Policy Against Sexual Assault
Sexual Assault Information
Gustavus Adolphus College considers any form of sexual assault to be a very serious offense, which will not be tolerated in its community. The College will assist any student, faculty member, or staff member who is a victim of sexual assault and will discipline any person who violates its policy against sexual assault.
Sexual assault is a form of sexual misconduct and includes the following:
- Non-Consensual Sexual Contact (or attempts to commit same)
- Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse (or attempts to commit same)
- Sexual Exploitation
- Intimate Partner Violence (IPV)
- Stalking may also be a form of sexual misconduct. (See Stalking Policy for more information.)
Please see the Student Sexual Misconduct Policy below for more details.
The College also has a Policy Against Harassment, which includes sexual harassment. All members of the Gustavus community should read and be familiar with the College’s Policy against Harassment, as well as the Student Sexual Misconduct Policy. If you are not sure whether you have been sexually harassed or sexually assaulted, or both, speak with a Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) member listed below.
Note that only conversations with SART members, counseling staff and professional health care staff may be kept strictly confidential, as described below.
The College will respect the confidentiality of the sexual assault victim and the alleged offender(s) as much as possible, consistent with the College’s legal obligations. As noted below, Students who wish to report or discuss sexual misconduct incidents should be aware that employees on campus have different reporting responsibilities and different abilities to maintain confidentiality or privacy, depending on their roles at the College. Confidentiality and privacy offer two different levels of protection for information a student shares. Staff who are considered confidential generally would only share information if there was imminent risk to self or others. Staff who are private can share information with others on a “need to know basis,” which is a lower threshold than confidential sources. Please refer to section III. of the Student Sexual Misconduct Policy titled Confidentiality, Privacy and Reporting Policy for further explanation regarding reporting.
When someone experiences a sexual assault, there are a variety of reactions that are all normal – feeling numb, dirty, or dysphoric – to name a few. It is important to keep in mind the following steps to get yourself safe and to receive the help you or your friend need:
Go to a Safe Place
Call a friend, family member, or someone you trust to stay with; you are encouraged to call the police (911 or), SART (507-933-6868) or Campus Safety (507-933-8888).
Gustavus encourages students who have experienced a sexual assault to contact a member of the Gustavus Sexual Assault Response Team (SART). SART consists of Gustavus staff who are available to respond to students who have experienced sexual assault or other forms of interpersonal violence. They are available to provide confidential support, information and assist with resource referrals. A member of the team can be reached 24 hours a day by calling (507) 933-6868. When you call, ask to speak with a SART member and the officer will contact a member of the team. You do not need to share details with the officer; they will just ask how SART can contact you.
SART members also can be contacted during business hours:
- Patty Dawson, Team Leader, Health Service (507) 933-7165
- Kelli Miller, Health Service
- Kristen Nelson, Alumna
- Sara Sletten, Center for Servant Leadership
- Jill Van Osdohl, Center for Servant Leadership
- Yurie Hong, Faculty
The survivor may also choose to contact CADA, an off-campus victim service agency, for support. CADA staff can be reached 24 hours a day at 800-477-0466 or 507-625-3966.
Preserve the Evidence
In the event of an assault, an immediate, crucial consideration is that of preserving evidence. Should a survivor be even remotely considering the possibility of eventually pursuing criminal sexual assault charges, evidence found on or in the body must be collected by trained medical personnel (see section on Seeking Assistance for more details). While this can feel like adding trauma to trauma, at the very least the student should consider not immediately taking a shower or washing or destroying the clothes associated with the assault.
A SART member will work with the student to understand, as appropriate, the survivor's options:
Seeking Medical Care
Survivors of sexual assault have the right, and are strongly encouraged, to receive medical care as soon as possible. Even if the survivor does not want to report to the police, or if it has been a while since the assault, she or he may still need and benefit from medical attention, since there are potential medical concerns that may result from an assault. Medical concerns include sexually transmitted infection (STI), pregnancy, physical injury, and psychological trauma.
Decisions about whether or not to report the assault to the police DO NOT need to be made prior to receiving medical care.
If a sexual assault survivor is not sure how to proceed or what the next step to take should be, please contact SART. All conversations with SART staff are completely confidential and survivors can discuss options in order to decide what will best meet their needs.
Filing a report with the Saint Peter Police Department
At the discretion of the survivor, a SART member may assist in filing a report directly with the Saint Peter Police Department. The survivor may request that the Saint Peter Police investigate the crime and gather evidence at the time of the incident. The survivor should realize that delay in reporting a crime usually results in the loss or destruction of important evidence. Moreover, it is important to have a timely incident report on file if the survivor later decides that she/he would like to take further action. To contact Saint Peter Police dial 911 or call 507-931-1550.
Filing a Conduct Case through Gustavus’s Student Conduct System
In the case of student-on-student assault, the survivor should consider filing a formal complaint against the other student. The survivor should consider filing the formal complaint as soon as possible after the events giving rise to the complaint. It is important to do so since evidence becomes more difficult to gather and recollections fade the further from the event that a report is made. A formal complaint should be filed according to the procedures outlined in the Student Sexual Misconduct Policy.
Obtaining a No-Contact Agreement through the College
A student may request a no-contact agreement that stipulates that the perpetrator have no contact with the survivor. If the accused is also a student, in most cases, the College will impose the no-contact order betwee BOTH students. Incases where the accused is not a stuent/employee, the survivor can request a "no-tress'ass" order from the Dean of Students. SART can assist and advise for both of these options. A survivor may also elect to pursue an Order for Protection with local law enforcement. SART can assist in contacting the police to do this.
If the survivor is not in need of immediate medical attention, a SART member will explain the resources available, including:
- Housing - Students living on campus can request a change of housing; students living off campus can request a move onto campus.
A survivor has the right to file criminal charges with local law enforcement authorities, and, upon request, are entitled to assistance from the College in notifying local law enforcement authorities.
A survivor also has the right to obtain assistance from the Crime Victims Reparations Board and the Office of Crime Victims Ombudsman:
1821 University Avenue North
N465 Griggs-Midway Building
St. Paul, MN 55104
If a friend who has been sexually assaulted confides in you, the most important thing you can do is listen. Also, keep the following in mind:
Believe him or her.
More than anything else, they need you to legitimize the pain of their experience. Now is not the time to question individual facts regarding the story. Take his or her word for it. Don’t blame him or her for decisions made, and don’t let them blame themselves.
Respond to any physical and personal needs.
If the rape has just occurred, the person might have medical or personal needs that should be met. Ask your friend if they would like to go to the hospital. Encourage them to go, but let it be their decision. The hospital is also a place where physical evidence can be collected against the rapist. It is important that your friend does not “clean up” beforehand, shower or change clothes.
Listen to and comfort your friend. Don’t take control of the situation.
Again, the best thing that you can do for your friend is to listen. Assume that what has happened is confidential; don’t tell others. Offer your friend choices, and be patient with their response.
Let your friend know how much support you can give.
If you are not comfortable being a support person, say that to your friend in a thoughtful way and help her/him find other support. Ask them if they want to talk to someone, over the phone, or in person. Recommend that the talk to a counselor and that you will go with them. If they refuse, that is their choice.
Get help for yourself.
You may need to talk to someone about your feelings and to sort out your own reactions. You too can call any of the resources listed.
Know your resources and use them.
You do not have to handle the situation alone. SART can be contacted 24 hours a day to answer questions and to offer you support. You do not have to give the survivors name and the information you provide SART is confidential.
Members of the College community, guests and visitors have the right to be free from sexual violence, which includes sexual misconduct. This policy applies to all students including both students who experience or are accused of sexual misconduct. Students who wish to bring a sexual harassment grievance against a faculty or staff member or student will use the College Policy Against Harassment. Faculty and staff who experience sexual misconduct by a student and who wish to pursue a claim against the student, will use the process outlined in this policy.
All members of the campus community are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that does not infringe upon the rights of others. The College has a zero tolerance policy for sexual misconduct. When an allegation of sexual misconduct is brought to an appropriate administrator’s attention, and an accused student is found to have violated this policy, serious sanctions will be used to reasonably ensure that such actions are never repeated. This policy has been developed to reaffirm these principles and to provide recourse for those individuals whose rights have been violated.
The College will take whatever measures it deems appropriate and necessary in response to an allegation of Sexual Misconduct in order to protect students’ rights and personal safety. Such measures may include, but are not limited to, modification of living arrangements, interim suspension from campus pending a hearing, and reporting the matter to the local police. Not all forms of Sexual Misconduct will be deemed to be equally serious offenses, and the College reserves the right to impose different sanctions, ranging from verbal warning to expulsion, depending on the severity of the offense. The College will consider the concerns and rights of both the person bringing forth the complaint and the student accused of Sexual Misconduct.
Sexual Harassment is
- Unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that is,
- sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that it:
- has the effect of unreasonably interfering with, denying or limiting someone’s ability to participate in or benefit from the College’s educational program and/or activities, and is
- based on power differentials (quid pro quo), the creation of a hostile environment, or retaliation.
Sexual Harassment may include, but is not limited to:
- an attempt to coerce an unwilling person into a sexual relationship;
- repeatedly subjecting a person to egregious, unwelcome sexual attention;
- punishing a refusal to comply with a sexual-based request;
- conditioning a benefit upon submitting to sexual advances;
- sexual violence;
- intimate partner violence;
- gender-based bullying.
Sexual Misconduct offenses include, but are not limited to:Non-Consensual Sexual Contact (or attempts to commit same) Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse (or attempts to commit same) Sexual Exploitation
Non-Consensual Sexual Contact is
- any intentional sexual touching,
- however slight,
- with any object or body part,
- by an individual upon another individual,
- that is without consent and/or by force.
Sexual Contact includes, but is not limited to:
- Intentional sexual contact with the breasts, buttock, groin, genitals, mouth or other orifice, or touching another with any of these body parts, or making another touch another or themselves with or on any of these body parts; any intentional bodily contact in a sexual manner, though not involving contact with/of/by breasts, buttocks, groin, genitals, mouth or other orifice.
Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse is
- any sexual intercourse (vaginal, anal, or oral)
- however slight,
- with any object or body part,
- by an individual upon another individual,
- that is without consent and/or by force.
Intercourse includes, but is not limited to:
- vaginal penetration by a penis, object, tongue or finger, anal penetration by a penis, object, tongue, or finger, and oral copulation (mouth to genital contact or genital to mouth contact), no matter how slight the penetration or contact.
Occurs when an individual takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for his/her own advantage or benefit, or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited, and that behavior does not otherwise constitute one of other sexual misconduct offenses.
Sexual Exploitation may include, but is not limited to:
- intentional and repeated invasion of sexual privacy (e.g., walking into the other person’s room or private space);
- prostituting another person,
- non-consensual video or audio-recording or electronically broadcasting (e.g., with a web cam) of sexual activity,
- intentionally allowing others to view/hear a sexual encounter without consent (such as letting individuals hide in the closet to watch consensual sex),
- engaging in voyeurism,
- knowingly transmitting an STI or HIV to another student without their knowledge,
- exposing one’s genitals or breasts in non-consensual circumstances; inducing another to expose their genitals or breasts
Additional Applicable Definitions:
- Consent: Consent is clear, knowing and voluntary. Consent is active, not passive. Silence, in and of itself, cannot be interpreted as consent. Consent can be given by words or actions, as long as those words or actions create clear mutually understandable permission regarding willingness to engage in (and the conditions of) sexual activity.
- Consent to any one form of sexual activity cannot automatically imply consent to any other forms of sexual activity.
- Previous relationships or prior consent cannot imply consent to future sexual acts.
- In order to give consent, one must be of legal age (18).
- In some instances, because of a person’s power/authority, or the perception thereof, one individual may not be able to give consent to a given sexual encounter. For example, one individual who supervises another may not be able to obtain consent in an intimate encounter because the other person fears they might lose their job or status if they object to some or all aspects of the encounter. Power and authority may arise from a variety of areas including one’s size, strength or reputation within the College.
- Sexual activity with someone who one should know to be -- or based on the circumstances should reasonably have known to be -- mentally or physically incapacitated (e.g., by alcohol or other drug use, unconsciousness or blackout), constitutes a violation of this policy.
- Incapacitation is a state where someone cannot make rational, reasonable decisions because they lack the capacity to give knowing consent (i.e., to understand the “who, what, when, where, why or how” of their sexual interaction).
- This policy also covers a person whose incapacity results from mental disability, sleep, involuntary physical restraint, or from the taking of rape drugs. Possession, use and/or distribution of any of these substances, including, but not limited to Rohypnol, Ketomine, GHB, or Burundanga, is prohibited, and administering one of these drugs to another student is a violation of this policy. Gustavus’ Alcohol and Drug Policy can be found at: https://gustavus.edu/deanofstudents/policies/gustieguide/alcohol-drug.php
- Force is the use of physical violence and/or imposing on someone physically to gain sexual access. Force also includes threats, intimidation (implied threats) and coercion that overcome resistance or produce consent.
- Coercion is unreasonable pressure for sexual activity. Coercive behavior differs from seductive behavior based on the type of pressure someone uses to get consent from another. When someone makes clear to you that they do not want sex or that they do not want to go past a certain point of a sexual interaction, continued pressure beyond that point can be coercive.
- Physical resistance (e.g., pushing someone away) is a clear demonstration of non-consent. The lack of physical resistance does not imply the individual consented to the sexual activity or event.
- Use of alcohol or other drugs will never function as a defense to a violation of this policy.
- The sexual orientation and/or gender identity of individuals engaging in sexual activity is not relevant to allegations under this policy.
Confidentiality, Privacy and Reporting Policy for Sexual Misconduct:
Students who wish to report or discuss sexual misconduct incidents should be aware that employees on campus have different reporting responsibilities and different abilities to maintain confidentiality or privacy, depending on their roles at the College. Confidentiality and privacy offer two different levels of protection for information a student shares. Staff who are considered confidential generally would only share information if there were imminent risk to self or others. Staff who are private can share information with others on a “need to know basis,” which is a lower threshold than confidential sources. More detail is provided below on who are confidential or private resources.
There are three options to seek support and/or to make a report. Depending on the desired outcome, a student may choose one of the following options:
- Seek support from those who can maintain complete confidentiality
- Make a formal report to the College (the College will act)
- Seek support from those who can maintain privacy, but not complete confidentiality
A student, regardless of whether or not they have reported the incident to the College, is encouraged to report the incident to the police.
The College will make resources pertaining to Sexual Misconduct widely available to students. These resources will include information on how to contact the Sexual Assault Response Team, on-campus Counseling and Health Services, as well as information on making a formal report to the College and on contacting the police.
Support for Those Who Want Complete Confidentiality:
A student who desires that details of an incident be kept confidential should speak with any of the following individuals:
- Advocates with the Gustavus Sexual Assault Response Team (SART), 507-933-6868
- Counselors with the Gustavus Counseling Center, 507-933-7027
- Health professionals with the Gustavus Health Service, 507-933-7630
- Off-campus rape crisis resources who can maintain confidentiality, 1-800-630-1425
- Campus Chaplains, 507-933-7446
Staff from these departments can offer confidentiality, sharing options and advice without any obligation to tell anyone unless the student wants them to or if there is an imminent risk to the student or others. Counselors from the Gustavus Counseling Center are available to students free of charge, and can be seen on an emergency basis during normal business hours (Monday – Friday, 8 am – 4:45 pm). SART representatives are available during normal business hours and after hours by calling 507-933-6868.
Support for Those Who Want to Make a Report to the College (the College will act):
A student who wishes that a complaint or concern regarding sexual misconduct be investigated should make a report to the Dean of Students (507-933-7526). If a student wants to make a report after normal business hours they should call Campus Safety 507-933-8888 and ask to speak to the “Dean-on-Call.”
A student may also report the incident to one of the College Title IX Coordinators. The Title IX Coordinators are: Kirk Beyer, Director of Human Resources and Title IX Coordinator (507-933-7304, firstname.lastname@example.org), Stephen Bennett, Associate Dean of Students and Deputy Title IX Coordinator (507-933-7526, email@example.com), or Paula O’Loughlin, Associate Provost and Deputy Title IX Coordinator (507-933-7541, firstname.lastname@example.org).
An incident of sexual misconduct may also be reported to other College officials. These officials include the President, Vice Presidents, Deans or Program Directors, Professional Residence Life Staff (Area Coordinators, Assistant Director, Director), Campus Safety, Human Resources, Department Chairs and Interdisciplinary Program Directors, faculty and administrators, including those who are supervising off-campus programs or trips, employees who supervise student employees, Peer Assistants, Gustie Greeters and Collegiate Fellows. The College considers these people to be mandated reporters.
As mandated reporters, once they have knowledge of an incident of sexual misconduct, they are required to take action by immediately referring the incident to the Dean of Students. These mandated reporters have to share the student’s personally identifiable information with the College-appointed investigators but the reported information will only be provided to people who need to know in order to investigate and adjudicate the incident including investigators, witnesses, and the accused individual.
Support from Those Who Can Maintain Privacy, But Not Complete Confidentiality:
A student may choose to share with other members of the Gustavus community not listed above. These individuals are required to report to the Dean of Students that an incident occurred but are not required to tell the student’s private, personally identifiable information unless there is cause for fear for their safety, or the safety of others.
Other Reporting Options – Law Enforcement and Office for Civil Rights
Sexual misconduct incidents may always be reported to the Saint Peter Police Department by the victim. The College reserves the right in certain circumstances to report the incident to the Saint Peter Police Department.
Individuals with complaints of sexual harassment or sexual misconduct also have the right to file a formal complaint with the United States Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR). Discrimination based on sex is prohibited by Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972 and is enforced by OCR. A complaint of discrimination can be filed by anyone who believes that an education institution that receives Federal financial assistance has discriminated against someone on the basis of sex, as well as other categories such as race, color, national origin, disability, or age. The person or organization filing the complaint need not be a victim of the alleged discrimination, but may complain on behalf of another person or group. Generally, a complaint must be filed with OCR within 180 calendar days of the last act that the complainant believes was discriminatory. More information can be obtained regarding filing a complaint with OCR at the following link: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/complaints-how.html
Immunity for Victims and Witnesses
The College community encourages the reporting of conduct code violations and crimes by victims and witnesses. Sometimes, victims or witnesses are hesitant to report to College officials or participate in grievance processes because they fear that they themselves may be accused of policy violations, such as underage drinking at the time of the incident. It is in the best interests of this community that as many victims as possible choose to report to College officials, and that witnesses come forward to share what they know. To encourage reporting, the College may offer victims and witnesses immunity from policy violations related to the reported incident. While serious violations cannot be overlooked, the College reserves the right to waive lesser charges (such as violations of the alcohol policy) in cases that involve sexual misconduct.
Students and employees who wish to bring a sexual misconduct grievance against a student or students should follow the procedure outlined below to report concerns and initiate a formal grievance. This policy outlines procedures for sexual misconduct grievances; all other grievances brought by students or by employees against students will be addressed through student conduct procedures articulated in the Gustavus Guide.
Students who wish to bring a sexual harassment grievance against a faculty or staff member or student will use the College Policy Against Harassment.
Faculty and staff who experience sexual misconduct by a student and who wish to pursue a claim against the student, will use the process outlined in this policy.
As necessary, the College reserves the right to initiate a complaint, to serve as complainant, and to initiate conduct proceedings without a formal complaint by the victim of misconduct.
Notice of Complaint
Notice of a formal complaint can be made orally or in writing to the Dean of Students.
The filing of a complaint of sexual misconduct under this Policy is independent of any criminal investigation or proceeding, and the College may choose not to wait for the conclusion of any criminal proceedings to commence its own investigation and take interim measures to protect the complainant and the College community.
Initial Intake Meeting with Individual Bringing Forth Complaint
Upon receipt of the complaint orally or in writing, the Dean of Students or their designee, (heretofore referred to as the Dean of Students) will meet with the individual alleging sexual harassment or sexual misconduct in order to provide a general understanding of this Policy and to identify forms of support or immediate interventions available to them. The intake meeting may also involve a discussion of any other accommodations concerning the student’s academic, College housing, or College employment arrangements. At the initial intake meeting with the individual bringing forth the complaint, the Dean of Students will seek to determine how they wish to proceed.
Options for Resolution
Options range from not pursuing resolution of any kind to pursuing Formal Resolution. Though the College may elect to pursue a complaint when an individual does not wish to proceed, deference is generally given to the individual’s decision.
If the individual bringing forth the complaint elects to pursue a Formal Resolution, a formal notice will be sent to the accused student outlining the specific charges.
If the individual does not elect to pursue Formal Resolution, the Dean of Students will choose whether or not to further investigate the complaint.
Choosing not to pursue Formal Resolution at one point in time, does not preclude the individual from choosing to pursue a Formal Resolution at a later date.
Mediation will not be used to resolve sexual misconduct complaints.
Conduct Advisor and Support Person
The individual bringing forth the complaint and the accused student have the option to have both an advisor as well as a supportive resource present during any meeting connected with the case. These personnel can be recommended and provided by the College or a student can seek out his or her own from on or off campus. Students should notify the Dean of Students Office of intent to utilize an advisor or support person. The role of the Advisor shall be limited to advising the respondent or complainant. The Advisor may not appear in lieu of the respondent or complainant or speak on his/her behalf, nor may the Advisor address the hearing board/officer.
Legal Counsel may be present at the hearing on behalf of either party. Such counsel may not examine witnesses or otherwise directly participate on behalf of either party.
When the individual bringing forth the complaint indicates a desire to pursue Formal Resolution, the Dean of Students will prepare and forward the complaint to a team of two Investigators. The Investigators are neutral fact-finders who are faculty and staff specifically trained to investigate sexual misconduct cases and who will typically conduct interviews with the individual bringing forth the complaint, the accused student and any relevant third party witnesses (including expert witnesses, when needed and relevant) and gather evidence as they deem necessary to the case. The Investigators will complete an Investigative Report, which summarizes the interviews and any relevant evidence, and present their findings addressing whether it is more likely than not that college policy has been violated. The report may be shared with other parties as deemed appropriate by the Dean of Students.
Past Sexual History
The past sexual history or sexual character of a person involved in the case will not be admissible in the investigation or hearing unless such information is determined to be highly relevant by the Dean of Students or the Investigators. All such information sought to be admitted will be presumed irrelevant, and any request to overcome this presumption by the parties must be included in the complaint/response or a subsequent written request, and must be reviewed in advance of the completion of the investigation hearing by the Dean of Students. While previous conduct violations by the accused student are not generally admissible as information about the present alleged violation, the Dean of Students may supply previous complaint information to the investigators or the conduct board, only if:
- The accused was previously found to be responsible, and
- The previous incident was substantially similar to the present allegation, and
- Information indicates a pattern of behavior and substantial conformity with that pattern by the accused student.
Post-Investigation Meeting with Accused Student
After receiving the Investigative Report, the Dean of Students will convene a meeting with the accused student, his/her advisor, and his/her support person(s) to review the report and to determine if the student either accepts the findings or rejects the findings in part or in their entirety.
Where the accused individual accepts the Investigators’ finding that there is sufficient evidence that s/he violated College policy, a Sexual Misconduct Board will be convened by the Dean of Students for the purpose of imposing appropriate sanctions for the violation.
In the event that the accused individual rejects the findings in part or entirely, the Dean of Students will convene the Sexual Misconduct Board to determine whether the accused individual is in violation of the contested aspects of the complaint and to impose appropriate sanctions for the violation if found responsible.
Post-Investigation Meeting with the Complainant/Victim
After receiving the Investigative Report, the Dean of Students will convene a meeting with the individual bringing forth the complaint, his/her advisor, and his/her support person(s), to review the report and to determine if that individual either accepts the findings or rejects the findings in part or in their entirety.
In the event that the individual bringing forth the complaint rejects the findings in part or entirely, the Dean of Students will convene the Sexual Misconduct Board to determine whether the accused individual is in violation of the contested aspects of the complaint and to impose appropriate sanctions for the violation if found responsible.
Sexual Misconduct Board
The Sexual Misconduct Board is composed of a standing group of students, faculty and staff appointed by the Dean of Students. The Dean of Students will ensure that all Board members receive sufficient training to carry out their duties on the Board. When convened for a hearing, this Board will consist of at least one student, one staff and one faculty member, unless otherwise determined by the Dean of Students.
Conduct of Hearing
The hearing will follow established procedures as set forth by the Dean of Students Office unless otherwise outlined in this policy. The Investigators, unless otherwise specified by the Dean of Students, will serve as witnesses for the conduct case. The standard of the evidence used in the hearing is a preponderance standard (“more likely than not”). The individual bringing forth the complaint may serve as co-complainant or witness and can choose to testify or not; the individual’s involvement can be determined up to the time of the hearing. At the hearing, the findings of the investigation will be admitted, but are not binding on the Boarad.
Direct questioning between the respondent and the alleged victim will not be permitted. Whether the alleged victim is serving as the complainant or as a witness, alternative testimony options will be given, such as placing a privacy screen in the hearing room, or allowing the alleged victim to testify outside the physical presence of the accused individual, such as by electronic means. While these options are intended to help make the alleged victim more comfortable, they are not intended to work to the disadvantage of the accused student.
These procedures are entirely administrative in nature and are not considered legal proceedings. No audio or video recording of any kind other than as required by institutional procedure is permitted, nor is formal legal representation allowed. At the Dean of Student’s discretion, the Chair may remove anyone disrupting the meeting from the discussion. These same opportunities and privileges extend to all parties to the complaint.
Hearings will normally be private (closed) proceedings. However, the respondent as well as the complainant may make a written request via the Dean of Students for an open Hearing. The Dean of Students may grant such a request at his/her discretion and in compliance with regulations concerning confidentiality.
Sanctions are imposed immediately unless the Dean of Students stays their implementation pending the outcome of an appeal. The following will be used to guide the Sexual Misconduct Board in assigning sanctions:
- Any student found responsible for violating the policy on sexual exploitation or sexual harassment will likely receive a recommended sanction ranging from admonition to expulsion, depending on the severity of the incident, and taking into account any previous campus conduct code violations.*
- Any student found responsible for violating the policy on Non-Consensual or Forced Sexual Contact, will likely receive a sanction ranging from disciplinary probation to expulsion, depending on the severity of the incident, and taking into account any previous campus conduct code violations.*
- Any student found responsible for violating the policy on Non-Consensual or Forced Sexual Intercourse will likely face a recommended sanction of suspension or expulsion.*
For students found responsible for sexual harassment or sexual misconduct, their status will likely change and can range from disciplinary censure to disciplinary probation, depending on the severity of the incident and taking into account any previous campus conduct code violations.
*The conduct body reserves the right to broaden or lessen any range of recommended sanctions in the case of serious mitigating circumstances or egregiously offensive behavior.
Any party may request an appeal of the decisions made by the Sexual Misconduct Hearing Board by petitioning the Dean of Students Office according to the procedures listed below. Accused students, complainants, or the victim, in the case where the victim was not the complainant, must petition within five (5) business days of receiving the written decision. Any party who files an appeal request must do so to the Dean of Students Office (DOS) and must demonstrate in the written Appeal Application (available online at gustavus.edu/deanofstudents) that reasonable grounds for the Appeal exist. Unless otherwise noted below, all other procedures relating to appeals of Sexual Misconduct cases are the same as those outlined in the Gustavus Guide.
The appeals committee or officer will render a written decision on the appeal request to all parties within a reasonable time frame after receipt of the appeal.
Notification of Outcome
The outcome of a campus hearing is part of the educational record of the accused student, and is protected from release under FERPA. The College, however, observes the legal exceptions as follows:
- Complainants/victims in Sexual Misconduct incidents will be informed of the outcome, essential findings, and relevant sanctions of the hearing, in writing, without condition or limitation.
It is a violation of College policy to retaliate against any person making a complaint of Sexual Misconduct and/or against a person cooperating in the investigation of (including testifying as a witness to) any allegation of Sexual Misconduct. For these purposes, “retaliation” includes intimidation, threats, harassment, and other adverse action threatened or taken against any such complainant or third party. Retaliation should be reported promptly to the Dean of Students and may result in disciplinary action independent of the sanction or interim measures imposed in response to the underlying allegations of Sexual Harassment or Sexual Misconduct.
Other Related Misconduct
In accordance with this policy, the Sexual Misconduct Board is empowered to hear allegations of, and to impose sanctions for, Sexual Misconduct and any violation of the College’s Statement of Student Responsibilities directly related to the alleged Sexual Misconduct or any alleged violations of this Policy. Charges from the same incident(s) of sexual harassment, if they accompany charges of sexual misconduct, may be adjudicated by the Sexual Misconduct Board and/or hearing process.
The Student Sexual Misconduct Policy was approved by the Board of Trustees May 20, 2012. Revised October 3, 2014.