"The statistics that were required in the past really gave a partial picture" said MSU Police Chief Robert Putzke, about crime reporting on campus.
He said there's only two categories of sex crimes the university is required to report for statistical data- forcible or non-forcible sex offenses. And he said it paints a vague picture.
"Partner family member assault offenses weren't in the required offenses" Chief Putzke said. "Neither were certain types of dating violence offenses like stalking."
But under the newly updated Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), a provision will expand that. It's called the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act (SaVE), and it will include more specific categories like dating violence, stalking and sexual assault that happen on and around campus.
"Our public has to be aware of what crimes occur" Putzke said.
We checked out current crime stats on the web. In 2012, there was one forcible sex offense on campus. In 2011, 6. But there's no way to know what kind of offenses they were.
"When you look at the information, and all it says is eight sexual offenses- you're not learning much" said MSU junior Paul Bennett.
Students we talked to like Bennett said the new law will help them better understand sexual violence in the community.
"I think it could be very beneficial to know that kind of thing" he said.
His friend, sophmore Tara Stromberg, agreed. "We would know the other types that are around and how many instances there were of those" she said.
Putzke said the more the community knows, the better they can protect themselves- and prevent future instances.
"I think the biggest benefit is going to be in communication" he said. "Communicate to people the exact number of incidents of a specific type that have happened on campus, so they can be more aware. So they can protect themselves."
VAWA also funds services for victims of domestic violence, by allotting $4 million for 50 programs across Montana.
The law extends support to the LGBT community, and native americans. Tribal courts will have the authority to prosecute non-indians in domestic violence cases.