MN State Sexual Violence Policy 1B.3

Know your rights under Title IX and MN State Colleges and Universities and Metropolitan State University sexual violence policies.

Part 1. Policy statement

Sexual violence is an intolerable intrusion into the most personal and private rights of an individual, and is prohibited at Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. Minnesota State Colleges and Universities is committed to eliminating sexual violence in all forms and will take appropriate remedial action against any individual found responsible for acts in violation of this policy. Acts of sexual violence may also constitute violations of criminal or civil law, or other Board Policies that may require separate proceedings. To further its commitment against sexual violence, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities provides reporting options, an investigative and disciplinary process, and prevention training or other related services as appropriate.

Subpart A. Application of policy to students, employees, and others. This policy applies to all Minnesota State Colleges and Universities students and employees and to others, as appropriate, where incidents of sexual violence on system property have been reported. Reports of sexual violence committed by a student at a location other than on system property are covered by this policy pursuant to the factors listed in Board Policy 3.6, Part 2. Reports of sexual violence committed by a system employee at a location other than system property are covered by this policy.

Reports of sexual violence committed on system property by individuals who are not students or employees are subject to appropriate actions by Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, including, but not limited to, pursuing criminal or civil action against them.

Allegations of discrimination or harassment are governed by Board Policy 1B.1.

Subpart B. College and university policies. Each Minnesota State Colleges and Universities college and university shall adopt a clear, understandable written policy on sexual violence that applies to its campus community, including, but not limited to, its students and employees. The policy content and implementation shall be consistent with the standards in this Policy and Procedure 1B.3.1.

Definitions

Part 2. Definitions. The following definitions apply to this Policy and Procedure 1B.3.1.

Subpart A. Sexual violence. Sexual violence includes a continuum of conduct that includes sexual assault, non-forcible sex acts, dating and relationship violence, stalking, as well as aiding acts of sexual violence.

Subpart B. Sexual assault. “Sexual assault” means an actual, attempted, or threatened sexual act with another person without that person’s consent. Sexual assault is often a criminal act that can be prosecuted under Minnesota law, as well as form the basis for discipline under Minnesota State Colleges and Universities student conduct codes and employee disciplinary standards.

Sexual assault includes but is not limited to:

  1. Involvement without consent in any sexual act in which there is force, expressed or implied, or use of duress or deception upon the victim. Forced sexual intercourse is included in this definition, as are the acts commonly referred to as “date rape” or “acquaintance rape.” This definition also includes the coercing, forcing, or attempting to coerce or force sexual intercourse or a sexual act on another.
  2. Involvement in any sexual act when the victim is unable to give consent.
  3. The intentional touching or coercing, forcing, or attempting to coerce or force another to touch an unwilling person’s intimate parts (defined as primary genital area, groin, inner thigh, buttocks, or breast).
  4. Offensive sexual behavior that is directed at another such as indecent exposure or voyeurism.

Subpart C. Dating and relationship violence. Dating and relationship violence includes physical harm or abuse, and threats of physical harm or abuse, arising out of a personal intimate relationship. This violence also may be called domestic abuse or spousal/partner abuse and may be subject to criminal prosecution under Minnesota state law.

Subpart D. Stalking. Stalking is conduct directed at a specific person that is unwanted, unwelcome, or unreciprocated and that would cause a reasonable person to fear for her or his safety or the safety of others or to suffer substantial emotional distress.

Subpart E. Consent. Consent is informed, freely given and mutually understood. If coercion, intimidation, threats, and/or physical force are used, there is no consent. If the complainant is mentally or physically incapacitated or impaired so that the complainant cannot understand the fact, nature, or extent of the sexual situation, and the condition was known or would be known to a reasonable person, there is no consent; this includes conditions due to alcohol or drug consumption, or being asleep or unconscious. Whether the respondent has taken advantage of a position of influence over the complainant may be a factor in determining consent.

Subpart F. Non-forcible sex acts. Non-forcible acts include unlawful sexual acts where consent is not relevant, such as sexual contact with an individual under the statutory age of consent, as defined by Minnesota law, or between persons who are related to each other within degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law.

Subpart G. System property. “System property” means the facilities and land owned, leased, or under the primary control of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, its Board of Trustees, Office of the Chancellor, colleges and universities.

Subpart H. Employee. “Employee” means any individual employed by Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, its colleges and universities and Office of the Chancellor, including student workers.

Subpart I. Student. “Student” means an individual who is:

  1. admitted, enrolled, registered to take or is taking one or more courses, classes, or seminars,
  2. credit or noncredit, at any System college or university; or
  3. between terms of a continuing course of study at the college or university such as summer break between spring and fall academic terms; or
  4. expelled or suspended from enrollment as a student at the college or university, during the pendency of any adjudication of the student disciplinary action.

MN State Procedure 1B.3.1

Procedure 1B.3.1 Response to Sexual Violence Subpart C. Required Notice

Notice of complainant rights: Complainants must be notified of the following:

  • Their right to file criminal charges with local law enforcement officials in sexual assault cases;
  • Rights under the crime victims bill of rights, Minn. Stat. §§ 611A.01 – 611A.06, including the right to assistance from the Crime Victims Reparations Board and the commissioner of public safety;
  • Availability of prompt assistance from campus officials, upon request, in notifying the appropriate campus investigating authorities and law enforcement officials, and, at the direction of law enforcement authorities, assistance in obtaining, securing, and maintaining evidence in connection with a sexual violence incident;
  • Assistance available from campus authorities in preserving for a sexual violence complainant materials relating to a campus disciplinary proceeding;
  • Complaints of incidents of sexual violence made to campus security authorities must be promptly and appropriately investigated and resolved;
  • Upon a sexual assault complainant’s request, the college, university, or system office may take action to prevent unwanted contact with the alleged assailant, including, but not limited to, transfer of the complainant and/or the respondent to alternative classes, or to a work site or to alternative college-owned housing, if such alternatives are available and feasible.
  • Upon the request of the complainant, students who reported sexual assaults to the college or university and subsequently chose to transfer to another college or university will be provided with information about resources for victims of sexual assault at the college or university to which the complainant is transferring

Equal Opportunity and Nondiscrimination in Employment and Education

Part 1. Policy Statement

Subpart A. Equal opportunity for students and employees. Minnesota State Colleges and Universities has an enduring commitment to enhancing Minnesota’s quality of life by developing and fostering understanding and appreciation of a free and diverse society and providing equal opportunity for all its students and employees. To help effectuate these goals, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities is committed to a policy of equal opportunity and nondiscrimination in employment and education.

Subpart B. Nondiscrimination. No person shall be discriminated against in the terms and conditions of employment, personnel practices, or access to and participation in, programs, services, and activities with regard to race, sex, color, creed, religion, age, national origin, disability, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. In addition, discrimination in employment based on familial status or membership or activity in a local commission as defined by law is prohibited.

Harassment on the basis of race, sex, color, creed, religion, age, national origin, disability, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or familial status is prohibited. Harassment may occur in a variety of relationships, including faculty and student, supervisor and employee, student and student, staff and student, employee and employee, and other relationships with persons having business at, or visiting the educational or working environment.

This policy is directed at verbal or physical conduct that constitutes discrimination /harassment under state and federal law and is not directed at the content of speech. In cases in which verbal statements and other forms of expression are involved, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities will give due consideration to an individual's constitutionally protected right to free speech and academic freedom. However, discrimination and harassment are not within the protections of academic freedom or free speech.

The system office, colleges, and universities shall maintain and encourage full freedom, within the law, of expression, inquiry, teaching and research. Academic freedom comes with a responsibility that all members of our education community benefit from it without intimidation, exploitation or coercion.

This policy shall apply to all individuals affiliated with Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, including but not limited to, its students, employees, applicants, volunteers, agents, and Board of Trustees, and is intended to protect the rights and privacy of both the complainant and respondent and other involved individuals, as well as to prevent retaliation or reprisal. Individuals who violate this policy shall be subject to disciplinary or other corrective action.

This policy supersedes all existing system, college, and university equal opportunity and nondiscrimination policies.

Part 2. Definitions

Subpart A. Consensual Relationship. Consensual relationship means a sexual or romantic relationship between two persons who voluntarily enter into such a relationship. Employees who are members of the same household should also refer to the Board Policy 4.10, of Trustees Nepotism policy 4.10.

Subpart B. Discrimination. Discrimination means conduct that is directed at an individual because of his or her protected class and that subjects the individual to different treatment by agents or employees so as to interfere with or limit the ability of the individual to participate in, or benefit from, the services, activities, or privileges provided by the system or colleges and universities or otherwise adversely affects the individual's employment or education.

Subpart C. Discriminatory harassment. Discriminatory harassment means verbal or physical conduct that is directed at an individual because of his or her protected class, and that is sufficiently severe, pervasive, or persistent so as to have the purpose or effect of creating a hostile work or educational environment.

As required by law, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities further defines sexual harassment as a form of sexual discrimination which is prohibited by state and federal law. Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, sexually motivated physical conduct, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

    1. Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment or education, evaluation of a student's academic performance, or term or condition of participation in student activities or in other events or activities sanctioned by the college or university; or
    2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or academic decisions or other decisions about participation in student activities or other events or activities sanctioned by the college or university; or
    3. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of threatening an individual's employment; interfering with an individual's work or academic performance; or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or educational environment.

Subpart D. Employee. Employee means any individual employed by Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, including all faculty, staff, administrators, teaching assistants, graduate assistants, residence directors and student employees.

Subpart E. Protected class. For purposes of this policy:

      1. Protected class includes race, sex, color, creed, religion, age, national origin, disability, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. In addition, familial status and membership or activity in a local human rights commission are protected classes in employment.
      2. This policy prohibits use of protected class status as a factor in decisions affecting education and employment where prohibited by federal of state law.

Subpart F. Retaliation. Retaliation includes, but is not limited to, intentionally engaging in any form of intimidation, reprisal or harassment against an individual because he or she:

      • made a complaint under this policy;
      • assisted or participated in any manner in an investigation, or process under this policy, regardless of whether a claim of discrimination or harassment is substantiated;
      • associated with a person or group of persons who are disabled or are of a different race, color, creed, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or national origin; or
      • Made a complaint or assisted or participated in any manner in an investigation or process with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, the Minnesota Department of Human Rights or other enforcement agencies, under any federal or stated nondiscrimination law, including the Civil Rights Act of 1964; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; the Minnesota Human Rights Act, Minn. Stat. Ch. 363A, and their amendments.

Retaliation may occur whether or not there is a power or authority differential between the individuals involved.

Subpart G. Sexual harassment and violence as sexual abuse. Under certain circumstances, sexual harassment or violence may constitute sexual abuse according to Minnesota law. In such situations, the system office and colleges and universities shall comply with the reporting requirements in Minnesota Statutes Section 626.556 (reporting of maltreatment of minors) and Minnesota Statutes Section 626.557 (Vulnerable Adult Protection Act). Nothing in this policy will prohibit any college or university or the system office from taking immediate action to protect victims of alleged sexual abuse. Board Policy 1B.3 Sexual Violence addresses sexual violence.

Subpart H. Student. For purposes of this policy, the term “student” includes all persons who:

      1. Are enrolled in one or more courses, either credit or non-credit, through a college or university;
      2. Withdraw, transfer or graduate, after an alleged violation of the student conduct code;
      3. Are not officially enrolled for a particular term but who have a continuing relationship with the college or university;
      4. Have been notified of their acceptance for admission or have initiated the process of application for admission or financial aid; or
      5. Are living in a college or university residence hall although not enrolled in, or employed by, the institution.

Part 3. Consensual Relationships. An employee of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities shall not enter into a consensual relationship with a student or an employee over whom he or she exercises direct or otherwise significant academic, administrative, supervisory, evaluative, counseling, or extracurricular authority or influence. In the event a relationship already exists, each college and university and system office shall develop a procedure to reassign evaluative authority as may be possible to avoid violations of this policy. This prohibition does not limit the right of an employee to make a recommendation on personnel matters concerning a family or household member where the right to make recommendations on such personnel matters is explicitly provided for in the applicable collective bargaining agreement or compensation plan.

Part 4. Retaliation. Retaliation as defined in this policy is prohibited in the system office, colleges and universities. Any individual subject to this policy who intentionally engages in retaliation shall be subject to disciplinary or other corrective action as appropriate.

Part 5. Policies and procedures. The chancellor shall establish procedures to implement this policy. The equal opportunity and nondiscrimination in employment and education policy and procedures of colleges and universities shall comply with Board Policy 1B.1 and Procedure 1B.1.1.