New school year brings changes to University of Minnesota

University of Minnesota students moved into their residence halls Monday, but before doing so they had to complete online sexual assault prevention training as part of a new state law.

Minnesota law now requires all public and private universities to show that students have completed sexual assault prevention training within 10 days of classes beginning. In the U of M’s case, incoming freshmen were required to complete a series of online modules before they arrived on campus.

“Prior to this, the federal law required that training be available and so the number of students actually taking the training I think is going to dramatically increase,” Kathryn Nash, an attorney with Gray Plant Mooty, told Fox 9.

Nash helped develop “Speak Up,” the training the university uses as well as a number of other Minnesota colleges.

The law also requires detailed reporting -- a clearer picture of what happened and what was done

“How many [cases] did you investigate, how many did you find the individual accountable - so parents and consumers of higher education can now look at this data for the first time every year starting this October when it'll get reported,” Nash said.

The hope is more awareness, more reporting and more accountability will lead to fewer sexual assaults.