international symbol for sexual assault. This year, the College of Communication Arts & Sciences was honored for their leadership in producing a student-directed film called Every Two Minutes, a documentary featuring MSU’s sexual assault crisis intervention team, and a diverse group of survivors including former state Sen. Gretchen Whitmer. The film received national recognition and the producer, MSU student Laura Swanson, received an award from the Dr. Phil Show. A viewing of the film and discussion with the production team followed the ceremony.

“We’re honored to celebrate the College of Communication Arts & Sciences and their support with the production of Every Two Minutes and shedding light on the need for programs like ours serving survivors of sexual violence,” said Shari Murgittroyd, Sexual Assault Program coordinator. “We look forward to expanding our program’s reach with the University’s support and addition of a new sexual assault therapist this spring.”

Local elected leaders also joined President Simon in celebrating the positive impact the Sexual Assault Program has had on the local community. Official tributes from State Senator Curtis Hertel, State Representatives Andy Schor, Sam Singh, and Tom Cochran, the Ingham County Commission, East Lansing Mayor Nathan Triplett, and Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero were offered to acknowledge the Program’s legacy of service.

More information on the sexual assault program is available at To learn more about Every Two Minutes, visit The 24-hour sexual assault crisis line can be reached at (517) 372-6666.

By: Jason Cody