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  • Sexual Violence Policy

Policies & Procedures

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  • MSUM Sexual Violence Policy

    Custodian of Policy: Title IX Coordinator
    Relevant McSCU Policy: 1B.3
    Relevant Procedures: 1B1.1 Report/Complaint of Discrimination/Harassment Investigation and Resolution
    Effective Date: 3/7/14
    Last Review: FY 2014
    Next Review: Determined by MnSCU

    Policy Statement

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

    Application of policy to students, employees, and others. This policy applies to all MSUM students and employees and to others, as appropriate, where incidents of sexual violence on system property have been reported. Reports of sexual violence committed by a student or employee at a location other than system property are covered by this policy. Reports of sexual violence committed on University property by individuals who are not students or employees are subject to appropriate actions by MSUM, including, but not limited to, pursuing criminal or civil action against them.


    The following definitions apply to the Sexual Violence Policy:

    Sexual Violence: Sexual violence includes a continuum of conduct that includes sexual assault, and non-forcible sex acts, as well as aiding acts of sexual violence.

    Sexual Assault: "Sexual assault" means an actual, attempted, or threatened sexual act with another person without that person's consent. Sexual assault is often a criminal act that can be prosecuted under Minnesota law, as well as form the basis for discipline under the Student Conduct Code and employee disciplinary standards. Sexual assault includes but is not limited to:

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

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

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

    Consent: Consent is informed, freely given and mutually understood. If coercion, intimidation, threats, and/or physical force are used, there is no consent. If the complainant is mentally or physically incapacitated or impaired so that the complainant cannot understand the fact, nature, or extent of the sexual situation, there is no consent; this includes conditions due to alcohol or drug consumption, or being asleep or unconscious. Silence does not necessarily constitute consent, and past consent of sexual activities does not imply ongoing future consent. Whether the respondent has taken advantage of a position of influence over the complainant may be a factor in determining consent.

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

    System Property: "System property" means the facilities and land owned, leased, or under the primary control of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System, which includes MSUM, its Board of Trustees, and system office.

    Employee: "Employee" means any individual employed by Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System, which includes MSUM, and including student workers.

    Campus Security Authority: Campus security authority 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:
      • Housing and Residential Life staff, including Resident Assistants, Area Directors, Graduate Assistant Area Directors
      • Director of Student Conduct & Resolution, Owens Hall 206
      • Advisors to recognized student organizations
      • 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 I 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 206, 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 & 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 701-293-7273or1-800- 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 & 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

    • Their right to file criminal charges with local law enforcement officials in sexual assault cases;
    • 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;
    • Availability of prompt assistance from campus officials, upon request, in notifying the appropriate campus investigating authorities and law enforcement officials, and, at the direction of law enforcement authorities, assistance in obtaining, securing and maintaining evidence in connection with a sexual violence incident;
    • Assistance is available from campus authorities in preserving for a sexual violence complainant the materials relating to a campus disciplinary proceeding;
    • That complaints of incidents of sexual violence made to campus security authorities shall be promptly and appropriately investigated and resolved;
    • 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.


    The MnSCU System Procedure lB.1.1 Report/Complaint of Discrimination/Harassment Investigation and Resolution will be used to investigate all complaints of the sexual violence policy.

    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 this policy, in accordance with the procedures in MnSCU System Procedure lB.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 this 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;
    2. Proceed as promptly as possible;
    3. Permit a student complainant and a student respondent to have the same opportunity to have an appropriate support person present at any interview, in a manner consistent with the governing procedures and applicable data practices law;
    4. Employees shall have the right to representation consistent with the appropriate collective bargaining agreement or personnel plan;
    5. Be conducted in accordance with applicable due process standards and privacy laws;
    6. Inform both the complainant and respondent of the outcome in a timely manner, as permitted by applicable privacy law.

    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 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.

    MSUM discretion to deal with policy violations disclosed in investigation. MSUM reserves the right to determine whether to pursue violations of policy by students or employees other than the respondent, including a complainant or witness, that come to light during the investigation of an incident of sexual violence. In order to encourage reporting of sexual violence, under appropriate circumstances MSUM administrators may choose to deal with violations of MSUM policy in a manner other than disciplinary action.


    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. 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.

    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 this policy are prohibited and are subject to appropriate disciplinary action.

    Sexual Violence Prevention & Education

    Campus-wide efforts include but are not limited to the following (trainings are held annually and on an ongoing basis):

    Campus Security Authority Training: The designated officer provides training to the University's campus security authorities. This training includes education regarding specifics of this policy and procedure.

    Decisionmaker Training: The designated officer along with the Director of Public Safety, Director of the Health and Wellness Centers, and the Sexual Assault and Domestic/Dating Violence Counselor present training for MSUM Sexual Violence Policy Decision makers.

    Employee Training: Annually, the Designated Officer hosts sexual harassment and sexual violence training at the beginning of every academic year.

    Poster Campaign: The designated officer posts informational posters in the Residence Halls and academic buildings and offices across campus.

    Rape Aggression Defense {RAD) Course: RAD is a comprehensive, women-only self-defense course that begins with awareness, prevention, risk reduction and risk avoidance, while progressing on to the basics of hands-on defense training. RAD is not a Martial Arts program, but instead focuses on a woman's natural abilities to defend herself. RAD classes are taught once per semester by a Department of Public Safety Sergeant.

    Student Education: Training on the awareness of sexual violence prevention measures and procedures to incidents of sexual violence.

    Programs & Events

    Office of Student Activities Events: The Office of Student Activities hosts events such as Walk a Mile in Her Shoes®--an opportunity for men to raise awareness in their community about the serious causes, effects, and remediation to sexualized violence-and Sex Signals-a program that allows students to further examine some of their cultural stereotypes, as well as think critically about situations in which rape and sexual abuse occur and how they can make slight changes in their own lifestyle to prevent these events from occurring.

    Take Back the Night Event: In September/October, the Women's and Gender Studies department and the Women's Center annually hosts "Take Back The Night" Rally and BBQ with food, booths, and peer education; followed by speakers; a march around the campus; and candlelight vigil and moment of silence.

    Wellness Educator Programs: Wellness Educators facilitate presentations in the residence halls and classrooms that are designed to encourage healthy lifestyles for the campus community. Specific presentations include information about sexual health and consent. The Wellness Educators also host a poster campaign from Men Can stop Rape all across campus. The Sexual Assault and Domestic/Dating Violence Counselor advises the Wellness Educators.

    V-Day Event: MSUM Theatre Arts Department/Blackfriars sponsors V-Day at MSUM. V-Day is a global movement to end violence against women and girls that raises funds and awareness through benefit productions of Playwright/Founder Eve Ensler's award winning play The Vagina Monologues.

    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 shall 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 college and university campuses as required by that 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.

    Designated Officers at MSU Moorhead

    Ashley Atteberry
    Director of Student Conduct & Resolution
    Title IX Coordinator
    Owens Hall 206
    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

    Zero Tolerance of Workplace Violence Policy & Plan

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

    Donna Brown
    Affirmative Action Officer
    Owens Hall 210
    Minnesota State University Moorhead
    Moorhead, MN 56563

    Nondiscrimination in Employment & Education Opportunity (Including harassment)

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

    Student Conduct Code

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

    In compliance with the Jeanne Clery Act, all alleged criminal activity will be reported to the MSUM Public Safety Office and/or the appropriate law enforcement agency.

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

    Sexual Violence Signature