Sexual Misconduct Policies and Procedures

UNIVERSITY OF ST. THOMAS SEXUAL MISCONDUCT POLICY

SECTION I. SEXUAL MISCONDUCT PROHIBITED

The University of St. Thomas (UST) mission and convictions embody UST’s commitment to promote and protect the personal dignity and well-being of every member of the UST community. Sexual harassment, sexual assault and other forms of sexual misconduct are antithetical tothat commitment. Moreover, they constitute unlawful sex discrimination. All forms of sexual misconduct, as defined in this policy, are prohibited by UST.

The UST mission and convictions also embody UST’s strong commitment to academic freedom, rigorous thinking and the free and full pursuit of knowledge and truth by every member of the UST community. The prohibition on sexual misconduct is critical to and consistent with these commitments. UST cannot achieve its educational objectives in an environment in which sexual harassment or other forms of sexual misconduct are tolerated.

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SECTION II. SCOPE AND APPLICABILITY

This policy applies to:

  • All UST employees, whether full-time or part-time staff, faculty, clergy, members of a collective bargaining unit, adjunct faculty or temporary staff;
  • all persons taking courses at UST, whether full-time or part-time, non-degree or degree seeking, or pursuing undergraduate, graduate or professional studies;
  • all participants in UST study abroad programs or other UST travel programs, including VISION trips;
  • all persons residing in UST residential housing, whether or not currently enrolled or working at UST; and
  • all members of the UST Board of Trustees.

The individuals listed above are referred to collectively as Covered Persons. This policy prohibits sexual misconduct by or against a Covered Person, both on and off the UST campus. In addition, this policy prohibits sexual misconduct by all persons visiting or volunteering at or for UST and by all persons and entities that provide services to UST. 

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SECTION III. SANCTIONS

Covered Persons who are found to have engaged in sexual misconduct prohibited by this policy will be subject to disciplinary action. The specific disciplinary action will depend on the particular facts and circumstances and may include sanctions up to and including expulsion from UST, termination of UST employment and prohibition from campus. Third parties who are subject to this policy are also subject to sanctions for violations.  

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SECTION IV. FORMAL ADJUDICATION BY UST

Determinations of responsibility for violations of this policy and sanctions or other responsive action, if any, will be considered a formal adjudication of the matter by UST and will be subject to the reporting, disclosure and re-disclosure requirements and prohibitions under the Clery Act and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

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SECTION V. BEHAVIOR THAT CONSTITUTES PROHIBITED SEXUAL MISCONDUCT

For purposes of this policy, sexual misconduct includes sexual harassment, actual or attempted sexual assault, sexual coercion, non-consensual sexual contact, non-consensual sexual intercourse, other forms of sexual assault, sexual exploitation, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking. In determining whether conduct constitutes sexual misconduct, UST will consider all the circumstances.

When used in this policy, the following terms have the following meanings:

1.       Consent

Consent is conduct or words that indicate a person freely agrees to engage in a sexual act at the time of the act, subject to the following:

  • In order to give consent, one must be of legal age.
  • Consent to one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity.
  • Silence or failing to resist a sexual act does not constitute consent.
  • A current or previous relationship does not imply consent.
  • A person who is asleep, unconscious or substantially impaired by drugs, alcohol, disability or other means, or who lacks full knowledge or information of what is happening, cannot consent to a sexual act. This is true regardless whether the person voluntarily or involuntarily consumed drugs or alcohol.
  • Use of alcohol or other drugs does not excuse behavior that violates this policy.
  • Corroboration of a victim’s testimony is not required to show lack of consent.
  • UST maintains a separate Consenting Relationships policy applicable to students, faculty and staff that, depending on the circumstances, prohibits or strongly discourages romantic, intimate or sexual relationships involving persons of unequal power, even when consent is present. Covered Persons are expected to comply with the Consenting Relationship policy.

2.      Force

Force is the use of physical violence to gain sexual access. Force also includes threats, intimidation (implied threats), and imposing on someone physically.

3.      Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is conduct that has all of the following elements:

  • The conduct is unwelcome.
  • The conduct is based on gender, sex or sexual orientation.
  • The conduct unreasonably interferes with, denies or limits someone’s ability to participate in or benefit from UST employment, educational programs and/or activities.

Sexual harassment includes both verbal and physical conduct. Sexual harassment can be between people of the same sex or between people of different sexes. Whether conduct constitutes sexual harassment under this policy will be determined based on the facts and circumstances. A single incident of conduct may constitute harassment depending on the facts and circumstances. In many cases, however, a finding of harassment will require a pattern of unwelcome conduct. 

Examples of sexual harassment include, but are not limited to:

  • Punishing a refusal to comply with a sexual-based request.
  • Offering a benefit (such as a grade, promotion or athletic participation) in exchange for sexual favors or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.
  • Repeatedly subjecting a person to unwelcome sexual attention or sexual advances.
  • Pervasive displays of sexually explicit or sexually graphic content in a workplace or academic environment.
  • A pattern of bullying based on gender, sex or sexual orientation.
  • Persistent and offensive sexually oriented jokes and comments.
  • Other severe or pervasive conduct that creates a hostile work or educational environment.

Other types of sexual misconduct defined in this policy also may be considered sexual harassment under applicable laws.  

If you have concerns about potentially harassing conduct, UST wants to know about them, even if you are not sure the conduct rises to the level of harassment. Telling UST allows it to monitor patterns of conduct that may need to be addressed and to try to stop inappropriate conduct before it rises to the level of harassment. Students who have concerns regarding a comment or discussion in class are encouraged to speak directly to the faculty member, the department chair, or the dean of the school or college about the concern. Individuals also can contact a Trained Responder, as described in Section VI below.

Clarification Regarding the Academic Environment

The prohibition of sexual harassment does not circumscribe a faculty member’s freedom as part of his or her teaching to select, assign or discuss materials or topics that are legitimately related to the subject being taught. In the classroom and other forums, UST actively encourages and seeks to facilitate the free expression, challenge and debate of diverse and deeply held beliefs and opinions.

In situations where there are perceived or potential conflicts between (a) the limitations on conduct and communications implied by the definition of sexual harassment contained in this policy and (b) the principles of academic freedom, UST will use as a working definition of academic freedom the “1940 Statement of Principles and Interpretive Comments” and the “1970 Interpretive Comments” on academic freedom by the American Association of University Professors. When addressing complaints against faculty members, the existence of such a perceived or potential conflict and the appropriate application of the AAUP Principles and Comments will be considered in consultation with the dean of the respective school or college (or, if the dean has a conflict of interest, the provost or provost’s designee).

4.      Sexual Assault 

The following types of misconduct, which often are referred to generally as sexual assault, constitute criminal sexual misconduct under Minnesota law and are prohibited by this policy. See Minnesota Statutes Section 609.341 et seq.

a.       Sexual Coercion

Sexual coercion is: (1) unreasonable pressure for sexual activity (2) applied through words or circumstances (3) that causes a person reasonably to fear that the other will inflict bodily harm.

Sexual coercion may include confining a person or using physical size or strength to cause a person to submit to an unwanted sexual act. When a person makes clear that the person does not want sex, wants to stop, or does not want to go past a certain point of sexual interaction, continued pressure beyond that point can be coercive.

b.      Non-Consensual Sexual Contact

Non-consensual sexual contact is: (1) any intentional touching, however slight, by any person (2) upon the breasts, buttock, groin, genital area or inner thigh of any other person, or of such other person’s clothing covering these areas, (3) with or by any body part or any object, seminal fluid or sperm (4) with sexual or aggressive intent (5) without consent and/or by force.

c.       Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse

Non-consensual sexual intercourse is: (1) any sexual intercourse or penetration (anal, oral or vaginal), however slight (2) by a penis, tongue, finger or any object (3) by any person upon any other person (4) without consent and/or by force. 

5.      Sexual Exploitation

Sexual exploitation occurs when: (1) a person takes non‐consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another (2) for his or her own advantage or benefit or to benefit or advantage anyone else (3) and that behavior does not otherwise constitute one of the other sexual misconduct offenses.

Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to:

  • Prostituting another person.
  • Non‐consensual video- or audio‐taping of sexual activity.
  • Going beyond the boundaries of consent (such as letting your friends hide in the closet to watch you having consensual sex).
  • Voyeurism.
  • Exposing one’s genitals or inducing another to expose his or her genitals in non-consensual circumstances.
  • Knowingly transmitting a sexually transmitted disease or sexually transmitted infection to another person.
  • Possession of child pornography. (Possession of child pornography must be reported immediately in accordance with the UST Policy on Reporting Suspected Child Abuse.)

6.      Dating Violence

Dating violence is violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. The existence of such a relationship will be determined based on 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 relationship.

Dating violence is prohibited by Minnesota law. See Minnesota Statutes Section 518B.01 et seq. 

7.      Domestic Violence 

Domestic violence is a felony or misdemeanor crime of violence committed by the victim’s

  • current or former spouse,
  • current or former cohabitant,
  • person similarly situated under domestic or family violence law, or
  • anyone else protected under applicable domestic or family violence laws. See Minnesota Statutes Section 518B.01 et seq. 

8.      Stalking 

Stalking is (1) a course or pattern of unwelcome and unwanted conduct (2) that a person knows or has reason to know (3) would cause the victim under the circumstances to feel frightened, threatened, oppressed or intimidated or to suffer substantial emotional distress.

Stalking is prohibited by Minnesota law. See Minnesota Statutes Section 609.749. Stalking behavior includes, but is not limited to:

  • Repeated, unwanted and intrusive communications by phone, mail, text message, email and/or other electronic communications, including social media.
  • Repeatedly leaving or sending the victim unwanted items, presents or flowers.
  • Following or lying in wait for the victim at places such as home, school, work or recreational facilities.
  • Making direct or indirect threats to harm the victim or the victim’s children, relatives, friends or pets.
  • Damaging or threatening to damage the victim’s property.
  • Posting information or spreading rumors about the victim on the internet, in a public place, or by word of mouth.
  • Unreasonably obtaining personal information about the victim by accessing public records, using internet search services, hiring private investigators, going through the victim’s garbage, following the victim, or contacting the victim’s friends, family, work or neighbors.

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SECTION VI. REPORTING OR RAISING CONCERNS ABOUT SEXUAL MISCONDUCT

UST is committed to investigating, resolving and preventing sexual misconduct, and the law generally requires it to do so. UST strongly encourages victims to tell someone about sexual misconduct. As described below, UST expects certain Covered Persons to notify UST when they become aware of sexual misconduct. This ensures that victims will receive appropriate support. It also enables UST to fulfill its commitment to prevent and address sexual misconduct and to comply with applicable law.

A. HOW, WHEN AND WHOM TO TELL

Individuals who experience or allege sexual misconduct prohibited by this policy are referred to as Complainants. Individuals who are alleged to have engaged in sexual misconduct prohibited by this policy are referred to as Respondents.

1.       Individuals Who Have Personally Experienced Sexual Misconduct

If you have personally experienced any form of sexual misconduct, UST strongly urges you to tell someone about the incident as soon as possible. There are multiple options to do this, as further described in Sections VI.B through VI.E below. In an emergency, call 911 if you are off campus and 2-5555 if you are on campus (see Section VI.B). If you have concerns about confidentiality, contact a Confidential Resource (see Section VI.C). To initiate UST’s response and resolution process, you or another person must notify a Trained Responder (see Section VI.D). If you want to make a report to police about criminal sexual misconduct, UST can assist you in that process (see Section VI.E).

UST and outside organizations offer numerous resources to support victims of sexual misconduct. Contact information for these resources is contained in Section IX of this policy. 

2.      Individuals Who Become Aware of Sexual Misconduct Incidents or Allegations

If you become aware of an incident or allegation of sexual misconduct that is prohibited by this policy, contact the Title IX Coordinator, Dean of Students, a Human Resources Partner or a member of the UST Public Safety Department right away for advice and assistance. These resources are referred to as Trained Responders. Trained Responders regularly deal with incidents and allegations of sexual misconduct and have received training on how to handle situations involving sexual misconduct. Trained Responders will provide advice and assistance to Complainants and other individuals who contact them and help ensure that UST responds appropriately and in accordance with applicable law.

  • All UST employees who are not student workers, and all members of the UST Board of Trustees, are expected to contact a Trained Responder promptly after becoming aware of an incident or allegation of sexual misconduct.
  • UST encourages, but does not require, all other persons who become aware of an incident or allegation of sexual misconduct to contact a Trained Responder.
  • UST employees who learn of sexual misconduct while serving as a Confidential Resource, as defined in Section VI.C below, are not required to notify a Trained Responder.

3.      Timing of Notice

Notifying a Trained Responder, Confidential Resource, law enforcement or other support resources identified in Section IX below promptly after sexual misconduct occurs helps assure the preservation of evidence. It is best for any physical evidence to be collected immediately, ideally within the first 24 hours after the incident occurs. Prompt notice and the preservation of evidence makes it easier to investigate and respond appropriately to the situation.

In order to assure an inquiry and response by UST, a Trained Responder must receive notice of sexual misconduct within one calendar year of the incident. Complainants are urged to notify UST of an incident regardless of whether the Complainant knows the identity of the Respondent(s). If the Complainant does not know the identity of one or more Respondent at the time of the incident or notice to UST and later learns the Respondent’s identity, the Complainant should notify UST as soon as possible, but no later than one calendar year following the date the Complainant learned the identity. The reason for this timing is that as time passes, evidence and witnesses may become unavailable and Respondents may leave UST, making it impractical for UST to conduct an effective and equitable response and resolution process.

Incidents reported after the one-year time limitation may be investigated or otherwise addressed at the discretion of UST based on the availability of witnesses and other evidence and UST’s interest in providing a safe, non-discriminatory learning and working environment.

4.      Confidentiality

Complainants may discuss incidents of sexual misconduct in complete confidence with a Confidential Resource, as defined in Section VI.C below. Only Confidential Resources can promise confidentiality. With the exceptions of student workers and Confidential Resources, all UST employees who become aware of incidents or allegations of sexual misconduct have a responsibility to contact a Trained Responder (as defined in Section VI.A.2 above), even if the Complainant requests confidentiality.

Trained Responders understand and seek to honor confidentiality requests to the extent they can. If a Complainant requests complete confidentiality or does not want UST to investigate or respond to the incident or allegation, UST will weigh the request against the seriousness of the alleged misconduct and UST’s commitment to address and prevent recurrence of sexual misconduct. This determination will be made by the Title IX Coordinator in consultation with the individual designated to manage the response process, as set forth in the response and resolution procedures described in Section VII of this policy. The determination may not be made by other Covered Persons.

If UST determines it has an obligation to investigate and address the incident or allegations, UST will maintain confidentiality to the extent reasonably possible consistent with a thorough, fair and effective investigation and response and as required by applicable laws and UST policies. In addition, UST will consider and take steps to address safety concerns. In all cases, the individuals investigating and responding to incidents or allegations of sexual misconduct will share information about the incident or allegation, investigation and response within and outside UST only on a “need to know” basis. However, complete confidentiality generally will not be possible due to UST’s legal obligation to respond. Accordingly, if a Complainant is not certain s/he wishes UST to initiate the response and resolution process, the Complainant should contact a Confidential Resource, as described in Section VI.C below, before sharing the information with another Covered Person or a Trained Responder.

B. EMERGENCY REPORTING

1.       On-Campus Emergencies

In St. Paul and Minneapolis, dial (651) 962-5555 (or 2-5555 from any campus telephone) to reach UST Public Safety, who will direct emergency resources to your campus location.

At the Gainey Center, dial 911 from the nearest telephone.

In Rome, dial 113 from the nearest telephone.

2.      Off-Campus Emergencies

In Minnesota, dial 911 from the nearest off-campus telephone.

In Rome, dial 113 from the nearest telephone.

C. TALKING TO A CONFIDENTIAL RESOURCE

Complainants who have personally experienced sexual misconduct and wish to keep details of the incident completely confidential, or are uncertain whether they wish to pursue the UST response and resolution process described in Section VII of this policy, are urged to contact a Confidential Resource as soon as possible following the incident.

  • Confidential Resources provide confidential assistance and support to individuals who have experienced or otherwise are involved in sexual misconduct. Confidential Resources are not required to notify a Trained Responder or law enforcement about sexual misconduct so long as the allegations do not involve the physical or sexual abuse of a child or vulnerable adult or an imminent threat to the life of any person.

In accordance with applicable law, limited categories of individuals may serve as Confidential Resources. The Confidential Resources available on the UST campus are:

  • licensed counselors in UST Counseling and Psychological Services;
  • health care providers at UST Health Services; and
  • clergy, or other ministers of any religion, in the following limited circumstances:

¾    A member of the clergy or minister who learns of sexual misconduct through confession to such clergy member or minister, if disclosure is enjoined by the rules and practice of the religious body to which the member of the clergy or minister belongs.

¾    A member of the clergy or minister who does not have significant responsibility for student or campus activities other than pastoral counseling and who learns of sexual misconduct in the course of providing confidential pastoral counseling of a professional character, including religious or spiritual advice, aid or comfort. Clergy and other ministers are not Confidential Resources if they are not acting in the professional capacity of a pastoral counselor. 

Confidential Resources also are available outside UST. Section IX of this policy contains contact information for on-campus and off-campus Confidential Resources.

If you are unsure of someone’s duties and ability to maintain confidentiality about a situation, ask the individual before revealing confidential information.

D. CONTACTING A TRAINED RESPONDER

The UST response and resolution process will be initiated promptly when a Trained Responder becomes aware of an incident or allegation of sexual misconduct. Complainants are strongly encouraged to contact a Trained Responder. Other Covered Persons are expected or may choose to contact a Trained Responder as described in Section VI.A.2 above. Trained Responders (the Title IX Coordinator, Dean of Students, a Human Resources Partner or a member of the UST Public Safety Department) will ensure Complainants receive support, guidance and information about their options and that UST timely and appropriately responds to the incident or allegation and takes appropriate action to try to prevent future incidents.

E. REPORTING TO THE POLICE

Complainants have the right to report to law enforcement all misconduct that may violate criminal laws, and UST strongly urges Complainants to make such reports. If a Complainant of potentially criminal sexual misconduct, including sexual assault, dating violence, stalking or domestic violence, wishes to notify law enforcement authorities, UST will assist the Complainant to do so.

Upon request by the police, UST Public Safety will assist the police in obtaining, securing and maintaining evidence in connection with sexual misconduct allegations.

F. CLERY ACT REPORTING BY UST

Under the Clery Act, UST has a duty to track and publish information about certain types of sexual misconduct and to report certain information in UST’s annual Campus Security Report. Personally identifiable information is kept confidential and will not be published.

UST also is required to issue timely warnings for incidents it becomes aware of that pose a substantial threat of bodily harm or danger to members of the campus community. UST makes every effort to avoid disclosure of personally identifiable information of Complainants in such warnings, while providing enough information for community members to make decisions to help ensure their safety.

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SECTION VII. UST RESPONSE AND RESOLUTION PROCESS

When a Trained Responder becomes aware of an incident or allegation of sexual misconduct, the Trained Responder will take steps promptly to initiate the response and resolution process described in the procedures attached to this policy as Appendix A.

The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for ensuring the uniform and consistent application of this policy and the related procedures and for ensuring incidents and allegations are addressed in a timely and appropriate manner. The Title IX Coordinator and the officials designated in the attached procedures to manage the response process have authority, alone or together, to take reasonable steps to protect the UST community or any individual member of the UST community from sexual misconduct, regardless whether such steps are explicitly contemplated in this policy or the related procedures.

In cases involving domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking and other cases involving safety concerns, the safety of the Complainant and the community is of primary importance. UST will consult with the Complainant and with other resources to determine, under the particular circumstances, how to conduct the response and resolution procedures in a way that protects the safety of the Complainant and the community while promoting accountability for prohibited misconduct.

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SECTION VIII. NO RETALIATION

UST, and federal and state law, prohibit retaliation against individuals for raising concerns about or making reports of sexual misconduct in good faith. No student, faculty or staff will be reprimanded or retaliated against for notifying UST about incidents or allegations of sexual misconduct in good faith or for participating in a factfinding investigation related to allegations of sexual misconduct. UST will take steps to prevent retaliation and will take strong responsive action if retaliation occurs. Any conduct by a Covered Person that constitutes retaliation or reprisal is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal, expulsion and prohibition from campus.

UST may impose sanctions if it determines that an individual knowingly initiated in bad faith a claim of sexual misconduct, knowingly provided false information, or intentionally misled a UST representative during an investigation of sexual misconduct allegations or a related complaint.

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SECTION IX. RESOURCES AND CONTACT INFORMATION

A. Emergency Contacts

24-Hour Emergency On Campus—St. Paul and Minneapolis: (651) 962-5555

24-Hour Emergency Off Campus—St. Paul and Minneapolis: 911

24-Hour Emergency—Gainey Center: 911

24-Hour Emergency—Rome: 113

B. On-Campus Places to Report Sexual Misconduct

Title IX Coordinator
Nora Fitzpatrick
Room 411, School of Law
(651) 962-4884
nbfitzpatric@stthomas.edu

Dean of Students
Room 241, Anderson Student Center
www.stthomas.edu/deanofstudents
(651) 962-6050

Human Resources Partners
Room 217, Aquinas Hall
www.stthomas.edu/hr
(651) 962-6510

Department of Public Safety
St. Paul: Morrison Hall, 1st Floor
Minneapolis: School of Law, 1st Floor
www.stthomas.edu/psps
(651) 962-5100

C. On-Campus Confidential Resources

UST Health Services
www.stthomas.edu/studenthealth
(651) 962-6750

UST Counseling and Psychological Services
www.stthomas.edu/counseling
(651) 962-6780

UST Campus Ministry

https://www.stthomas.edu/campusministry/about/

 

D. On-Campus Support Services and Other Resources

Sexual Assault Response Information

https://www.stthomas.edu/deanofstudents/students/sexualassaultresponse/whensomeone/

UST Counseling and Psychological Services
www.stthomas.edu/counseling
(651) 962-6780

UST Health Services
www.stthomas.edu/studenthealth
(651) 962-6750

UST Campus Ministry

https://www.stthomas.edu/campusministry/about/

 

University of St. Thomas Employee Assistance Program
http://www.stthomas.edu/hr/benefits/eap/

E. Off-Campus Places to Report Sexual Misconduct

Police
St. Paul, Minneapolis or Owatonna: 911
Rome: 113

Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) available at area hospitals
United Hospital Emergency Room
333 North Smith Avenue
St. Paul, Minnesota 55102
(651) 241-8755 (direct connection to the Emergency Room)
www.allinahealth.org/SANE

Hennepin County Medical Center Emergency Room
701 Park Avenue
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55415
Sexual Assault Resource Service: (612) 873-5832
www.hcmc.org/services/sexual-assault-resources

Owatonna Hospital Emergency Room
2250 NW 26th Street
Owatonna, MN 55060
(507) 451-3850
www.allinahealth.org/SANE

F. Off-Campus Confidential Resources

RAINN (Rape, Assault, and Incest National Network)
www.rainn.org/bin/counseling-centers
1 (800) 656-HOPE
24-hour hotline; free and confidential

Sexual Offense Services
St. Paul, Minnesota
www.co.ramsey.mn.us/ph/sos/index.asp
(651) 643-3006
24-hour hotline; free and confidential

Sexual Violence Center
Minneapolis, Minnesota
www.sexualviolencecenter.org
(612) 871-5111
24-hour hotline; free and confidential

Crisis Resource Center of Steele County
125 W Front St, Owatonna, MN, 55060
(800) 451-1202 or (501) 451-1202
24-hour hotline; free and confidential

G. Victim Services and Legal Information

Resource list for victims
https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/ojp/help-for-crime-victims/Pages/resource-list-victims.aspx

Ramsey County SOS Sexual Assault Services
http://www.co.ramsey.mn.us/ph/hs/sos.htm
24-Hour Hotline:  (651) 643-3006

Domestic Abuse Service Center (for victims of domestic violence and dating violence)
http://www.mncourts.gov/district/4/?page=369
Hennepin County Government Center
Rm. #A-0650 (lower level)
300 S. 6th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55487
(612)348-5073

Minnesota Office of Justice, Crime Victims Programs
https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/ojp/help-for-crime-victims/Pages/default.aspx
Monday - Friday, 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM
651-201-7300 or 888-622-8799, ext. 1 for financial help
800-247-0390, ext. 3 for information and referral
651-205-4827 TTY

Ramsey County Victim/Witness Services
Ramsey County Attorney’s Office
http://www.co.ramsey.mn.us/attorney/servicesprovidedVictimWitness.htm
(651) 266-3222

Hennepin County Victim Services
Hennepin County Attorney’s Office
http://www.hennepinattorney.org/Divisions/CriminalDivision/VictimServices.aspx
(612) 348-4003

Steele County Victim Services Program
303 S Cedar Ave, Owatonna, MN, 55060
(507) 444-7780

Lawhelpmn.org (legal information on a variety of sexual assault issues)
http://www.lawhelpmn.org/issues/abuse-violence-crime-victims-rights/sexual-assault-and-other-crime-victims

U.S. Embassy in Rome
Telephone: 06 46741

U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR)
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-1100 Customer Service Hotline #: (800) 421-3481
Facsimile: (202) 453-6012 TDD#: (877) 521-2172
Email: OCR@ed.gov
http://www.ed.gov/ocr

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APPENDIX A TO SEXUAL MISCONDUCT POLICY UNIVERSITY OF ST. THOMAS SEXUAL MISCONDUCT RESPONSE AND RESOLUTION PROCEDURES

SECTION I. DEFINITIONS

The definitions used in the University of St. Thomas Sexual Misconduct Policy (“policy”) also apply to these procedures, along with the additional definitions set forth in these procedures.

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SECTION II. SCOPE AND APPLICATION

These procedures will be initiated when a Trained Responder becomes aware of allegations of sexual misconduct:

  • where the Complainant and the Respondent are both Covered Persons; or
  • where the Respondent but not the Complainant is a Covered Person and the alleged incident occurred on the UST campus or in connection with a UST activity.

In other situations where a Covered Person or a UST volunteer, service provider or other third party is a Complainant or Respondent, the Title IX Coordinator may determine in his or her discretion, after consultation with the designated Response Manager (as defined in Section IV below), whether these procedures or another process is the best way to address the alleged sexual misconduct.

If a Trained Responder becomes aware of allegations of sexual misconduct that, even if true, would not rise to the level of a policy violation, these procedures do not apply, and the Trained Responder will handle the matter in his or her discretion, consistent with any other applicable UST policies, procedures and/or handbooks. Determinations that an allegation, even if true, would not rise to the level of a policy violation will be made jointly by the Trained Responder and the Title IX Coordinator. 

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SECTION III. GENERAL PROVISIONS

The response and resolution process will be conducted in compliance with the following provisions. These provisions are intended to be flexible so as to allow UST to meet its legal obligations while fulfilling its educational mission.  The Title IX Coordinator may authorize departures from these provisions when warranted by the circumstances.

A. TIMING

UST is committed to the prompt and equitable resolution of allegations of sexual misconduct. UST will strive to conclude the response and resolution process as soon as possible and within 60 calendar days of a Trained Responder becoming aware of sexual misconduct allegations. The time frame for particular matters may vary depending on the complexity of the factfinding investigation, and additional time may be necessary in complex investigations. In addition, temporary extensions to the timing requirements may be necessary due to factors like a witness being absent from campus. If UST’s factfinding is delayed due to law enforcement gathering evidence, UST will resume when law enforcement has finished collecting evidence or earlier, as permitted by law enforcement. All timing extensions and postponements must be approved by the designated Response Manager for the particular matter and will be no longer than necessary.

B. CONFIDENTIALITY

Complainants and Respondents have the right to speak or otherwise share information about sexual misconduct allegations and the response and resolution process. However, both parties, and Respondents in particular, must ensure that their communications are consistent with the anti-retaliation provision of the policy. 

Other individuals involved in the response and resolution process are expected to maintain the confidentiality of information related to the allegations and the response and resolution process to the greatest extent possible, and may communicate such information only to individuals who have a legitimate need to know the information. 

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SECTION IV. INITIATION OF RESPONSE AND RESOLUTION PROCESS

Trained Responders are responsible for initiating the response and resolution process promptly upon receipt of an Assertion or Complaint of sexual misconduct that, if true, would violate the policy.

  • An Assertion is an informal oral or written statement by a Complainant or another person that alleges sexual misconduct. An assertion may be resolved informally or may be converted to a Complaint by the Complainant or the Title IX Coordinator.
  • A Complaint is a formal written statement that clearly and thoroughly describes the incident(s) of sexual misconduct, including the name of the Respondent, if known, that is signed by the Complainant or by the Title IX Coordinator. A Complaint must be filed in order to initiate the formal resolution process described in Section VII below.

A. NOTICE TO THE TITLE IX COORDINATOR AND RESPONSE MANAGER(S)

The Trained Responder must promptly notify and share the Assertion or Complaint with the Title IX Coordinator. If the Trained Responder is not the designated or sole Response Manager for a particular complaint, the Trained Responder also must promptly notify and share the Assertion or Complaint with the designated or additional Response Manager.

➢      Response Managers are responsible for timely managing the response and resolution process in accordance with the policy and these procedures.

The determination who will serve as the Response Manager(s) for a particular situation is based on the identities of the Complainant and Respondent, as set forth below:

If the Complainant is a . . .

And the Respondent is a . . .

Then the Response Manager is the . . .

Student

Student

Dean of Students

Faculty or staff member

Faculty or staff member

Employee Relations Manager in Human Resources

Student

Faculty or staff member

Dean of Students and Employee Relations Manager, working together as mutually determined by them

Faculty or Staff Member

Student

Dean of Students and Employee Relations Manager, working together as mutually determined by them

Student

Covered Person or third party who is not a student, faculty or staff member

Dean of Students in consultation with the Title IX Coordinator

Covered Person or third party who is not a student, faculty or staff member

Student

Dean of Students in consultation with the Title IX Coordinator

Faculty or Staff Member

Covered Person or third party who is not a student, faculty or staff member

Employee Relations Manager in consultation with the Title IX Coordinator

Covered Person or third party who is not a student, faculty or staff member

Faculty or staff member

Employee Relations Manager in consultation with the Title IX Coordinator

If either the Complainant and/or Respondent holds dual status as a UST employee and student

Dean of Students and Employee Relations Manager will work together as mutually determined by them

Before proceeding with the response and resolution process, each Response Manager designated to manage the particular matter must consider whether he or she has availability to timely manage the response and whether he or she has an actual or potential conflict of interest that could be perceived to improperly influence his or her management of the response and resolution process. If so, he or she must discuss this with the Title IX Coordinator, and the Title IX Coordinator will determine whether to designate a different Response Manager for the particular matter.

The Title IX Coordinator maintains a list of trained Response Managers who can manage the response and resolution process in the event a designated Response Manager is unable to serve due to a conflict or for other reasons.

B. INTERIM ACTION TO PROTECT THE PARTIES AND THE COMMUNITY

The designated Response Manager(s) will consider whether interim action is reasonably necessary or appropriate to protect the parties and the broader UST community, pending completion of the response and resolution process. If the Response Manager(s) determine that interim action is reasonably necessary and appropriate, the Response Manager(s) and their respective designees are authorized to take or direct such action. Response Managers may initiate new or different interim action at any point during the response and resolution process based on their determination of how best to protect the parties and the broader UST community.

If the designated Response Manager(s) are not immediately available and the Title IX Coordinator determines that immediate action is reasonably necessary and appropriate, the Title IX Coordinator is authorized to take or direct such action.

Examples of interim actions include, without limitation:

  • Establishing a “no contact” order prohibiting the Respondent and Complainant from communicating with each other during the response and resolution process.
  • Prohibiting a Respondent from physically entering or being on UST property. 
  • Prohibiting a Respondent from participating in UST-sponsored events.
  • Changing a Complainant’s or Respondent’s on-campus residency or prohibiting a Respondent from residing in a UST residence.
  • Changing a Complainant’s or Respondent’s student or employee status, in consultation with appropriate administrator(s).
  • Changing a Complainant’s or Respondent’s work or class schedule, in consultation with with appropriate administrator(s).
  • Issuing a timely warning of any substantial threat or danger to the community.
  • Making information about orders for protection and harassment restraining orders available to a Complainant.
  • Notifying and consulting with appropriate UST administrators, faculty and staff members as warranted under the circumstances.

C. APPOINTMENT OF PROCESS ADVISOR

Next, the Response Manager(s) will appoint a Process Advisorto contact the Complainant or person raising the concern to review the situation and consider available options. The Process Advisor’s role is to understand the situation, explain the response and resolution process and provide information about available resources.  If the formal resolution process is followed, the Response Manager will also appoint a Process Advisor for the Respondent.

The Process Advisor for the Complainant and Respondent may be the same person or different people, depending on the circumstances. The Response Manager may also serve as the Process Advisor depending on the circumstances. When a Complainant or Respondent is a faculty member, the Response Manager will designate another faculty member as the Process Advisor if a trained faculty member is available to serve and does not have a conflict of interest. If no such faculty member is available, the Response Manager will ask the provost to appoint a faculty member to serve as a consultant to the appointed Process Advisor.

The Title IX Coordinator maintains a list of the individuals who have received appropriate annual training to serve as Process Advisors. The Title IX Coordinator will work with the Provost and other appropriate administrators to determine which faculty and staff are eligible for consideration to receive training and serve as a Process Advisor.

D. Clery Act REPORT

If the report or allegation of sexual misconduct involves behavior that, if found to have occurred, would violate the law, the Response Manager promptly will complete and submit a crime report to Public Safety to ensure compliance with the Clery Act. Public Safety does not disclose personally identifiable information about a Complainant in its Clery Act reporting.

E. MEETING WITH THE COMPLAINANT

Promptly following his or her appointment, the Process Advisor will meet with the Complainant. At the meeting, the Process Advisor will:

  1. Review the allegations of sexual misconduct with the Complainant and obtain additional information about the allegations from the Complainant as necessary to appropriately advise or support the Complainant with respect to the response and resolution process.
  2. Inform the Complainant about available resources to support the Complainant and about the Complainant’s right to access these resources, and ensure the Complainant has an effective way to access the available support resources. 

This discussion will include, among other available resources, information about the opportunity to seek a harassment restraining order or order for protection from a Minnesota court in appropriate circumstances and contact information for campus and local advocacy, counseling, health, mental health and legal assistance services.

  1. Review the policy and these procedures with the Complainant, specifically noting:
  2. the Complainant’s options to pursue the informal or formal resolution process;
  3. the Complainant’s right to contact law enforcement and pursue criminal and/or civil remedies outside UST;
  4. the options for interim action or other reasonable accommodations if the Complainant wishes to change academic, living, transportation, working or other situations within UST control after an alleged incident;
  5. the timing and deadlines for taking action under the policy;
  6. the confidentiality provisions; and
  7. the prohibition on retaliation for good faith reporting of sexual misconduct allegations and for participating in an investigation of sexual misconduct allegations.
    1. Address the Complainant’s questions about the policy and procedures and the response and resolution process.
    2. Ask the Complainant how the Complainant wishes to proceed. Notify Complainant that if the Complainant chooses not to pursue the informal or formal resolution process, UST will consider whether to take action independently, and that if the Complainant chooses to pursue the informal process, UST will consider whether to initiate the formal process independently. 
    3. Set a time for the Process Advisor to follow up with the Complainant.

F. UST DETERMINATION WHETHER TO FOLLOW FORMAL PROCESS

After meeting with the Complainant, the Process Advisor will update the Response Manager regarding the meeting and provide any further information about the allegations gleaned from the meeting.

If the Complainant did not choose the formal resolution process, the Response Manager and the Title IX Coordinator will consider the Assertion and any additional information provided by the Process Advisor. The Response Manager and Title IX Coordinator will consider whether the informal process or any particular components of an informal process are inappropriate, and whether formal action should be taken given the nature of the allegations or other circumstances. They also may gather additional information if needed in order to make this determination. Based on this review, UST may, in its sole discretion, require the initiation of a formal process. For example, mediation between the Complainant and Respondent is not appropriate to address allegations of sexual assault such as non-consensual sexual intercourse. If UST determines to pursue the formal resolution process, it will take the steps in Section VII below.

If UST determines the informal process is appropriate and later becomes aware of information that it determines should be pursued through the formal process, the Title IX Coordinator can initiate the formal process at such later time.

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SECTION V. INFORMAL PROCESS

If the Complainant chooses to pursue the informal process and UST does not decide to initiate the formal process, the Process Advisor will meet with the Complainant to review and consider available options to address the alleged misconduct using informal mechanisms. Such mechanisms may include (but are not limited to) mediation, discussion between the Complainant and Respondent with appropriate involvement by UST, a message communicated to the Respondent, or a change in Complainant’s work, academic, living or other situation within the control of UST if reasonably available and requested by the Complainant.

The informal process will not result in a disciplinary sanction for the Respondent unless the Respondent is given an opportunity to review and respond to the allegations. The disciplinary sanction in such situations may not include expulsion or termination of employment. For employees, the maximum disciplinary sanction available through the informal process is a termination warning for staff or a disciplinary letter for faculty.

At any time, both the Complainant and the Respondent have the right to end the informal process and begin the formal process by notifying the Process Advisor.

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SECTION VI. FORMAL PROCESS

A. RIGHTS OF THE COMPLAINANT AND RESPONDENT

In the formal process, the Complainant and Respondent are entitled to:

  • equitable procedures that provide both parties with a prompt, fair and impartial investigation and resolution conducted by officials who receive annual training on conduct prohibited by the policy;
  • notice of the allegations and defenses and an opportunity to respond;
  • an equal opportunity to identify relevant witnesses and other evidence and to suggest possible questions to be asked of witnesses during the formal process;
  • present information on their own behalf, including written and oral statements and physical exhibits;
  • similar and timely access to information, including a written summary of all allegations and defenses, consistent with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act; and
  • have a support person of the individual’s choice accompany him or her throughout the response and resolution process. The support person is allowed to consult with and advise the Complainant or Respondent the support person is accompanying, but is not otherwise permitted to participate in any proceedings.

B. STEPS IN THE FORMAL PROCESS

If the Complainant, Respondent, or UST determines to pursue the formal process, the following steps will be taken.

1.       Submission of Signed Complaint

The Complainant must submit to the Process Advisor a signed Complaint that clearly describes the incident(s) of sexual misconduct, including the name of the Respondent, if known. If the Complainant does not wish to pursue the formal process and UST determines to initiate the formal process, then the Title IX Coordinator may sign and submit the Complaint.

2.      Review of Complaint with Response Manager(s)

The Process Advisor will review the Complaint with the Response Manager(s).

3.      Assignment of Factfinder

The Response Manager will appoint a Factfinder or Factfinders.

  • The Factfinder conducts an investigation into the facts of the incident alleged to have occurred, as further described in these procedures. The Response Manager may appoint two Factfinders to work together when circumstances warrant.   

Depending on the nature and severity of the allegations, the Factfinder and Process Advisor may be the same individuals. When the allegations involve force or non-consensual physical contact, or otherwise are sufficiently serious that, if found to have been more likely than not to have occurred, they would warrant suspension or expulsion from UST or termination of employment, different people generally will be assigned to serve as the Factfinder and Process Advisor.

The Title IX Coordinator maintains a list of the individuals who have received appropriate annual training to serve as Factfinders.  

4.      Notice to Complainant

The Response Manager will contact the Complainant in writing, by letter or email, to inform the Complainant of the name of the Factfinder, an estimate of the time required to complete the investigation, and any other information the Response Manager deems relevant given the particular situation.

5.      Notice to Respondent

The Response Manager will contact the Respondent in writing, by letter or email, to inform him or her about the Complaint, the allegations made against the Respondent, his or her rights, the initiation of a formal investigation and the name of the Process Advisor and Factfinder, an estimate of the time required to complete the investigation, any conditions that may affect the Respondent’s status as a student or employee, and any other information the Responsible Individual deems relevant given the particular situation.

6.      Meeting with Respondent

The Process Advisor will meet with the Respondent. At the meeting, the Process Advisor will:

  1. Review the allegations of sexual misconduct with the Respondent and obtain additional information from the Respondent as necessary to appropriately advise or support the Respondent with respect to the response and resolution process.
  2. Inform the Respondent about available resources to support the Respondent and the Respondent’s right to access these resources. Ensure the Respondent has the means needed to access appropriate support resources.
  3. Review the policy and these procedures with the Respondent, specifically noting:

                             i.            the Respondent’s rights under the policy and procedures;

                           ii.            the timing and deadlines for action under the policy;

                         iii.            the confidentiality provisions; and

                         iv.            the prohibition on retaliation.

  1. Address the Respondent’s questions about the policy, procedures and the response and resolution process.
  2. Set a time for the Process Advisor to follow up with the Respondent.

After meeting with the Respondent, the Process Advisor will update the Response Manager regarding the meeting.

7.      Investigation

a.      Factfinding Process

The Factfinder(s) will conduct a thorough and impartial inquiry into the facts and circumstances surrounding the Complaint. At a minimum, the Factfinder(s) will seek to interview the Complainant, Respondent and other key persons who may have relevant information about or related to the incident and will seek to obtain all information, documentation and materials the Factfinder(s) deem relevant to the investigation. The Factfinder will ensure that, before the conclusion of the investigation, the parties have been provided a written summary of all allegations and defenses and have had an opportunity to respond. The opportunity to respond includes: (1) an opportunity to identify relevant witnesses, documentation and other physical evidence; (2) to identify questions that may be asked of witnesses; and (3) to provide responsive written or oral statements.

The Factfinder(s) have authority to request such information, documentation and materials from appropriate parties on a need to know basis. Given the possible application of professional duties of confidentiality, confidential email, files and other data of designated members of the School of Law, the College of Education, Leadership and Counseling, and the School of Social Work will not be examined for content nor disclosed without the prior approval of the dean of each school or, in cases of a conflict of interest, the provost or his or her designee.

b.      Application of AAUP Principles and Comments Relating to Academic Freedom

If the Respondent is a faculty member alleged to have engaged in sexual harassment of the Complainant, the Factfinder(s) will consider, in consultation with the dean of the respective school or college (or, if the dean has a conflict of interest, with the provost or his or her designee), whether there is a perceived or potential conflict between (a) the limitations on conduct and communications implied by the definition of sexual harassment under the policy and (b) the principles of academic freedom. UST will use as a working definition of academic freedom the “1940 Statement of Principles and Interpretive Comments” and the “1970 Interpretive Comments” on academic freedom by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) (together, the AAUP Principles and Comments).

If a perceived or potential conflict is deemed to exist, the Factfinder(s) will work with the dean, provost or his or her designee (as applicable) to ensure the appropriate application of the AAUP Principles and Comments in conjunction with the response and resolution process.

c.      Status Updates

The Factfinder(s) will provide status updates to the Complainant and Respondent at least monthly during the investigation and as necessary to alert them of any delays or changes in time estimates for completing the investigation and to provide notice of any new material allegations or defenses, and the parties will be provided an opportunity to respond to such new allegations and defenses.

8.      Determination of Responsibility

Upon completion of the formal investigation, the Factfinder(s) will weigh the evidence and determine whether it is more likely than not (using a “preponderance of the evidence” standard) that the Respondent is responsible for the misconduct alleged. If the Factfinder(s) determine it is more likely than not that the Respondent engaged in sexual misconduct in violation of the policy, then the Factfinder(s) will make a determination that the policy has been violated.

9.      Factfinding Report

The Factfinder(s) will timely document his or her findings of fact and determination in an investigation report and submit it to the Response Manager(s) and Title IX Coordinator. 

The Title IX Coordinator will review the factfinding report to ensure that the report and determination are consistent with UST policies, procedures and practices. If the Title IX Coordinator determines that the report and determination are not consistent with policies, procedures and practices, the Title IX Coordinator has discretion to direct or take appropriate action. 

10.   Responsive Action by UST

The Response Manager(s) will review the factfinding report and will work with the appropriate UST administrators, as set forth below, to determine what, if any, sanctions will be imposed or other action will be taken by UST. Not all forms of sexual misconduct will be deemed equally serious offenses, and UST may impose different sanctions depending on the severity of the offense and taking into account any previous conduct violations. The Response Manager(s) and administrators are authorized to apply any sanction or other response that they together determine to be fair and proportionate to the misconduct.

If the Respondent is a(n) . . .

Sanctions will be determined by the . . .

Potential Sanctions

Undergraduate student

Dean of Students, in consultation with the dean of the applicable college or school as appropriate under the circumstances, such as cases involving students in licensure programs

Sanctions may range from a verbal warning to expulsion. The Dean of Students will consider as part of the decision whether the accused student poses a continuing risk to the Complainant and/or UST community.

Graduate or professional student

Dean of Students and dean of the applicable college or school

Sanctions may range from a verbal warning to expulsion. The Dean of Students and the dean of the applicable college or school will consider as part of the decision whether the accused student poses a continuing risk to the Complainant and/or UST community.

Faculty member

Dean of the applicable college or school, in consultation with his or her Human Resources partner and the provost

The application of sanctions will be consistent with the applicable disciplinary policies contained in the Faculty Handbook and, to the extent applicable and not superseded by the Faculty Handbook, the Employee Handbook. The dean will consider, as one factor in the decision, whether the faculty member poses a continuing risk to the Complainant and/or UST community.

Staff member

Appropriate supervisor(s), including the member(s) of the President’s Cabinet responsible for a Respondent’s school, college or unit, in consultation with his or her Human Resources partner

The application of sanctions will be in accordance with the applicable disciplinary policies contained in the Employee Handbook and, if the employee is a member of a collective bargaining unit, the applicable labor agreement. The supervisor will consider, as one factor in the decision, whether the staff member poses a continuing risk to the Complainant and/or UST community.

Both a student and an employee

Dean of Students and supervisor, in consultation with the supervisor’s Human Resources partner

Any of the above, depending on the primary status of the Respondent

Not a student or employee

Response Manager(s) and Title IX Coordinator

May include restrictions on the Respondent’s presence, enrollment or employment at UST

11.    Notice of Outcome to Complainant and Respondent

The Factfinder’s determination or other appropriate notice of the outcome will be explained in a written notification, by letter or email, to the Complainant and Respondent that also includes information about the appeal process and when the outcome will be final. The written notifications must be sent within ten (10) working days of the Response Manager’s receipt of the findings from the Factfinder and will be sent to the Complainant and the Respondent at the same time.

UST is limited in the information it may share in providing this notice of outcome. In many cases, the outcome letter sent to the Complainant will contain only the following information: whether the Respondent was found to have violated this policy, and any sanctions imposed that directly relate to the Complainant. In sexual misconduct cases involving allegations of a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense (such as statutory rape), additional information about sanctions against a Respondent who violated this sexual misconduct policy also may be provided.

The Response Manager also will ensure that appropriate UST administrators, faculty and/or staff members who have a need to know information about the outcome have been or are provided with such information. In most cases, this will include the member(s) of the President’s Cabinet responsible for a Respondent’s school, college or unit, and in the case of Respondents who are employees, the Respondent’s supervisor.  

E. APPEAL PROCESS

1.       Grounds for Appeal 

Either the Complainant or the Respondent may appeal the results of the formal process on one or more of the following bases:

  1. that a procedural error occurred that substantially affected the outcome of the process;
  2. that the decision was arbitrary and capricious or violated academic freedom;
  3. that there has been discovery of significant new factual material not available to the Factfinder that could have affected the original outcome; however, intentional omission of factual information by the appealing party is not a ground for an appeal; or
  4. that the sanction or other response by UST under the formal process was excessively severe or grossly inadequate.

2.      Submitting an Appeal

A signed, written request for an appeal must be submitted to the appropriate Appeal Officer within ten (10) working days following the date that notification of the outcome of the investigation was sent to the Complainant and the Respondent.

  • The Appeal Officer is determined based on the identity of the Respondent, as set forth in the table below, and has the duties described in the subsequent paragraphs.

If the Respondent is a . . .

The Appeal Officer is the. . .

Student (who is not also a regular faculty or staff member)

Vice President for Student Affairs

Faculty or staff member (who is not a student worker)

Executive Vice President and Provost

In cases involving a potential conflict of interest or other issue preventing the designated individual from serving as an Appeal Officer, the Title IX Coordinator may appoint an alternate Appeal Officer who has received training on this policy and applicable law to fulfill the Appeal Officer’s duties. 

3.      Appointment of Appeal Board

In cases in which the Respondent is a staff or faculty member, the Appeal Officer will appoint an appeal board comprising five UST employees who do not have a conflict of interest. If the Respondent is a faculty member, the members of the appeal board will be full-time tenured faculty members selected in accordance with the Faculty Handbook process for appointing grievance hearing committees. All appeal board members must receive or have in the past year received training on the policy, procedures and applicable law.

In cases in which the Respondent is a student and in cases in which the Respondent is another individual who is not a student or employee, the Appeals Officer may consider the appeal directly or the Appeal Officer may, using personal discretion, appoint an appeal board consistent with the procedures herein.

4.      Consideration of Appeal

The appeal board (or Appeal Officer, if no appeal board has been appointed):

  • Will not rehear the case, but will consider whether it is more likely than not that the above-listed grounds for appeal have been satisfied.
  • Will review the appeal, the factfinding report, and consider any previously undiscovered evidence (if discovery of new evidence is a ground for appeal).
  • May choose to meet with the parties and consider other additional information, in its (or his or her) sole discretion.  

If an appeal board is used, the appeal board will provide the appropriate Appeal Officer with a written report of its findings of whether the above-listed grounds for appeal have been satisfied and, if so, a recommendation as to whether UST should remand the matter or take any different or additional action than was originally determined. Such report shall be provided to the Appeal Officer no later than fifteen (15) calendar days following submission of the appeal, provided that the Appeal Officer may shorten this timeframe depending on the overall timing of the response and resolution process.

The Appeal Officer will give careful consideration to the recommendation of the appeal board, but shall not be bound by it. Within ten (10) working days following receipt of the appeal board’s findings and recommendations, the designated Appeal Officer will notify the Complainant and Respondent in writing of the appeal board’s findings and recommendation and the final disposition of the appeal. This timing is subject to the overall timing of the response and resolution process; earlier notice may be required depending on the length of the overall process if shortening the timeframe is deemed to be fair to both parties. The Appeal Officer will discuss any such timing considerations with the Title IX Coordinator.

If no appeal board is used, the Appeal Officer will issue a written decision stating the Appeal Officer’s findings and the final disposition of the appeal within ten (10) working days following receipt of the appeal.

The Appeal Officer also will notify appropriate UST administrators, faculty and staff members of the outcome on a need-to-know basis. 

5.      No Further Appeal

Appeals arising out of alleged violations of the policy must be made under this appeal process and are not eligible for consideration under faculty, staff or student grievance policies or processes.  The President, however, has discretion to modify a decision in exceptional circumstances.

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SECTION VII. RECORDKEEPING

The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for maintaining the official UST records of sexual misconduct Assertions and Complaints.  When an Assertion or Complaint is pending, each official having a role in the response and resolution process is responsible for handling records appropriate to his or her role.  When the process is complete, the official records relating to the Complaint or Assertion will be provided to the Title IX Coordinator, who will maintain such records in accordance with UST record retention requirements and applicable law. The official records include:

  1. In cases where the informal process is requested by the Complainant, (a) a summary of the Assertion of sexual misconduct and request for resolution via an informal process, (b) a summary of the Title IX Coordinator’s and Response Manager’s analysis of whether a formal or informal process should be followed; and (c) a summary of the process used and responsive action taken by UST;
  2. In cases where the formal process is used, a copy of the Complaint;
  3. A description of any interim action taken and copies of correspondence from UST to the Complainant and Respondent relating to the interim action. 
  4. A copy of any Clery Act report submitted by the Response Manager to Public Safety (Public Safety shall maintain the original or a copy);
  5. Record indicating that the Process Advisor met with the Complainant and/or Respondent and the issues covered;
  6. Copies of any notices or summaries given to the Complainant and/or Respondent;
  7. The factfinding report and accompanying documentation relied upon by the Factfinder(s) in reaching conclusions;
  8. Copies of statements provided by the parties or witnesses;
  9. Documentation indicating the decision reached and sanctions imposed;
  10. Copies of the notice of outcome provided to the parties;
  11. Appeal statement, if any;
  12. Documentation demonstrating appointment of appeal board, if applicable;
  13. Report of appeal board, if applicable;
  14. Decision of Appeal Officer and copies of notices sent to parties regarding appeal, if applicable; and
  15. A timeline of communication with the parties.

Each official having a role in the response and resolution process may elect to send additional records to the Title IX Coordinator depending on the particular facts and circumstances. Personal notes of officials involved in the response and resolution process generally will be maintained in the sole possession of the official who took the notes according to the official’s normal recordkeeping practices, any applicable UST record retention requirements and applicable law. 

Records related to sexual misconduct Assertions and Complaints will be treated as confidential and shared only on a need-to-know basis or as required by law.  

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