It is the policy of Mitchell Hamline School of Law (“School”) to maintain an environment free from the physical and emotional threat of Sexual Misconduct, including but not limited to Sexual Harassment, Sexual Intimidation, Sexual Exploitation, Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, Stalking, Dating Violence, and all other forms of Sexual Violence, including but not limited to when these crimes are based on actual or perceived race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, familial (or parental) status, disability, status with regard to public assistance, sexual orientation, age, family care leave status or veteran status, membership or activity in a local human or civil rights commission, or any other protected class defined by law. The School prohibits all forms of Sexual Misconduct against Employees and Students. For Complaints regarding any forms of harassment or Discrimination besides Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct, please see the School’s Non-Discrimination and Non-Harassment Policy.
The School is committed to investigating, resolving, and preventing all Complaints of Sexual Misconduct—whether formal or informal, verbal, or written—including when those acts are based on a Student’s actual or perceived protected class status, and the School will discipline or take appropriate action against any Employee, Student, or—when applicable—Third-Party who violates this policy. The School will investigate and, when appropriate, will conduct prompt, fair, and impartial investigation proceedings for Complaints of all Sexual Misconduct, including but not limited to Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking.
If a School investigation reveals that Sexual Harassment created a hostile employment or educational environment, the School will take prompt and effective steps to end the harassment, eliminate the hostile environment, prevent the harassment from recurring and, when appropriate, remedy the effects of the hostile environment.
Any Student who needs a reasonable accommodation to make or respond to a Complaint, or engage in any other activity detailed in this policy, may contact the Title IX Coordinator or a Deputy Title IX Coordinator to request an accommodation. Any Student who is found to have violated this policy is subject to disciplinary or corrective action, up to and including expulsion.
Retaliation against a person who makes a report or Complaint under this Policy or who participates in or supports the investigation of a report or a Complaint is prohibited and will not be tolerated. Retaliation should be reported promptly to the Title IX Coordinator and/or Title IX Deputy Coordinator and will, when appropriate, be investigated.
This policy applies to the conduct of Students in all of the academic and nonacademic programs of the School (i.e., degree and non-degree programs) and will be enforced on School property, including remote locations such as the Mobile Law Office, and in School-sponsored programs held in locations away from the St. Paul Campus (including study abroad programs), and other School-hosted social functions or events sponsored by the School but held at other locations. The policy also applies to conduct that occurs in certain circumstances as defined in this policy in a non-campus building or on non-campus property or on public property, including School-sanctioned Student organization events. The policy also applies to any off-campus conduct that causes or threatens to cause a substantial and material disruption at the School, or interferes with the rights of Students to be free from a hostile learning environment taking into consideration the totality of the circumstances on and off Campus.
Generally, the specific procedures for investigating and responding to a Complaint differ based on the nature of the parties’ relationship to the School.
|Complainant||Respondent||Applicable Investigation Procedures|
|Student||Student||Sexual Misconduct Policy for Students|
|Employee/Third Party||Student||Sexual Misconduct Policy for Students|
|Employee/Third Party||Employee/Third Party||Sexual Misconduct Policy for Employees and Third Parties|
|Student||Employee/Third Party||Sexual Misconduct Policy for Employees and Third Parties|
If the Respondent is both a Student and a Student Employee, the procedures for responding to a Complaint are outlined in this policy (except for full-time Employees who are also taking classes at the School and who should consult the School’s Sexual Misconduct Policy for Employees and Third Parties). A Respondent that is both a Student and a Student Employee may be subject to any of the sanctions applicable to Students or Employees.
If either the Complainant or Respondent is a Student, then the procedure for appeals set forth in this policy applies.
Definitions of Prohibited Conduct
All violations detailed in this Policy can occur between individuals of the same or different genders.
A. Sexual Misconduct includes a variety of prohibited behaviors, including Sexual Harassment, Sexual Exploitation, Dating Violence, voyeurism, Domestic Violence, Sex Discrimination, Stalking, Sexual Assault, and any other nonconsensual conduct of a sexual nature. Some occurrences of Sexual Misconduct, including in certain forms of Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, and Stalking are not sexual in nature. Regardless, the term “Sexual Misconduct” applies to these non-sexual instances, as well. Similarly, Sexual Exploitation constitutes Sexual Misconduct and may apply to situations where the sexual conduct itself was consensual, but a related conduct—which was not on its own sexual—nonetheless constitutes Sexual Exploitation (e.g., videotaping or allowing friends to watch a consensual sexual activity without the Consent of the other person).
B. Sexual Assault is actual or attempted nonconsensual criminal sexual conduct in the first, second, third, or fourth degrees, as well as Incest, as defined by Minnesota Statutes §§ 609.342, 609.343, 609.344, 609.345, or 609.365.
Criminal sexual conduct is a sexual act directed against another person, without the Consent of the Victim, including instances where the Victim is incapable of giving Consent. Some examples of Sexual Assault include, but are not limited to:
- Rape: The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the Consent of the Victim.
- Forcible Fondling: The touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, without the Consent of the Victim.
- Incest: Sexual intercourse between family members whose familial relationship is such that marriage between them is prohibited by law.
- Statutory Rape: Sexual intercourse with someone who is younger than the statutory age of Consent. In Minnesota, the statutory age of Consent is 16.
C. Sexual Contact includes, but is not limited to, the non-consensual intentional touching of someone’s intimate parts, including the touching of clothing covering someone’s intimate parts and the touching with seminal fluid or sperm on a person or a person’s clothing. See Minn. Stat. § 609.341, subd. 11.
D. Sexual Exploitation is taking non-consensual sexual advantage of another person. For example, Sexual Exploitation includes taking non-consensual video and/or audio recordings, photographs, or images of an individual while that individual is engaged in intimate or sexual utterances, sounds, or activities; voyeurism; possession of child pornography; prostituting another person; exposing one’s genitals in non-consensual circumstances; distributing intimate or sexual information about a person without their Consent; or knowingly transmitting a sexually transmitted disease to another person.
E. Sexual Harassment is unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, offensive comments, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
- Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment or educational opportunities or academic results (quid pro quo Sexual Harassment);
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as a basis for employment or academic decisions affecting the individual (quid pro quo Sexual Harassment); or
- Such conduct unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work or academic performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment (hostile workplace Sexual Harassment) or academic environment.
Some examples of conduct that may constitute Sexual Harassment include the following:
- Repeated and unwelcome suggestions regarding, or invitations to, social engagements or social events;
- Any indication, express or implied, that any aspect of employment or educational conditions or outcomes or personal safety depends or may depend on the granting of sexual favors or on a willingness to accept or tolerate conduct or communication of a sexual nature;
- Unwelcome or coerced physical proximity or physical contact which is of a sexual nature or sexually motivated;
- The deliberate use of offensive or demeaning terms which have a sexual connotation;
- The deliberate creation of an intimidating, hostile or offensive employment or educational atmosphere, through conduct or communication of a sexual nature; or
- Inappropriate remarks of a sexual nature.
Determining whether Sexual Harassment has taken place requires an analysis of all available facts, the situation, and the context.
F. Sexual Intimidation involves threatening another person that the perpetrator will commit a sex act against him or her; engaging in indecent exposure; or Stalking another person who reasonably perceives the stalker is pursuing a romantic and/or sexual relationship. Stalking is further defined below.
G. Sexual Violence is defined as a violation of Minnesota Criminal Sexual Conduct Statutes and may include a range of sexual conduct, including but not limited to acquaintance Rape, or other forcible or non-forcible sex offenses. In general, Sexual Violence means Sexual Contact achieved without Consent or with the use of physical force, coercion, deception, threat, and/or the Victim is mentally incapacitated or impaired, physically impaired (due to the influence of drugs or alcohol), or asleep or unconscious.
H. Stalking means to engage in a course of conduct which the actor knows or has reason to know would cause a reasonable person under the circumstances to feel frightened, threatened, oppressed, persecuted, or intimidated, and causes this reaction on the part of the Victim regardless of the relationship between the actor and Victim. See Minn. Stat. § 609.749. Under Minnesota law, Stalking crimes include, but are not limited to, when a person:
- directly or indirectly, or through Third Parties, manifests a purpose or intent to injure the person, property, or rights of another by the commission of an unlawful act;
- follows, monitors, or pursues another, whether in person or through any available technological or other means;
- returns to the property of another if the actor is without claim of right to the property or Consent of one with authority to Consent;
- repeatedly makes telephone calls, sends text messages, or induces a Victim to make telephone calls to the actor, whether or not conversation ensues;
- makes or causes the telephone of another repeatedly or continuously to ring;
- repeatedly mails or delivers or causes the delivery by any means, including electronically, of letters, telegrams, messages, packages, through assistive devices for people with vision impairments or hearing loss, or any communication made through any available technologies or other objects;
- knowingly makes false allegations against a peace officer concerning the officer’s performance of official duties with intent to influence or tamper with the officer’s performance of official duties; or
- uses another’s personal information, without Consent, to invite, encourage, or solicit a Third Party to engage in a sexual act with the person.
When determining whether Stalking has occurred, a course of conduct means two or more acts, including acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through others follows monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person or interferes with a person’s property. A reasonable person is a person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the Victim.
I. Dating Violence means violence or threats of violence committed by a person
- Who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the Victim and
- Where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors:
- The length of the relationship,
- The type of relationship, and
- The frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the partnership.
Dating Violence is prohibited by Minnesota law. See Minn. Stat. § 518B.01, et seq.
J. Discrimination occurs when an individual is treated adversely or differently because of that person’s race, ethnicity, color, creed, religion, sex, gender, age, national origin, disability, marital status, familial (or parental) status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, status with regard to public assistance, membership or activity in a local commission, family care leave status, or veteran status or any other protected class status defined by applicable law. Harassment is a type of discrimination that includes conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual because of his or her actual or perceived protected class status as defined by law and that:
- Has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational environment; or
- Has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s academic performance; or
- Otherwise adversely affects an individual’s educational opportunities.
Some examples of conduct that may constitute Discrimination or Harassment include the following:
- Treating an individual adversely in any other respect because of protected class status;
- Using epithets, slurs, threatening or intimidating acts, including written or graphic material directed to an individual because of protected class status; or
- Written, verbal or physical acts directed to an individual because of protected class status that purport to be jokes or pranks.
Sex Discrimination occurs when an individual is treated adversely because of that person’s sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, or is subject to any other form of Sexual Harassment.
K. Domestic Violence is a felony or misdemeanor crime of violence committed by:
- Spouses and former spouses of the Victim;
- Parents and children;
- Persons related by blood;
- Persons who are presently residing together or who have resided together in the past;
- Persons who have a child in common regardless of whether they have been married or have lived together at any time;
- A man and a woman if the woman is pregnant and the man Is alleged to be the father, regardless of whether they have been married or have lived together at any time; and
- Persons involved in a significant romantic or sexual relationship.
Domestic Violence crimes include, but are not limited to:
- Physical harm, bodily injury, or assault;
- The infliction of fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, or assault; or
- Terroristic threats, criminal sexual conduct, or interference with an emergency call, as defined by Minnesota law.
Domestic Violence is prohibited by Minnesota law. See Minn. Stat. 518B.01, et seq.
L. Retaliation means an adverse action taken against a Complainant, or a person who files a Complaint, and/or otherwise participates in an investigation or proceeding under this policy, including Victims and third-parties. Retaliation includes, but is not limited to, intimidation, threats, coercion, reprisal, or harassment.
Other Important Definitions
M. Victim means a person who is alleged to have been subject to conduct that violates this policy.
N. Complainant is the person alleged to have been a Victim of conduct prohibited by this policy. The Complainant is also referred to herein as the Victim. The Complainant may not always be the person who files a Complaint under this policy.
O. Complaint means any report of conduct that is in violation of this policy.
P. Accused means the person who has been Accused of conduct prohibited by this policy. Once an investigation begins, this person may be referred to as a Respondent.
Q. Employee, for the purposes of this policy, means all non-Student Employees of the School, including faculty, staff, adjuncts, and administrators.
R. Third Party, for the purposes of this policy, includes certain third-party affiliates, including volunteers, vendors, visitors, and independent contractors.
S. Student, for the purposes of this policy, means all students at the School, except for full-time Employees of the School who are also taking classes at the School (for the purposes of this policy, those individuals are considered Employees of the School). The term “Student” otherwise includes all individuals taking classes at the school, including all degree and non-degree Students.
T. Campus means the entire physical grounds of the School, remote locations such as the Mobile Law Office, and facilities away from the main Campus where School-sponsored programs (i.e., Student abroad programs) are held.
U. Campus Authorities means the security department at the School, as well as the Dean of Students, the Title IX Coordinator, the Deputy Title IX Coordinators, the Vice Dean for Academic and Faculty Affairs, and the Dean and President of the School.
V. Consent means words or overt actions by a person indicating a freely given present agreement to perform a particular sexual act with the actor.
Consent does not mean the existence of a prior or current social relationship between the actor and the Victim or that the Victim failed to resist a particular sexual act. Instead, Consent means a freely given “yes,” not failure to resist, silence, or the absence of a “no.”
Consent can be withdrawn at any time.
A person who is mentally incapacitated or physically helpless cannot Consent to a sexual act. Mentally incapacitated means a person under the influence of alcohol, a narcotic, anesthetic, or any other substance that was administered to that person without the person’s agreement, or that results in an inability to give a reasoned Consent to Sexual Contact or sexual penetration. With respect to incapacitation due to drugs or alcohol, incapacitation requires more than simply being under the influence of drugs or alcohol—a person is not incapacitated simply because he or she has used drugs or alcohol. Instead, facts surrounding the situation will be considered to determine (1) if the individual could understand the circumstances, (2) if the individual was able to communicate Consent (or lack thereof), and (3) whether the Accused/respondent was aware of the situation.
Consent can only be given by someone of legal age—in Minnesota, the statutory age of Consent is 16 years old.
Consent cannot be obtained via threats, force, coercion, or other forms of intimidation.
Corroboration of the Victim’s testimony is not required to show lack of Consent.
W. Title IX Coordinator means the person who is primarily responsible for addressing issues of gender-based Discrimination and/or Sexual Misconduct, including implementing and monitoring Title IX compliance on behalf of the School. This includes coordination of training, education, communications, and administration of the Complaint procedures for the handling of suspected or alleged violations of this Policy. The School’s Title IX Coordinator is Christine Szaj and her telephone number is 651-290-6362.
X. Deputy Title IX Coordinators means the persons, in addition to the Title IX Coordinator, responsible for Student-related Complaints (i.e., Complaints regarding conduct that occurred against a Student, regardless of the perpetrator of that conduct). The School’s Deputy Title IX Coordinators include Lynn LeMoine (651-290-7668) and Kelly Von Ruden (651-290-6367). In cases where the Respondent is a School Employee, Andrea Bien (651-290-6322) may be the Deputy Title IX Coordinator.
The School does not prohibit relationships between Employees and Students, faculty and staff, or supervisors and Employees. That said, Students must recognize that, in many of these types of relationships, there inherently exists a power differential that cannot be ignored and that may lend itself to various forms of Sexual Harassment or Sexual Misconduct. For more information, please consult the School’s Problematic Consensual Romantic Relationships Policy in the Additional Policies section of the Catalog.
V. Reporting Procedures for Incidents of Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Harassment, and/or Sex Discrimination (please see Section VI for reporting Sexual Violence)
Student Complaints of Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Harassment, or Sex Discrimination
If a Student believes that he or she has been subject to Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Harassment, or Sex Discrimination by another Student, Employee, or any other person whom the Student encounters in the course of education, he or she may report the conduct as set out below. If a Student observes Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Harassment, or Sex Discrimination he or she may report the conduct to any of the following administrators:
- Christine Szaj, Title IX Coordinator; Vice President of Community Relations and Operations
- Lynn LeMoine, Deputy Title IX Coordinator; Dean of Students
- Andrea Bien, Deputy Title IX Coordinator; Director, Human Resources
- Kelly Von Ruden, Director, Blended Learning Programs
- Kate Kruse, Vice Dean for Academic and Faculty Affairs
- Anthony Niedwiecki, President and Dean
The Student also retains the right to notify—or decline to notify—law enforcement authorities.
Any Employee who receives a report or witnesses conduct that involves Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Harassment, or Sex Discrimination regarding a Student is required to immediately report it to the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Coordinator.
Any Complaints involving conduct of the President and Dean should immediately be reported to an Officer of the Board of Trustees, whose contact information can be found on the Board of Trustees web page.
Properly reporting Complaints is of vital importance. If Complaints are improperly reported—i.e., reported to the wrong individual, the Complainant risks the possibility that the Complaint will not come to the attention of the appropriate management, and therefore not be acted upon.
As necessary, the School reserves the right to initiate a Complaint, to serve as Complainant, and to initiate conduct proceedings without a formal Complaint by the Victim or Complainant.
While Students are encouraged to report when they are Victims of conduct covered under this policy, the School understands that making such reports can be difficult. In addition, while the School will attempt to maintain the confidentiality of facts relating to Complaints, such confidentiality cannot be guaranteed. Students who wish to obtain confidential assistance from outside the School may also consider contacting:
- SOS Ramsey County (651-266-1000)
Reports can be made online via the Sexual Misconduct Reporting Form. Reports may be made anonymously; however, the reporter is encouraged to provide as much information as possible. Because of the nature of anonymous reports, the School may be limited in its ability to investigate and respond to an anonymous report. All reports will be forwarded to the Title IX Coordinator.
If the Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Harassment, or Sex Discrimination reoccurs, the recurrence should immediately be reported according to the Reporting Procedure above.
The School does not tolerate any Retaliation or intimidation directed toward anyone who makes a Complaint or report in good faith or who participates in good faith in the investigation of a Complaint.
The Reporting Procedure described above should also be used if a Student believes that he or she has been subjected to prohibited retaliation or intimidation. See also Section XIV of this policy for further discussion on Retaliation.
Student Reports of Crimes Due to Protected Status
If a Student believes that he or she has been a Victim of a crime, including larceny-theft, simple assault, intimidation, and destruction, damage, or vandalism of property, and/or any other crime involving bodily injury to any person, in which the Victim believes he or she was selected because of his or her actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, he or she should, if desired, report the incident to the School security authorities or local police agencies.
Prohibition Against False Reports
The willful filing of a false report is a violation of this policy.
Statement on Confidentiality
Although confidentiality cannot be assured, investigations will be conducted with sensitivity to confidential issues and investigative information will be communicated as appropriate to those with a need to know, pursuant to applicable law and the need to conduct an investigation and take any needed action.
A. Reporting Complaints
The School encourages Victims of Sexual Misconduct to seek immediate medical and emotional assistance, including treatment for injuries and preventative treatment for sexually transmitted diseases. Assistance is available by calling 911, the Saint Paul Police (651-291-1111), Mitchell Hamline Campus Security (651-290-6330 or 651-224-8763), and/or Regions Hospital (651-254-5000). Medical treatment, including rape kits, may help Victims preserve evidence of Sexual Violence and Sexual Misconduct. Campus Authorities responding to an incident of Sexual Violence will inform the Victim of his or her options to notify law enforcement authorities and seek medical assistance. Campus Authorities will assist the Victim with these contacts if the Victim requests such assistance. Campus Authorities will also notify the Title IX Coordinator or the Dean of Students who will inform the Victim of the School’s reporting process as soon as possible.
It is important for Victims to preserve any evidence resulting from a Sexual Violence which would be needed for criminal prosecution. Campus authorities will provide assistance in preserving materials considered relevant to the internal complaint process and, when requested by the police, provide assistance in obtaining, securing and maintaining evidence needed for criminal prosecution.
The Victim may report to the police, to the School, or both. The School recognizes that the decision to report Sexual Violence to the police is the right of the Victim. However, the School strongly encourages the immediate reporting of Sexual Violence to any of the following:
- Christine Szaj, Title IX Coordinator; Vice President of Community Relations and Operations
- Lynn LeMoine, Deputy Title IX Coordinator; Dean of Students
- Andrea Bien, Deputy Title IX Coordinator; Director, Human Resources
- Kelly Von Ruden, Director, Blended Learning Programs
- Kate Kruse, Vice Dean for Academic and Faculty Affairs
- Anthony Niedwiecki, President and Dean
Any Employee who receives a report or witnesses conduct involving Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Harassment, or Sex Discrimination regarding a Student is required to immediately report it to the Title IX Coordinator.
Online Reporting: Students or Employees who wish to report an incident of Sexual Misconduct including Sexual Assault, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, Stalking, or Sexual Harassment may do so by filing a report. Reports may be made anonymously; however, such reports may not lead to an investigation, or if an investigation is commenced, it will be based on information reported and may limit action taken. All reports will be forwarded to the Title IX Coordinator.
If a Student reports to the School that the Student has been a Victim of Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, or Stalking, whether the offense occurred on or off Campus, the School will provide the Student with a written explanation of the Student’s rights and options.
When applicable, the School will notify the Victim of his or her rights and the School’s responsibilities regarding orders of protection, no contact orders, restraining orders, or similar lawful orders issued by a criminal, civil, or tribal court (see Resources and Contact Information section below).
Although confidentiality cannot be assured, investigations will be conducted with sensitivity to confidential issues and investigative information will be communicated as appropriate to those with a need to know.
If the act(s) of Sexual Violence reoccur(s), it should immediately be reported to any of the individuals listed above. The Reporting Procedure described above should also be used if a Student believes he or she has been subjected to prohibited retaliation or intimidation.
In some cases, unless prohibited by law, an individual may pursue criminal action and a School internal Complaint concurrently. In certain circumstances, the School is prohibited from waiting for a criminal case to conclude before proceeding in its own internal investigation.
B. Resources and Contact Information
Confidential School Resources:
Counseling Services 651-290-8656 — Counseling services are offered on a consistent basis and are a valuable on-campus resource for ongoing support during a School disciplinary proceeding or criminal process.
County Resources regarding orders of protection, no contact order, or restraining orders:
- Ramsey County Domestic Abuse and Harassment Office, 651-266-5130
- Hennepin County Domestic Abuse Service Center, 612-348-5073
Victims may also wish to utilize one or more of the following services:
- St Paul Police
Emergency 4911 (on Campus) and 911 (off Campus)
- Casa de Esperanza
St. Paul, MN
24-hour Bilingual (English and Spanish) helpline
- Day One Services
Crisis Support, information on shelters, safety panning, and orders for protection
- Ramsey County Sexual Offense Services:
Please Note: This is a 24-hour crisis line
- Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers
- St Paul/Ramsey County Domestic Abuse Intervention Project
Office and 24-hour crisis line)
- Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault (MNCASA)
- National Domestic Violence Hotline:
- OutFront Minnesota
(24-hour anti-violence crisis support line for LGBT Victims)
1-800-800-0350 (Option 3)
- Rape, Assault, and Incest National Network (RAINN)
24-hour hotline; free and confidential
Online chat available.
- Ramsey County Domestic Abuse and Harassment Office:
- Regions Hospital Emergency Room
640 Jackson Street
St. Paul, MN 55101
- United Hospital Emergency Room
333 North Smith Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55102
651-241-8755 (direct connection to the Emergency Room)
- Sexual Assault Support and Help for Americans Abroad (SASHAA)
Outside the United States
24-hour toll-free hotline: In US dial 1-866-879-6636
See SASHAA website for other country specific direct access codes or to use live chat option
- Sexual Offense Services of Ramsey County
24-hour hotline; free and confidential
555 Cedar Street
St. Paul, MN 55101
Upon receipt of a Complaint, the Complainant may request that the School initiate the Formal Resolution Process or the Alternative Resolution Process. The Formal Resolution Process is described herein sections VII through IX. The Alternative Resolution Process is described in section X. All parties must consent to participation in the Alternative Resolution Process.
While the School will take a Complainant’s request into account when considering whether to pursue the Formal Resolution Process or Alternative Resolution Process, the School may determine, in its own discretion, that the totality of the circumstances necessitates the use of the Formal Resolution Process.
There are two main steps that occur if the Formal Resolution Process is initiated: (1) the initial investigation, and (2) adjudication. The initial investigation includes the submission of a Complaint, assignment of an appropriate investigator, and notice to the parties, and commencement of the fact-finding process. The adjudication includes a finding of responsibility following an investigation, the imposition of possible sanctions, and the right of an appeal, if a Student is involved.
Formal Resolution Process
A. Receipt of Complaint
Upon receipt of a report or Complaint, the School will notify, and when appropriate, obtain consent from the Complainant to promptly undertake or authorize a fair and impartial investigation. Where the Complainant requests anonymity or that an investigation not be pursued, the School will consider the following factors in determining whether to pursue an investigation: (1) the totality of the circumstances; (2) the presence of any known risks, (3) the potential impact of action on the Complainant, (4) any evidence showing the Respondent made statements of admission or accepted responsibility for the Prohibited Conduct, (5) the existence of any independent information or evidence, and (6) any other available and relevant information. Where the School determines that it must proceed with an investigation despite a Complainant’s request to the contrary, the School will make reasonable efforts to protect the privacy of the Complainant. If the Complainant’s identity may have to be disclosed, the School will notify the Complainant that the School intends to proceed with an investigation.
Depending on the parties involved, the investigation may be conducted by (a) the Dean or the Dean’s designee(s), or (b) an experienced external investigator, or (c) a combination of the above. If the allegation is one of Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, or Stalking, the investigation and disciplinary proceeding will be conducted by an official who receives annual training on the issues related to Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking, and how to conduct a prompt, fair, and impartial investigation proceeding that protects the safety of Victims and promotes accountability. No matter the type of Sexual Misconduct reported, the investigation will be conducted by someone who has been trained on how to conduct a prompt, fair, and impartial investigation; how to provide safety to the Victim; and how to promote accountability.
Generally, the investigation will be completed within 60 calendar days from receipt of the Complaint. This timeline includes the period from commencement of an investigation through the resolution. The timeline may be extended if necessary, which may be if additional time is necessary to ensure the integrity and completeness of the investigation among other reasons. The parties will be notified in writing of any extension of the timeframe and the reasons for such extension.
C. Overview of Formal Investigation Process
The Title IX Coordinator will notify both the Complainant and Respondent, in writing, if the School commences a formal investigation. Such notice will: identify the Complainant (unless there is good reason not to do so), and the Respondent; specify the date, time, and location (if known), and nature of the prohibited conduct; specify the potential violation(s) of this policy; and provide the name of the Investigator. A copy of this policy and statements of rights will also be provided to both the Complainant and Respondent.
Complainants and Respondents may choose to participate or decline to participate in the Investigation. That said, participation of these parties is not mandatory for the investigation to proceed. The investigation may, as appropriate, consist of personal interviews with the alleged Complainant, the reporter (if someone other than the alleged Complainant), the Respondent and others who may have knowledge of the alleged incident(s) or circumstances giving rise to the Complaint. The investigation may also consist of any other methods and documents deemed pertinent by the investigator.
The School, at its discretion, may take immediate steps, based on the severity of the allegations, to protect the parties involved in the Complaint process pending completion of an investigation. During the investigation, the School may implement interim actions, including but not limited to changing a Complainant’s work or class schedule; issuing a timely warning if there exists an ongoing threat of danger to the community; providing information about legal options, including but not limited to orders for protection and harassment restraining orders; and notifying appropriate School administration or management personnel.
If the investigation is based on an allegation of Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, or Stalking, both the Complainant and the Respondent are entitled to the same opportunities to have others present during a School disciplinary proceeding, including the opportunity to be accompanied to any related meeting or proceeding by an advisor of their choice, who may be an attorney, advocate, support person, or other individual. The advisor’s role is merely to guide and/or support the Complainant or Respondent through the process. An advisor may be present for meetings but may not participate in the meeting unless asked to do so by the School. If an advisor learns of confidential information in the course of his or her role, he or she may not disclose such information other than for representation of the Complainant or Respondent.
D. Prior or Subsequent Conduct and Evidentiary Standard of Proof
In determining whether alleged conduct constitutes a violation of this policy, the School may consider the facts and surrounding circumstances, the nature of the behavior, past incidents or past or continuing patterns of behavior, the relationships between the parties involved, and the context in which the alleged incidents occurred. Whether a particular action or incident constitutes a violation of this policy requires a determination based on all the facts and surrounding circumstances using a preponderance of the evidence standard to evaluate Complaints. During the investigation, the School will never consider evidence about the Complainant’s prior sexual conduct with anyone other than the alleged perpetrator.
E. Participation in Investigation
To ensure the School can gather the information necessary to uphold School policies, each Student or Employee who is requested to participate in a fact finding is required to fully cooperate with the investigator. Unless otherwise directed by the investigator, Students and Employees will be expected to limit their discussion of the matter under investigation to those who need to know the information for the purposes of assisting in the resolution of the Complaint. Nothing in this paragraph is intended to limit or restrict in any way a Complainant from contacting at any time the police or governmental agencies responsible for the enforcement of any applicable laws.
The Complainant and the Respondent will be simultaneously notified of any change to the investigation process.
Upon completion of the investigation, the investigator will submit a written report to the Title IX Coordinator that includes findings of fact related to the Complaint based on personal interviews, documentary evidence, and any other information found to be relevant to the investigation. The Title IX Coordinator will provide Complainant and Respondent an opportunity to review this report and prepare a written response which will be attached to the investigator’s report. The Title IX Coordinator will forward this report and any written response to a member of the faculty designated as an adjudicator who will make a determination whether there is a violation under this policy. If the adjudicator determines there has been a violation, the adjudicator will also decide the appropriate sanction. The adjudicator will submit to the Title IX Coordinator a written report that includes the final determination, sanction, if any, and rationale for the decision. The Title IX Coordinator will inform the President and Dean of the results of the investigation.
If the Complaint involves the President and Dean, the report must be made directly to the Board of Trustees.
Upon completion of the adjudication, the Title IX Coordinator will simultaneously inform the Complainant and Respondent of the results of the investigation.
If a Complaint is substantiated, the School will take appropriate action depending on the circumstances. Such action may include, but is not limited to, training, counseling, suspension, expulsion, or other appropriate action.
In appropriate situations, the School will provide written notifications to Victims about options for, and available assistance in, changing academic, transportation, and working situations, if so requested by the Victim and if such accommodations are reasonably available, regardless of whether the Victim chooses to report the crime to School administration or local law enforcement.
In accordance with applicable law, the School retains the right to issue possible sanctions or engage in protective measures following a final determination of a School disciplinary procedure. The School reserves the right to issue, among others, any of the following sanctions in any order in these circumstances depending on the facts:
- No-contact directive
- Restriction of privileges
- Written Warning
- Discontinuation of relationship or association (in the case of a Third Party)
If the Complaint involves a Student, both the Complainant and Respondent have a right to appeal. If the Complainant or Respondent is dissatisfied with the outcome under this policy, that person may file an appeal. The appeal should be filed in writing with the Title IX Coordinator within 5 business days of being notified of the results of the investigation. The appeal should set forth the grounds on which the appeal is being filed and all of the facts and arguments in support of the appeal. A delay in filing the appeal may be grounds for rejection of that appeal.
The ONLY grounds for appeal are as follows:
- A procedural error occurred that significantly impacted the outcome of the investigation. A summary of the error and its potential impact must be included;
- To consider new evidence, unavailable during the original investigation, that could substantially impact the original finding or sanction. A summary of this new evidence and its potential impact must be included; or
- The sanctions imposed are substantially disproportionate to the severity of the violation.
Appeals are not intended to be a full re-investigation of the Complaint. In most cases, appeals are confined to a review of the written document and the appeal notice.
The Title IX Coordinator, in its discretion, will determine the appropriate appeals officer depending on the nature of the parties’ relationship to the school. Before an appeal is determined, the Respondent in this appeal may be given the opportunity to review the appeal and, should he or she wish, to submit a written opposition to the appeal to the Title IX Coordinator. The appeal review should be completed within 10 business days of receipt of the appeal, or, when applicable, receipt of written opposition.
The Title IX Coordinator will simultaneously notify the Complainant and Respondent of the School’s decision. The appeal decision is final.
After making a Complaint, the Complainant may request that the School seek alternative resolution in place of a formal investigation and resolution process. The School retains full discretion regarding whether alternative resolution is appropriate in light of the specific circumstances of each case.
Alternative resolution is not an option if the allegation involves Sexual Assault or Sexual Violence.
Participation in alternative resolution is voluntary for both the Complainant and Respondent. The School cannot compel either the Complainant or the Respondent to engage in alternative resolution and will permit either party to withdraw from alternative resolution at any time.
The School may terminate an ongoing alternative resolution at any time. If the alternative resolution process fails to achieve a resolution that is acceptable to Complainant, Respondent, or the School, the Complaint may go through the Formal Resolution Process described in Section VII, VIII, and IX above. A resolution that is acceptable to the Complainant, Respondent, and the School may not be appealed, unless new evidence, unavailable during the original investigation, that could substantially impact the resolution, becomes available.
Alternative resolution agreements may include:
- Resolution with the assistance of Third Party, such as a mediator;
- Increased monitoring, supervision, and/or security;
- Targeted or broad-based educational programming or training;
- Educational program modifications; and
- Other remedial or protective measures.
Under the federal Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (“Clery Act”), the School has a legal duty to track and publish information about certain types of Sexual Misconduct. The School will collect, prepare, publish, and distribute, through appropriate publications or mailings, to all current Students and Employees, and to any applicant for enrollment or employment upon request, an annual security report containing, among other things, information relating to the Campus crime statistics of the School and statistics concerning the occurrence on Campus, in or on non-campus buildings or property, and on public property, all criminal offenses reported to Campus security authorities related, among other things, to forcible or non-forcible sex offenses, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking. The School will not disclose the Victim’s name or other personally identifiable information in its report.
In addition to its reporting obligations under the Clery Act, under Minnesota Law, the School has a legal duty to track and report similar information about Sexual Assault on its website and to the Minnesota Office of Higher Education.
The School also must issue timely warnings to Students and Employees for certain types of incidents reported to them that pose a substantial threat of bodily harm or danger to members of the School community. The School will make every effort to ensure that a Victim’s name and other identifying information is not disclosed, while still providing enough information for community members to make safety decisions in light of the danger.
The School will comply with law enforcement’s request for cooperation and such cooperation may require the School to temporarily suspend the fact-finding aspect of a Title IX investigation while the law enforcement agency gathers evidence. The School will promptly resume its Title IX investigation as soon as notified by the law enforcement agency that it has completed the evidence gathering process, which typically takes three to ten calendar days, although the delay in the School’s investigation could be longer in certain instances.
The School will implement appropriate interim steps during the law enforcement agency’s investigation period to provide for the safety of the Victim(s) and the Campus community and the avoidance of retaliation.
When appropriate or legally obligated, the School may share investigative information with law enforcement.
In most circumstances, the School will treat attempts to commit any of the violations listed in this policy as if those attempts had been completed.
There will be no Retaliation against any Complainant of Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Harassment, Sex Discrimination, or Sexual Violence under this policy, nor against any person who participates in an investigation. The School will take appropriate action against any Student or Employee who retaliates against any person who makes a good-faith report, who testifies, assists or participates in an investigation, or who testifies, assists or participates in a process relating to the report. Retaliation includes, but is not limited to, any form of intimidation, reprisal or harassment. In addition, neither the School, nor any officer, Employee, or agent of the School may retaliate, intimidate, threaten, coerce, or otherwise discriminate against any individual for exercising their rights to avail themselves of the School’s Complaint procedure under this policy.
If there is a conflict of interest with respect to any party affected by this policy, appropriate accommodations will be made, such as, but not limited to, appointing or contracting with a Consultant to conduct the investigation, or recusing the person from the process for whom a conflict or potential conflict of interest exists.
These procedures do not deny the right of any individual to pursue other avenues of recourse which may include, but is not limited to, filing a charge with the United States Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR).
The OCR office for Minnesota is located at:
U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights Citigroup Center
500 W. Madison Street, Suite 1475
Chicago, IL 60661-4544
The School strongly encourages Students to report instances of Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Harassment, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, or Stalking. As such, Students who report such information will not be disciplined by the School for any violation of its drug and alcohol policies in which they might have engaged in connection with the reported incident.
XVIII. Programs Designed to Prevent Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking
Pursuant to the Clery Act, the School has designed and implemented programs meant to prevent Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking. Notably, the School has created education programs to promote the awareness of Rape, acquaintance Rape, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking. These education programs include primary prevention and awareness programs for all incoming Students and new faculty, adjunct faculty, and staff. In these programs, participants will:
- Be provided a statement that the School prohibits the offenses of Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking;
- Receive documentation with the definitions of Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, Stalking, and Consent;
- Learn safe and positive options for bystander intervention that may be carried out by an individual to prevent harm or intervene when there is a risk of Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, or Stalking against a person other than such individual to encourage bystanders to intervene and to overcome any barriers to intervening;
- Receive information on risk reduction to recognize warning signs of abusive behavior and how to avoid potential attacks;
- Learn the possible sanctions or protective measures that the School may impose following a final determination of a School disciplinary procedure regarding Rape, acquaintance Rape, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, or Stalking;
- Be informed regarding the procedures Victims should follow if a sex offense, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, or Stalking has occurred, including receiving information in writing about
- The importance of preserving evidence as may be necessary to the proof of criminal Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, or Stalking, or in obtaining a protection order;
- To whom the alleged offense should be reported;
- Options regarding law enforcement and Campus Authorities, including notification of the Victim’s option to notify proper law enforcement authorities, including on- campus officials and local police; be assisted by Campus Authorities in notifying law enforcement authorities if the Victim so chooses; and decline to notify such authorities;
- Be notified that, when applicable, Victims have rights and the School has responsibilities regarding orders of protection, no contact orders, restraining orders, or similar lawful orders issued by a criminal, civil, or tribal court;
- Learn procedures for School disciplinary action in cases of alleged Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, or Stalking, which shall include a clear statement that the proceedings will provide a prompt, fair, and impartial investigation and resolution; and will be conducted by officials who receive annual training on the issues related to these crimes and how to conduct an investigation and hearing process that protects the safety of Victims and promotes accountability;
- Be notified of the fact that the Complainant and Respondent are entitled to the same opportunities to have others present during a School disciplinary proceeding, including the opportunity to be accompanied to any related meeting or proceeding by an advisor of their choice;
- Be notified that both the Complainant and Respondent shall be simultaneously informed, in writing, of – the outcome of any School disciplinary proceeding that arises from an allegation of Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, or Stalking; the School’s procedures for the Accused and the Victim to appeal the results of the School disciplinary proceeding; of any change to the results that occurs prior to the time that such results become final; and when such results become final;
- Obtain information about how the School will protect the confidentiality of Complainants, including how publicly available recordkeeping will be accomplished without the inclusion of identifying information about the Complainant, to the extent permissible by law;
- Receive written notification about existing counseling, health, mental health, Victim advocacy, legal assistance, and other services available for Victims both on-campus and in the community; and
- Receive written notification of Complainants’ options for, and available assistance in, changing academic, transportation, and working situations, if so requested by the Complainant and if such accommodations are reasonably available, regardless of whether the Complainant chooses to report the crime to Campus officials or local law enforcement.
- The School will also offer ongoing prevention and awareness campaigns for Students and faculty, adjunct faculty, and staff and will provide attendees with, at minimum, the same information listed above. These campaign programs will occur on a regular basis and no less frequently than once per year.
Please direct any questions to:
Christine Szaj, Title IX Coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org);
Andrea Bien, Deputy Title IX Coordinator (email@example.com);
Lynn LeMoine, Deputy Title IX Coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org); or
Kelly Von Ruden, Deputy Title IX Coordinator (email@example.com)
- The right to choose to report an incident to School officials and the option to notify local law enforcement, including the right to file criminal charges with local law enforcement officials in Sexual Assault cases. This also includes the right to request that Campus Authorities promptly assist the Victim in notifying the appropriate law enforcement officials of a Sexual Assault incident. This also includes the right not to report, if this is the Victim’s desire;
- The right to be treated with dignity by Campus Authorities, including the right to be free from Campus Authorities suggesting that the Victim is at fault for the crimes or violations that occurred or that the Victim should have acted in a different manner to avoid the crime;
- The right to complete and prompt assistance of Campus Authorities, at the direction of law enforcement authorities, in obtaining, securing, and maintaining evidence in connection with a Sexual Assault incident. This right includes the right to the assistance of Campus Authorities in preserving for a Sexual Assault Complainant or Victim materials relevant to a Campus proceeding under this policy or any other policy.
- The right to decide when to repeat a description of the incident of Sexual Assault;
- The right to a prompt, fair, and impartial investigation and appropriate resolution of all credible Complaints of Sexual Misconduct made in good faith to School administrators;
- The right to be notified of the timeframes for all major stages of the investigation;
- The right to present witnesses and evidence;
- In instances of reports of Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, or Stalking, the right to have another person, including an attorney, present (in a support role) during all phases of the investigation, including at any meeting with Campus officials concerning the Victim’s Complaint or Campus disciplinary proceeding concerning a Sexual Assault Complaint;
- The right to be notified of available counseling, health, mental health, Victim advocacy, legal assistance, visa and immigration assistance, or services for Victims of Sexual Assault, both on Campus and in the community;
- When appropriate, the right to make changes to academic, transportation, and/or working arrangements;
- When applicable, the right to notification of his or her rights and the School’s responsibilities regarding orders of protection, no-contact orders, restraining orders, or similar orders issued by a criminal, civil, or tribal court.
- During and after the process of investigating a Complaint and conducting a Campus disciplinary procedure, the notification of and options for, and available assistance in, shielding a Victim from unwanted contact with the alleged assailant after an alleged Sexual Assault incident, if so requested by the Victim and if such changes are reasonably available and feasible. This right includes the right to the assistance of School personnel, in cooperation with the appropriate law enforcement authorities, in implementing the requested changes;
- The right to a Campus no-contact order against a member of the School who has engaged in or threatens to engage in Stalking, threatening, harassing or other improper behavior;
- The right to a written notice of the outcome and, when applicable, resulting sanction of the investigation, generally within 24 hours of the decision. After a disciplinary proceeding involving an allegation of Sexual Assault, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, or Stalking, this right includes the right to be informed of the outcome in writing, including a summary of any sanctions and the rationale for the decision;
- The right to preservation of privacy, to the extent required by law;
- When the Victim is a Student, the right to appeal the findings and sanction, in accordance with the standards for appeal established in this policy; and
- The right to notification of and options for, and available assistance in, changing classes after an alleged Sexual Assault incident, if so requested by the Victim and if such changes are reasonably available. Accommodations may include:
- Exam (paper, assignment) rescheduling;
- Transferring class sections;
- Alternative course completion options.
- The right to a prompt, fair, and impartial investigation and appropriate resolution of all credible Complaints of Sexual Misconduct made in good faith to School administrators against the Accused individual;
- The right to be notified of the timeframes for all major stages of the investigation;
- The right to present witnesses and evidence;
- In instances of reports of Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, or Stalking, the right to have another person present (in a support or advisory role) during all phases of the investigation;
- The right to be informed of and have access to Campus resources for counseling and advisory services;
- When the Accused is a Student, the right to appeal the findings and sanction, in accordance with the standards for appeal established in this policy;
- The right to a decision based solely on evidence presented during the investigative process. Such evidence shall be credible, relevant, based in fact, and without prejudice;
- The right to a written notice of the outcome and, when applicable, resulting sanction of the investigation, generally within 24 hours of the decision. After a disciplinary proceeding involving an allegation of Sexual Assault, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, or Stalking, this right includes the right to be informed of the outcome in writing, including a summary of any sanctions and the rationale for the decision; and
- The right to preservation of privacy, to the extent required by law.
 The definition of “Employees” includes full-time Employees of the School who are also taking classes at the School. Those individuals, as well as all other Employees, should refer to the School’s Sexual Misconduct Policy for Employees and Third Parties, as well as the School’s Non-Discrimination and Non-Harassment Policy, for the applicable procedures of filing a report or Complaint.
 A person who reports an incident to the School shall be provided access to his or her report upon request, consistent with state and federal laws governing privacy of education records. A request for access to a report should be made to the Title IX Coordinator.
 If Employees believe that they are the Victim of a sex offense, including Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault or Stalking, they should, if desired, report the incident to the School as outlined in the Schools’ Sexual Misconduct Policy for Employees and Third Parties.
 An individual does not need to report Sexual Misconduct to law enforcement in order to receive assistance from the School, nor does an individual need to report Sexual Misconduct to the School in order to receive assistance from law enforcement.