Sexual Assault/Violence Misconduct:
Sexual assault is a crime punishable by both civil and criminal legal action and is a serious violation of College policy. Behaviors that contribute to or constitute sexual assault/violence have no place at the College of St Scholastica (CSS), where people are expected to learn and develop to their full potential. Through the sexual assault/violence policy and protocol, CSS seeks to provide a consistent, caring and timely response when these behaviors occur within the College community. Support and information will be available to assist students in making reporting decisions and throughout the reporting process. This policy applies to student behavior on or off campus as it affects CSS students.
Sexual Assault: Definition (behaviors that constitute)
Sexual assault/violence misconduct offenses prohibited by this policy are categorized as follows:
a) Nonconsensual Sexual Penetration (commonly known as rape or sexual assault) as defined as:
b) Non-Consensual Sexual Contact (also form of sexual assault) as defined as:
c) Sexual Exploitation as defined as:
d) Sexual Harassment additionally can be considered a sexual assault/violence offense. To view the College's Sexual Harassment policy, please visit (insert link/the section of the policy)
Informed and voluntary consent is free of risk, and a process which respects all partners' boundaries. Consent is a clear YES to the sexual act in question, every time. Consent to one form of sexual activity cannot imply consent to other forms of sexual activity. Previous relationship or consent cannot imply consent to future sexual acts. Silence and/or body language, in and of themselves, cannot be interpreted as consent. Consent is not giving in because of fear, to gain approval, to avoid being hurt or due to coercion. Consent cannot be given if a someone is mentally and/or physically incapacitated (by alcohol, drug use, unconsciousness, sleep, restraint, blackout or legal status) where someone cannot give a rational, reasonable decision. Consent is always active, not passive. For reference to MN's legal statute regarding consent, please visit https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id=609.345
There are multiple options of reporting, on and off campus if you have experienced sexual assault/violence. All options are viable and open to students. You are the only person who will be able to make a decision regarding the best reporting option for you and your healing. We strongly encourage students to utilize the Gender Equity and Anti-Violence Allies (GEVA) Team (link) to navigate options, resources, and support. Students may access campus resources regardless of which report they make.
Additionally, campus staff and faculty would like to aid and support victims/survivors of violence in the best way that we can. In an effort to create a victim centered response, we would like to keep the choice and power of reporting in the hands of the victim/survivor as much as we can. However, certain staff and faculty members of the College may be required by state and federal law to report disclosures of sexual assault/violence to ensure safety of all it's community members. Regardless of a person's confidentiality and reporting requirements, we will make every effort to keep your information and the information regarding the incident as private as possible; with information only being shared with a tight group of trained staff and faculty involved with the investigation of the incident.
Please be advised about reporting options and the requirements of staff/faculty to report disclosures. If you are unsure about a staff or faculty member's duties and ability to maintain your privacy, ask them before you talk to them. They will be able to tell you their responsibilities and help you make decisions about who can help you best in your healing.
To Report Confidentially:
Students who desire to keep the details of an incident confidential, should speak with members from Counseling Services, Health Services, Student Support Services and/or other off campus resources and support such as PAVSA (Duluth's Rape Crisis Center). Campus counselors and many of the off campus agencies services are available free of charge. To ensure the College is keeping and portraying accurate accounts of disclosures of sexual assault/violence, these folks are asked to fill out a document to help keep our stats. This document contains no personally identifiable information, solely provides statistical data. These resources are not required to fill out any other information unless a victim/survivor desires. If a victim/survivor chooses, one of these confidential members can fill out a CSS No Name Report or Formal Report for Investigation. These members may suggest a student speak with a member of the GEVA Team (Gender Equity & anti-Violence Allies) who can aid in the understanding, clarification, and choosing of various reporting options.
CSS No Name Report (Quasi Confidentiality):
Many members of the campus community can be resources who are not required to tell anyone your private, personally identifiable information unless there is cause for fear for your safety or the safety of others, however are required to fill out a CSS No Name Report. These resources include those without supervisory responsibility or remedial authority to address sexual and gender based misconduct, such as RA's, Residence Life Staff, faculty members, admissions officers, student activities personnel, and student affairs staff. These members are required to make a CSS No Name Report within 24 hours of the disclosure of sexual assault/violence to Tad Sears, the Title IX Coordinator. Information on this report does not contain any personal identifiable information, except in the rare event that the incident reveals a need to protect you or other members of the campus community. If a student wishes, staff and faculty can aid in making a CSS Formal Report for Investigation however this is not required. Additionally these members may suggest you speak with a member of the GEVA Team who can aid in the understanding, clarification, and choosing of various reporting options.
Non-Confidential Reporting Options-CSS Formal Report to the Dean of Students
Students are encouraged to speak to officials of the institution to make a CSS Formal Report for Investigation of incidents should they choose. Speaking with Deans, Presidents, Vice Presidents, Campus Security, Human Resources, and other administrators with supervisory responsibilities will initiate a formal on campus internal investigation of the incident. These members are considered responsible employees based on Title IX and are required to disclose your information to the Dean of Students. Formal reporting doesn't mean that your report won't be confidential, but it does mean that people who need to know will be told and information will be shared as necessary with investigators, witnesses, and the reported student. The circle of people will be kept as tight as possible, to preserve your rights and privacy. Students who are unsure about whether they would like to make a formal report are advised to speak with a confidential resource or a member of the GEVA Team to aid in understanding, clarification, and choosing of various reporting options.
Off Campus Reporting-Duluth Police Department
Students wanting to make an external report to law enforcement can report to the Duluth Police Department by calling 911. This is an off campus process, but students are entitled to this option should they choose. A student can choose to complete both an on campus formal investigation and an off campus report to police. A student needing assistance making a report to the police, should connect with a member of the GEVA Team. It is advisable for students wishing to make an external report to save any evidence of the case that they can.
Following the disclosure of an incident of sexual assault/violence, the College will provide prompt, thorough, and impartial investigations and remedies to address and prevent the recurrence of sexual assault/violence on our campus. All CSS Formal Reports to the Dean of Students will be investigated by the Sexual Assault Investigation Team. The Sexual Assault Investigation Team will provide information to the Dean of Students to determine whether a Code of Conduct hearing on the charges is warranted. The Dean of Students and other members of the Adjudicatory Team as designated by the Dean of Students will then conduct a formal hearing to make a finding of whether a sexual assault/violence misconduct violation has taken place. For information about the hearing, see the Code of Conduct Judicial Process in the Student Handbook. (LINK TO LOCATION IN POLICY)
The College's investigative process of a sexual assault/violence is not a legal process and is not a substitute for making formal legal charges to the police. If a civil or criminal suit is filed, the College reserves the right to conduct its own investigation and proceedings regardless of the status or resolution of any civil or criminal litigation.
Temporary sanctions and/or accommodations for immediate safety concerns may be implemented during the course of an investigation. Interim action may be imposes as outlined in the Judicial Disciplinary Procedures and Process section of this handbook. Victims/survivors will be provided with information regarding accommodations and assistance. To get temporary accommodations, please visit the Dean of Students or their designee.
Final sanctions for violating this policy include the possibility of suspension or dismissal from the College. A student charged with sexual assault/violence offense can be prosecuted under Minnesota Criminal Statutes and/or disciplined under the campus Student Code of Conduct. Even if criminal justice authorities choose not to investigate or prosecute, the College may pursue disciplinary action.
Retaliatory or intimidating conduct is prohibited against any individual who has made a report of sexual misconduct or who has testified or assisted in an investigation. Retaliatory or intimidating conduct may include, but is not limited to; the use of texts, emails, conversations, phone calls, or other contact directly or through third parties; friend or acquaintance. The College of St. Scholastica will investigate and take appropriate action against any student, faculty, or staff member who retaliates against any person for their report of sexual assault/violence.
Charges against Student Organizations
When there is reason to believe that a student organization has committed or promoted behavior involving sexual assault/violence of another student, the organization may be disciplined. Sanctions may include loss of funding, loss of recognition by the College, and individual members of the organization in question may be held responsible for their actions which violate this policy and subject to further sanctions. A student organization is responsible for the actions of its members when they are operating on behalf of the organization.
Release of Information
Timely warnings must be issued to the campus community if the reported student is believed to pose a substantial threat of bodily harm or danger to members of the community. The victim's name and other identifying information will not be disclosed, but there will be enough information for students, faculty, and staff to make personal decisions for their own safety.
In cases in which the reported student is believed to pose no substantial threat of bodily harm or danger, the College must still report statistical information regarding the type of incident and the general location for publication in the Annual Campus Security Report. No further information regarding the victim or the incident may be related to the campus community in these cases. The Annual Campus Security Report can be found here (link to ASR)
All documentation regarding a formal report of sexual assault/violence will be kept on file in the Dean of Students' Office. No disciplinary documentation will remain in the student's permanent record at the campus, with the exception of incidents resulting in college expulsion, which are on student records permanently.
Rights of Both Parties
Rights of a Victim of Sexual Assault
Students who have been victims of sexual assault and/or sexual violence will receive an explanation of their rights in writing. These rights include but are not limited to the following:
Rights of a Reported Student of Sexual Assault
Students will receive written notification of their rights and have an opportunity to verbal explanation as requested. These rights include but are not limited to:
Dissemination of Sexual Assault Policy
The College of St. Scholastica Sexual Assault/Violence Policy will be reviewed as needed. A copy of the policy will appear annually in the student handbook and online at the St. Scholastica website at www.css.edu (copy link). All students, staff, and faculty are expected to be knowledgeable of this policy and to adhere to campus policy therein.
If you have experienced sexual assault/violence, resources and support are available to you. The GEVA Team (link) can help connect you to resources. Additionally, click here for further information about resources and support.
Additionally, the College of St. Scholastica has events and programming related to sexual assault/violence. Please click here for more information about our programs.
The College of St. Scholastica
1200 Kenwood Avenue
Duluth, MN 55811