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  • Sexual Violence Procedure

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  • MSUM Sexual Violence Procedure

    Custodian of Policy: Title IX Coordinator
    Relevant Minnesota State System Policy: 1B.3 Minnesota State system Sexual Violence Policy
    MSUM Sexual Violence Policy
    Relevant Minnesota State System Procedures: 1B3.1 Minnesota State system Response to Sexual Violence
    Effective Date: 3/7/14
    Last Review: FY 2016
    Next Review: Determined by Minnesota State system

    Procedure: Response to Sexual Violence

    This procedure provides a process through which individuals alleging sexual violence may pursue a complaint, pursuant to the university sexual violence policy prohibiting sexual violence.

    This procedure is intended to protect the rights and privacy of the complainant, the respondent, and other involved individuals, as well as to prevent retaliation and reprisal.

    Campus security authority. A campus security authority has a responsibility to report criminal offenses and/or significant responsibilities for students and campus activities. This includes the following individuals at MSUM:

    1. The Department of Public Safety, MSUM Public Safety Office, 1616 9th Avenue South
    2. Those who have significant responsibility for student and campus activities, including, but not limited to the following:
      1. Housing and Residential Life staff, including Resident Assistants, Area Directors, Assistant Area Directors
      2. Director of Student Conduct & Resolution, Owens Hall 208
      3. Advisors to recognized student organizations
      4. Athletic coaches

    Reporting Incidents of Sexual Violence

    Prompt reporting encouraged. Complainants of sexual violence may report incidents at any time, but are strongly encouraged to make reports promptly in order to best preserve evidence for a potential legal or disciplinary proceeding.

    Complainants are strongly encouraged to report incidents of sexual violence to law enforcement for the location where the incident occurred. Complainants are also encouraged to contact the local victim/survivor services office, counseling and health care providers, the campus Title IX coordinator, or MSUM campus security authorities for appropriate action.

    Assistance in reporting. When informed of an alleged incident of sexual violence, all MSUM students and employees are urged to encourage and assist complainants, as needed, to report the incident to local law enforcement, local victim/survivor services, the campus Title IX coordinator, and campus security authorities.

    MSUM campus security authorities, when informed of an alleged incident of sexual violence, shall promptly assist the complainant, as requested, including providing guidance in filing complaints with outside agencies including law enforcement; obtaining appropriate assistance from victim/survivor services or medical treatment professionals; and filing a complaint with campus officials responsible for enforcing the student conduct code or employee conduct standards.

    When appropriate, MSUM may pursue legal action against a respondent, including, but not limited to, trespass or restraining orders, in addition to disciplinary action under the applicable student or employee conduct standard.

    Confidentiality of Reporting

    Confidential reports. Because of laws concerning government data contained in Minnesota Statutes §13, the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act, the Universities cannot guarantee confidentiality to those who report incidents of sexual violence except where those reports are privileged communications with licensed health care professionals. Some off-campus reports also may be legally privileged by law, such as reports to clergy, private legal counsel, or health care professionals.

    Reports to campus security authorities. Complainants of sexual violence may contact any campus security authority for appropriate assistance or to report incidents. Absolute confidentiality of reports made to campus security authorities cannot be promised. However, campus security authorities shall not disclose personally identifiable information about a complainant of sexual violence without the complainant’s consent except as may be required or permitted by law. There may be instances in which MSUM determines it needs to act regardless of whether the parties have reached a personal resolution or if the complainant requests that no action be taken. In such instances, MSUM will investigate and take appropriate action, taking care to protect the identity of the complainant and any other reporter in accordance with this procedure.

    Required Reports. Any campus security authority or any University employee with supervisory or student-advising responsibility who has been informed of an alleged incident of sexual violence must follow the University’s procedures for making a report for the annual crime statistics report. In addition, the campus security authority shall report to the Title IX Coordinator, in order to initiate any applicable investigative or other resolution procedures.

    Campus security authorities may be obligated to report to law enforcement the fact that a sexual assault has occurred, but the name or other personally identifiable information about the complainant will be provided only with the consent of the complainant, except as may be required or permitted by law.


    Timely reporting and a medical examination within 72 hours are critical in preserving evidence of sexual assault and proving a criminal or civil case against a perpetrator. However, incidents of sexual violence may be reported at any time.

    Local Law Enforcement: Moorhead and Fargo Police dispatch: 701-457-7660
    Moorhead Police Department: 915 9th Ave N, Moorhead
    Fargo Police Department: 222 4th St N, Fargo

    MSUM Public Safety Office, 1616 9th Ave. S, 218-477-2449: responds to emergencies on campus, provides documentation, and assists in reporting to the police. Available 24 hours/7 days a week.

    MSUM Title IX Coordinator, Owens Hall 208, 218-477-2174: takes reports and investigates sexual assaults when the alleged perpetrator is a student, employee, or volunteer of the University. Available after hours by contacting MSUM Public Safety.

    Resources and Advocacy

    MSUM Sexual Assault and Domestic/Dating Violence Counselor: provides free and confidential services to students directly affected by sexual assault and domestic/dating violence and those close to them, located in the Hendrix Clinic and Counseling Center, available Monday thru Friday 8:00 am until 4:30 pm; 218-477-2211. Available after hours by contacting MSUM Public Safety.

    Rape and Abuse Crisis Center of Fargo-Moorhead: provides crisis intervention, advocacy, counseling and education to all persons affected by sexual and domestic violence and to provide prevention programs to create a society free of personal abuse; 24 hour crisis phone line 701-293-7273 or 1-800-344-7273,

    MSUM Counseling Center: provides short-term counseling and referrals; Hendrix Clinic and Counseling Center, available Monday thru Friday 8:00 am until 4:30 pm; 218-477-2211.

    Medical Services and Evidence Collection

    Essentia Health Emergency Room provides medical services and evidence exams. The hospital is located at 3000 32 Avenue South, Fargo. 701-364-8400.

    Sanford Health Emergency Room provides medical services and evidence exams. The hospital is located at 720 4th St. N, Fargo. 701-234-2000.

    MSUM Hendrix Clinic offers STD testing and treatment, emergency contraception, pregnancy testing, and documentation of injuries; Hendrix Clinic and Counseling Center, available Monday thru Friday 8:00 am until 4:30 pm; 218-477-2211.

    Complainant Rights

    1. Their right to file criminal charges with local law enforcement officials in sexual assault cases;
    2. Rights under the crime victims bill of rights, Minnesota Statutes §611A.01 –611A.06, including the right to assistance from the Crime Victims Reparations Board and the commissioner of public safety;
    3. 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;
    4. Assistance is available from campus authorities in preserving for a sexual violence complainant the materials relating to a campus disciplinary proceeding;
    5. That complaints of incidents of sexual violence made to campus security authorities shall be promptly and appropriately investigated and resolved;
    6. That, at a sexual assault complainant’s request, the University 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 a work site or to alternative University-owned housing, if such alternatives are available and feasible.
    7. Upon the request of the complainant, students who reported sexual assaults to the 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.

    Investigation and Disciplinary Procedures

    Immediate action. The University may, at any time during the report/complaint process, reassign or place on administrative leave an employee alleged to have violated the Sexual Violence Policy, in accordance with the procedures in Minnesota State System Procedure 1B.1.1 (Report/Complaint of Discrimination/Harassment Investigation and Resolution). Such action must be consistent with the applicable collective bargaining agreement or personnel plan.

    The University may summarily suspend or take other temporary measures against a student alleged to have committed a violation of the Sexual Violence policy, in accordance with the MSUM Student Conduct Code.

    General principles. Procedures used in response to a complaint of sexual violence should avoid requiring complainants to follow any plan of action, to prevent the possibility of re-victimization. No party shall be required to participate in mediation.

    The University investigation and disciplinary procedures concerning allegations of sexual violence against employees or students shall:

    1. Be respectful of the needs and rights of individuals involved and treat them with dignity;
    2. Not suggest to the complainant that he or she was at fault for the sexual assault or should have behaved differently to prevent the assault;
    3. Proceed as promptly as possible
    4. Permit a student complainant and a student respondent to have the same opportunity to have an appropriate support person or advisor present at any interview or hearing, in a manner consistent with the governing procedures and applicable data practices law;
    5. Afford employees the right to representation consistent with the appropriate collective bargaining agreement or personnel plan;
    6. Be conducted in accordance with applicable due process standards and privacy laws;
    7. Simultaneously inform both the complainant and respondent of the outcome in a timely manner, as permitted by applicable privacy law.
    8. Be based on a preponderance of evidence standard, meaning that it is more likely than not that the policy, procedure, or code has been violated.

    The past sexual history of the complainant and respondent shall be deemed irrelevant except as that history may directly relate to the incident being considered.

    A respondent’s use of any drug, including alcohol, judged to be related to an offense may be considered to be an exacerbating rather than mitigating circumstance.

    Relationship to parallel proceedings. In general, MSUM investigation and disciplinary procedures for allegations of sexual violence will proceed independent of any action taken in criminal or civil courts. The university will not, and in most cases should not, delay its proceedings while a parallel legal action is on-going. If the University is aware of a criminal proceeding involving the alleged incident, they may contact the prosecuting authority to coordinate when feasible. Criminal or civil court proceedings are not a substitute for MSUM procedures.

    False statements prohibited. MSUM takes allegations of sexual violence very seriously and recognizes the consequences such allegations may have on a respondent as well as the complainant. Any individual who knowingly provides false information regarding the filing of a complaint or report of sexual violence or during the investigation of such a complaint or report may be subject to discipline or under certain circumstances, legal action. Complaints of conduct that are found not to violate policy are not assumed to be false.

    Withdrawn complaint. If a complainant no longer desires to pursue a complaint through the University’s proceeding, MSUM reserves the right to investigate and resolve the complaint as it deems appropriate.

    MSUM discretion to pursue certain allegations. MSUM reserves discretion whether to pursue alleged violations of policy under appropriate circumstances, including, but not limited to, a determination that an effective investigation is not feasible because of the passage of time, or because the respondent is no longer a student or employee of the University.


    Sanctions that may be imposed if a finding is made that sexual violence has occurred include, but are not limited to, suspension, expulsion of students or termination from employment for employees. The appropriate sanction will be determined on a case-by- case basis taking into account the severity of the conduct, the student’s or employee’s previous disciplinary history, and other factors as appropriate.

    Witnesses or victims who report in good faith an incident of sexual violence will not be sanctioned by the university for admitting in the report to a violation of the student conduct policy on the use of alcohol or drugs.

    Retaliation prohibited

    Actions by a student or employee intended as retaliation, reprisal or intimidation against an individual for making a complaint or participating in any way in a report or investigation under the Sexual Violence Policy are prohibited and are subject to appropriate disciplinary action.

    Maintenance of Report/Complaint Procedure Documentation

    Data that is collected, created, received, maintained or disseminated about incidents of sexual violence will be handled in accordance with the privacy requirements of the Minnesota Statutes §13 (Minnesota Government Data Practices Act), and other applicable laws.

    Information on reports of incidents of sexual violence that are made to Campus Security Authorities must be documented in accordance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security and Campus Crime Statistics Act, codified at 20 United States Code section 1092 (f). Such information will be used to report campus crime statistics on the university campus as required by the Clery Act.

    During and upon the completion of the complaint process, the complaint file shall be maintained in a secure location. Access to complaint file information shall be in accordance with the applicable collective bargaining agreement or personnel plan, the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and other applicable law and policy.

    The university shall annually report statistics on sexual assaults to the Minnesota Office of Higher Education. Additionally, the report must be published on the university website in accordance with state law.

    Designated Officers at MSU Moorhead

    Title IX Coordinator/Director of Student Conduct & Resolution
    Owens Hall 206
    Minnesota State University Moorhead
    Moorhead, MN 56563

    Human Resources
    Owens Hall 210
    Minnesota State University Moorhead
    Moorhead, MN 56563

    Affirmative Action Officer
    Owens Hall 208
    Minnesota State University Moorhead
    Moorhead, MN 56563

    Director of Public Safety
    MSUM Public Safety Office
    1616 9th Ave. S.
    Minnesota State University Moorhead
    Moorhead, MN 56563

    NOTE: Allegations of violence will be handled under other appropriate policies/procedures, including the University's Zero Tolerance of Workplace Violence Policy and Plan, Equal Opportunity and Nondiscrimination Policy and Procedure, or the University's Student Conduct Code.

    For TTY Communication, contact the Minnesota Relay Service at 1 -800-627-3529.