Saint Paul College’s policy on sexual abuse and harassment is governed by the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System’s policy. In support of the system policy, the College reaffirms the policy that sexual violence, and harassment will not be tolerated. Every effort will be made to assure that all members of the College community are provided an atmosphere free from sexual violence and harassment. To prevent sexual violence and harassment, educational efforts will be undertaken to inform employees and students of their responsibilities regarding such behavior, how to identify and eliminate potential sexual abuse and harassment and what steps can be taken if instances of sexual abuse and harassment are experienced.
Saint Paul College conducts a number of programs aimed at preventing sexual offenses and making the community aware of the potential of such crimes. These programs include nightly security patrols of the campus, providing escorts, inspecting the campus for potentially dangerous areas and implementing programs to inspect campus lighting and shrubbery. In addition, the Department of Public Safety provides educational programs concerning sexual violence and assault awareness and prevention.
A guiding principle in the reporting of sexual violence and assault is to avoid re-victimizing the sexual violence survivor by forcing the person into any plan of action. Sexual violence survivors may contact any one of several College departments or community services for assistance. The following resources provide immediate aid or on-going consultation for survivors of sexual violence.
|Saint Paul Police Department
|Saint Paul College Affirmative Action Officer
|Saint Paul College Counseling Office
|Sexual Offense Services Ramsey County
|Support Group-First Call for Help
This procedure is designed to further implement the Saint Paul College policy prohibiting sexual violence. This procedure provides a process through which individuals alleging sexual violence may pursue a complaint.
This procedure is intended to protect the rights and privacy of both the complainant and respondent and other involved individuals, as well as to prevent retaliation and reprisal.
Reporting Incidents of sexual violence
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, campus Public Safety or Saint Paul College campus security authorities for appropriate action.
When informed of an alleged incident of sexual violence, Saint Paul College students and employees are urged to encourage and assist complainants, as needed, to report the incident to local law enforcement, local victim/survivor services, campus Public Safety or campus security authorities.
Saint Paul College campus security authorities, when informed of an alleged incident of sexual violence, will 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 Public Safety, campus officials responsible for enforcing the student conduct code or employee conduct standards.
When appropriate, Saint Paul College 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. Saint Paul College may take actions it deems necessary or appropriate in response to all protection, restraining or no contact orders.
Because of laws concerning government data contained in Minnesota Statutes §13, the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act, Saint Paul College 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.
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 Saint Paul College 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, Saint Paul College will investigate and take appropriate action, taking care to protect the identity of the complainant and any other reporter in accordance with this procedure.
Any campus security authority or any Saint Paul College employee with supervisory or student-advising responsibility who has been informed of an alleged incident of sexual violence must follow Saint Paul College procedures for making a report for the annual crime statistics report. In addition, the campus security authority shall report to other school officials, as appropriate, such as the campus affirmative action office, the campus office responsible for administering the student conduct code, and/ or the designated Title IX compliance 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.
Saint Paul College shall, at a minimum, at the time of registration make available to each student information about its sexual violence policy and procedure, and shall additionally post a copy of its policy and procedure at appropriate locations on campus at all times. Saint Paul College may distribute its policy and procedure by posting on an Internet or Intranet website, provided all students are directly notified of how to access the policy by an exact address, and that they may request a paper copy.
Following a report of sexual violence the complainant shall be promptly notified of:
- Where and how to obtain immediate medical assistance; complainants should be informed that 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. Complainants should be told, however, that they may report incidents of sexual violence at any time.
- Where and how to report incidents of sexual violence to local law enforcement officials, and/or appropriate Saint Paul College contacts for employees, students and others. Such contacts should be identified by name, location and phone number for 24-hour availability, as applicable.
- Resources for where and how complainants may obtain on- or off-campus counseling, mental health or other support services.
Complainants shall also be notified of the following:
- Their right to file criminal charges with local law enforcement officials in sexual assault cases;
- Rights under the crime victims bill of rights, 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 available from campus authorities in preserving for a sexual violence complainant 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, Saint Paul College 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 college-owned housing, if such alternatives are available and feasible.
If the Public Safety Officer (or designee) determines that a threat continues to exist for the community, information about the reported sexual assault will be reported to the campus community whether reported by a sexual assault survivor or through a third party report. As much detail as possible regarding location, date and time of the assault, and any information which might help identify the assailant will be reported. The Public Safety Office will inform the campus community of the reported sexual assaults by poster, appropriate notices, or email.
Each report will be taken as presented by the complainant. Appropriate criminal classifications will be determined after a review of all facts by the Saint Paul Police Department personnel.
The College will take appropriate action to safeguard the alleged survivor and, at the same time, protect the rights of the alleged perpetrator. If the survivor of a sexual assault requests, the College will attempt to provide, if reasonably available, a change in classes.
The College will normally not take any disciplinary action against a member of the campus community without a written complaint and the assistance of the complainant in the disciplinary process, unless the College determines there is a clear danger to the victim or the College community.
Procedures for Campus Disciplinary Action for Sex Offenses
Saint Paul College 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 System Procedure 1B.1.1. Such action must be consistent with the applicable collective bargaining agreement or personnel plan.
Saint Paul College may summarily suspend or take other temporary measures against a student alleged to have committed a violation of this policy, in accordance with System Procedure 1B.1.1 or Board Policy 3.6.
Saint Paul College shall use system procedure 1B.1.1 Report/Complaint of Discrimination/Harassment Investigations and Resolution when investigating complaints of sexual violence. 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.
Saint Paul College investigation and disciplinary procedures concerning allegations of sexual violence against employees or students shall:
- Be respectful of the needs and rights of individuals involved;
- Proceed as promptly as possible;
- 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;
- Employees shall have the right to representation consistent with the appropriate collective bargaining agreement or personnel plan;
- Be conducted in accordance with applicable due process standards and privacy laws;
- Simultaneously inform both the complainant and respondent of the outcome in a timely manner, as permitted by applicable privacy law.
- Be based on a preponderance of evidence standard, meaning that it is more likely than not that the policy 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.
In general, Saint Paul College investigation and disciplinary procedures for allegations of sexual violence will proceed independent of any action taken in criminal or civil courts. Saint Paul College need not, and in most cases should not, delay its proceedings while a parallel legal action is on-going. If Saint Paul College 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 Saint Paul College procedures.
Saint Paul College 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.
If a complainant no longer desires to pursue a complaint through the college proceeding, Saint Paul College reserves the right to investigate and resolve the complaint as it deems appropriate.
Saint Paul College 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 college.
Saint Paul College 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 Saint Paul College administrators may choose to deal with violations of Saint Paul College 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.
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 and education
Saint Paul College will provide training on awareness of sexual violence prevention measures and procedures for responding to incidents of sexual violence. The training is available on D2L Brightspace. Access can be found at http://www.saintpaul.edu/aboutus/Pages/PublicSafety.aspx. All incoming students and all new employees will be provided this training. Education will emphasize the importance of preserving evidence for proof of a criminal offense, safe and positive options for bystander intervention, and information on risk reduction to recognize warning signs of abusive behavior and risk associated with the perpetration of sexual violence. Additional programming and training regarding sexual violence prevention will be offered throughout the academic year and information will be sent via email, CastNet display and campus bulletins.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding sexual violence at Saint Paul College please contact Thomas Bergs, Director of Public Safety, office #1461, telephone 651.846.1676.