MINNEAPOLIS — Students at the University of Minnesota have created a task force that will develop new strategies to combat sexual assault on campus.

The task force formed by the Minnesota Student Association will hold its first meeting in early November, Minnesota Daily reported .

The group has two parts: an advisory council that will get input from groups across campus and brainstorm ideas, and a working task force that will focus on implementing ideas.

The task force will have members from the student association, but will also include students from various communities around campus.

“The idea is that we make sure that we include as many voices as possible that are impacted by this problem,” said Mina Kian, the student association’s representative to the Board of Regents and co-director of the task force. “We want to be very inclusive to groups that have historically been left out of those conversations.”

Student associate president and task force co-director Trish Palermo said the goal is to support and believe survivors, and promote healthy and consensual relationships.

Palermo and Kian met with sexual assault consultant Alan Berkowitz earlier in the semester to discuss strategies for the task force.

“Preventing sexual assault is a long-term effort that requires a lot of coordinated measures. It’s very important that an institution is not looking for a magic bullet,” Berkowitz said.

The task force plans to work with existing groups on campus to address sexual assault, Kian said.

“We will make sure that we’re coordinating with all of the major groups on campus that deal with this and make sure that we’re giving them a voice,” she said.

The group will also start an awareness campaign next spring.


Information from: The Minnesota Daily, http://www.mndaily.com/