Title IX Coordinator

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota is committed to providing an environment that is free from the physical and emotional threat of sexual misconduct, including sexual assault and other forms of sexual violence. Saint Mary’s has zero tolerance for sexual misconduct in any form.

As a Lasallian Catholic institution of higher education, the university believes in the inherent dignity and worth of every student and employee. As such, the university strives to create an environment where the dignity of each person is respected and honored. Sexual assault and other forms of sexual misconduct violate the dignity of the person and are inconsistent with the mission and values of the university.

The university believes that no person should bear the effects of sexual misconduct alone. When such conduct occurs, the university’s paramount concern is for the safety and well-being of those impacted.

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota will investigate and promptly seek the equitable resolution of all allegations of sexual misconduct.

Sexual misconduct includes sexual assaults, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking. These acts impede the ability of the victim to participate fully in campus life.

Generally speaking, sexual assault is defined as any type of sexual activity that occurs without consent. This could include behavior like unwanted touching or kissing, sexual contact with someone who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol and unable to give an informed "yes" or "no," or rape or attempted rape. Sexual assault can happen to anyone, regardless of age, gender, race, or sexual orientation.

Here are some sexual assault statistics for college campuses:

  • 1 in 4 college women will be the victim of sexual assault during her academic career.1
  • 3 percent of college men report surviving rape or attempted rape as a child or an adult.2
  • Survivors of rape or sexual assault are 4 times more likely to be victimized by someone they know than by a stranger.3
  • Every 21 hours there is a rape on an American college campus.4
  • College women are most vulnerable to rape during the first few weeks of their freshman and sophomore years.5
  • 75 percent of the men and 55 percent of the women involved in acquaintance rapes were drinking or taking drugs just before the attack.6

Generally speaking, domestic/dating violence is a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner. Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone.

Here are some domestic/dating violence statistics:

  • On average, nearly 20 people per minute are victims of physical violence by an intimate partner in the United States.7
  • 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime.8
  • 1 in 7 women and 1 in 18 men have experienced stalking victimization during their lifetime in which they felt very fearful or believed that they or someone close to them would be harmed or killed.9
  • Intimate partner violence is most common among women between the ages of 18-24.10

If you are a survivor of sexual assault, domestic/dating violence or stalking, there is support available. The Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network has a 24-hour hotline that can direct you to local resources: 1-800-656-HOPE. The National Domestic Violence Hotline has highly trained expert advocates available 24/7 to talk confidentially with anyone experiencing domestic violence, seeking resources or information, or questioning unhealthy aspects of their relationship: 1-800-799-SAFE(7233).

1. One in Four USA. Sexual Assault Statistics. http://www.oneinfourusa.org/statistics.php

2. See note 1

3. National Center for Victims of Crime, U.S. Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime (OVC).  National Crime Victims' Rights Week Resource Guide. 2009.

4. Crisis Connection. National College Health Risk Behavior Survey. Fisher, Cullen & Turner, 2000. Warshaw, 1998. http://www.crisisconnectioninc.org/sexualassault/college_campuses_and_rape.htm

5. See note 4

6. See note 1

7. Black, M.C., Basile, K.C., Breiding, M.J., Smith, S.G., Walters, M.L., Merrick, M.T., Chen, J., & Stevens, M. (2011). The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey: 2010 Summary Report. National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from: http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/nisvs_report2010-a.pdf

8. Truman, J. & Morgan, R. (2014). Nonfatal Domestic Violence, 2003-2012. U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics. Retrieved from: http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/ndv0312.pdf

9. See note 7.

10. See note 8.

The university encourages victims of sexual misconduct to talk to somebody about what happened—so victims can get the support they need and so the university can respond appropriately. 

Confidential Saint Mary’s Resources
A psychologist, consulting psychologist, a licensed physician, and a registered nurse are not required to report any information about the victim of a sexual misconduct incident to the Title IX Coordinator without a victim’s permission. In addition, members of the clergy and other religious ministers who provide religious or spiritual advice, aid, or comfort to a victim in their professional capacities as clergy or ministers are not required to report any information about the victim of a sexual misconduct incident to the Title IX Coordinator without the victim’s consent. A victim can seek assistance and support from these individuals without triggering a university investigation that could reveal the victim’s identity.

Other Saint Mary’s Resources
When a victim tells an administrator, department chair, faculty member, hall director, staff person, or another employee who has the responsibility for faculty, staff, or student terms and/or conditions of employment, educational and academic opportunities, and living situations about an incident of sexual misconduct, the victim has the right to expect the university to take immediate and appropriate steps to investigate what happened and to resolve the matter promptly and equitably. A supervisor must report to the Title IX Coordinator all relevant details about the alleged sexual misconduct shared by the victim.

Sexual misconduct incorporates a variety of behaviors, including sexual assault, sexual violence, stalking, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual exploitation, sex-based cyber harassment, and any other conduct of a sexual nature that is nonconsensual or has the purpose or effect of threatening, intimidating, coercing, or interfering with the rights of another person or persons. Photographs, video, or other visual or auditory records of sexual activity made or shared without explicit consent constitute sexual misconduct, even if the activity documented was consensual.

Non-consensual sexual intercourse is any sexual intercourse by any person upon another without consent and/or by force. It includes oral, anal, and vaginal penetration, to any degree, with any object. It is referred to as “sexual assault” in this policy.

Non-consensual sexual contact is any sexual touching with any object, by any person upon another, without consent and/or by force. It is referred to as “sexual assault” in this policy.

Sexual assault is sexual contact, including but not limited to penetration, without consent. Sexual assault is a form of sexual violence

Sexual contact. For purposes of university policy, sexual contact shall have the same meaning as it has under Minnesota law.  "Sexual contact" includes, but is not limited to, the intentional touching by the respondent of the complainant's breasts, inner thighs, genitals, and/or groin area, whether clothed or unclothed; or the coerced touching by the complainant of another's intimate parts. Sexual contact also includes the intentional removal or attempted removal of clothing covering the complainant's intimate parts.

Consent. For purposes of university policy, consent shall have the same meaning as it has under Minnesota law.  “Consent” is defined as words or overt actions by a person indicating a freely given present agreement to perform a particular sexual act with the actor. Consent must be informed and freely and actively given.

Consent requires more than the existence of a prior or current social or sexual relationship between the actor and the complainant.

Consent to one sexual act does not imply consent to another. Consent has to be specific to the act. Past consent to sexual activity does not imply ongoing future consent. Consent can be revoked at any time. Although consent does not need to be verbal, verbal communication is the most reliable form of asking for and gauging consent.

Simple silence, the lack of a negative response, or failure to resist is not consent. It is the responsibility of the actor to obtain consent to any and all sexual involvement that occurs.

The use or threatened use of force or other forms of coercion or intimidation take away a person's ability to give consent to sexual contact. Consent is not present when another person fears the consequences of not consenting. Coercion includes intimidation, threats, misuse of authority, manipulation, tricking, or bribing with actions and/or words.

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 of whether the person voluntarily or involuntarily consumed the drugs or alcohol. Use of drugs or alcohol by the accused, however, is not a defense against allegations of sexual misconduct and does not diminish personal accountability or criminal liability.

A person who has not reached the legal age of consent may not give consent. The legal age of consent may vary depending on the circumstances and the applicable state law.

Where there is otherwise credible evidence to support a finding of nonconsent, corroborating testimony is not required.

Dating Violence means 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 shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors: (i) the length of the relationship; (ii) the type of relationship; and (iii) the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.

Domestic Violence includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of Minnesota, or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person's acts under domestic or family violence laws.

Stalking means engaging in conduct which the individual knows or has reason to know would cause the victim under the circumstances to feel frightened, threatened, oppressed, persecuted, or intimidated, and causes this reaction on the part of the victim regardless of the relationship between the actor and victim. In addition, stalking means engaging in a course or pattern of unwelcome and unwanted conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety or the safety of others or to suffer substantial emotional distress. Stalking behavior includes, but is not limited to:

  • Repeated, unwanted, intrusive, and frightening communications by phone, mail, and/or email;
  • Repeatedly leaving or sending victim unwanted items, presents, or flowers;
  • Following or lying in wait for the victim at places such as home, school, work, or recreation place;
  • Making direct or indirect threats to harm the victim, 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, contacting victim's friends, family, work, or neighbors, etc.
  • Directly or indirectly, or through third parties, manifesting a purpose or intent to injure the person, property, or rights of another by the commission of an unlawful act;
  • Following, monitoring, or pursuing another, whether in person or through any available technological or other means;
  • Returning to the property of another if the actor is without claim of right to the property or consent of one with authority to consent;
  • Repeatedly makes telephone calls, sends text messages, or induces a victim to make telephone calls to the actor, whether or not conversation ensues;
  • Making or causing the telephone of another repeatedly or continuously to ring; or
  • Repeatedly mailing or delivering or causing the delivery by any means, including electronically, of letters, telegrams, messages, packages, through assistive devices for people with vision impairments or hearing loss, or any communication made through any available technologies or other objects.

For purposes of this subdivision, a "pattern of stalking conduct" means two or more acts within a five-year period. “Substantial emotional distress” means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or professional treatment or counseling.

Report refers to the providing of any information regarding conduct that may violate this policy to the following individuals:

  • Title IX Coordinator
  • Campus Safety (Winona Campus)
  • Campus Security (Twin Cities Campus)
  • Vice President for Mission (Winona Campus)
  • Dean of Students (Winona Campus)
  • Director or Residence Life (Winona Campus)
  • AVP and Academic Dean (Twin Cities Campus)
  • AVP for Enrollment Management and Student Services (Twin Cities Campus)
  • Director of Human Resources

A report is intended to provide a written or verbal account of the sexual misconduct that took place. A report is only documentation of the events that took place. Making a report to the university does not mean that the complainant is required to file a report with local law enforcement or initiate or participate in the disciplinary process. A complainant can request that the disciplinary process not be initiated; however a report will prompt a Title IX investigation. Title IX investigations are required to provide protections to complainants.

Complaint is a formal request by the complainant for the university to conduct an investigation of the incident of sexual misconduct which includes both a disciplinary process investigation and a Title IX investigation.

Any university student, faculty member, staff member, or covered third party who has reasonable cause to believe that sexual misconduct has occurred or is occurring or any victim of sexual misconduct should report this information to the immediate attention of any of the following individuals: the Title IX Coordinator, the Dean of Students, the Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Services, or the Director of Human Resources.

A complaint may be made verbally or in writing and will ultimately need to be recorded in written form by the complainant or a member of the staff involved with the investigation.

The offices and individuals listed below are available to provide ongoing support during the university’s disciplinary and investigative process and/or the criminal process.

Anonymous Report Form for Sexual Misconduct

 

Winona Campus

For Students

For Employees

Charissa Jakusz
Dean of Students - College
507-457-1640
105 Vlazny Hall
cjakusz@smumn.edu

Investigator
Adjudicator

Amy Whillock
Senior HR Generalist
507-457-8706
145 Hefrron Hall
awhilloc@smumn.edu

Investigator

Nathan Wagar
Director of Residence Life
507-457-1406
106 Vlazny Hall
nwagar@smumn.edu

Investigator

David Miliotis
Director of Human Resources
507-457-1421
147 Heffron Hall
dmilioti@smumn.edu

Investigator
Adjudicator

Jason Mork
Director of Campus Safety - College
507-457-1703
115 Toner Student Center
jmork@smumn.edu

Investigator

Ann E. Merchlewitz
Title IX Coordinator
507-457-1587
Executive Offices, Heffron Hall
amerchle@smumn.edu

Investigator
Adjudicator

Chris Kendall
Associate Vice President for Campus Services
507-457-1781
118 Vlazny Hall
ckendall@smumn.edu

Investigator
Adjudicator

 

Dr. Tim Gossen
Vice President for Mission
507-457-1597
113 Vlazny Hall
tgossen@smumn.edu

Investigator
Adjudicator

 

Ann E. Merchlewitz
Title IX Coordinator
507-457-1587
Executive Office, Heffron Hall
amerchle@smumn.edu

Investigator
Adjudicator

 

Twin Cities Campus

For Students

For Employees

Gena Bilden
AVP - Enrollment Management and Student Services
612-728-5145
166 La Salle Hall
gbilden@smumn.edu

Investigator
Adjudicator

Amy Whillock
Senior HR Generalist
507-457-8706
145 Hefrron Hall
awhilloc@smumn.edu

Investigator

Dr. Linka Holey
AVP and Academic Dean
612-728-5112
168 La Salle Hall
lholey@smumn.edu

Investigator
Adjudicator

David Miliotis
Director of Human Resources
507-457-1421
147 Heffron Hall
dmilioti@smumn.edu

Investigator
Adjudicator

Ann E. Merchlewitz
Title IX Coordinator
507-457-1587
Executive Office, Heffron Hall
amerchle@smumn.edu

Investigator
Adjudicator

Ann E. Merchlewitz 
Title IX Coordinator 
507-457-1587 
Executive Office, Heffron Hall 
amerchle@smumn.edu 

Investigator 
Adjudicator

 

 

When the university receives a report—i.e., a written or oral complaint or report directed to the investigator—of conduct that may constitute sexual misconduct, the university will initiate the following process, except as otherwise provided below:

  1. The investigator will promptly determine whether the report or complaint alleges conduct that may be prohibited by this policy.
  2. Prior to an investigation or adjudication, the investigator, Title IX Coordinator and/or designee will consider the complainant’s request for confidentiality, if any, in accordance with the section on Confidentiality above.
  3. If it is determined that the complaint will be investigated and adjudicated, the investigator or his/her designee will facilitate this process.
  4. In cases where the investigator believes that the allegations, if proven, would not constitute a violation of this policy, the complainant will be advised of other judicial and support options as appropriate, and no further investigation will be pursued under this policy. If new information is subsequently provided to the investigator, this decision may be reevaluated.

Investigation Overview

  1. The investigator will provide a copy of this policy to the complainant and respondent, and will inform both parties in writing that the university is investigating and adjudicating the possibility that the respondent may have committed sexual misconduct. The parties will also be given notice of any additional possible policy violations being investigated and adjudicated in relation to the incident.
  2. A No Contact Order is normally issued to restrict contact and communication between the complainant and respondent for the duration of the investigation. In particularly serious cases, temporary removal of a student or employee from campus, or any other interim measures deemed necessary for the protection of the parties or third parties may be initiated by the university at any time.
  3. Interim measures, if requested and reasonably available, may be made to protect parties on an interim basis. These measures may be taken regardless of whether a complainant pursues a complaint under this policy. 
  4. The university may choose to discontinue an investigation at any time. The complainant may request that an investigation be discontinued at any time. The university will attempt to honor the wishes of the complainant. However, to accommodate cases where compelling evidence suggests significant individual or community safety concerns, the decision to discontinue an investigation is within the sole discretion of the university. 
  5. To the extent permitted by law, the complainant and respondent will be afforded the same rights and opportunities throughout the investigation and adjudication process, including the opportunity to recommend witnesses and submit evidence. However, investigation logistics, including but not limited to the sequence of interviews, the decision to interview particular witnesses, and the decision to allow or consider evidence offered by the parties, are within the discretion of the investigator.
  6. Complainants and respondents are entitled to the same opportunities to have an advisor of their choice present at any interviews, meetings or proceedings that they are attending related to the investigation and adjudication process under this policy. Such advisors may advise the complainant or respondent privately, but cannot act as speaking advocates at a meeting. An investigator or other university representative may terminate meetings and proceed with the investigation or adjudication based on otherwise-available information if advisors refuse to comply with these requirements.
  7. If a complainant or respondent is concerned that another person involved in the investigation or adjudication may be biased or have a conflict of interest, the person should inform the investigator of that concern immediately. If this concern involves the investigator, the complainant or respondent should inform the Title IX Coordinator. The investigator or Title IX Coordinator, as applicable, will consider the concern and inform the parties of a decision as to whether an alternate will be named.
  8. All investigations will be appropriate under the circumstances, and be prompt, thorough, fair, equitable, objective, and impartial.
  9. The university’s investigation and adjudication process does not require or permit the complainant and respondent to interact or communicate directly or indirectly with each other concerning the process or the matter under investigation at any time. The parties are therefore not permitted to question or cross-examine each other during the course of the investigation. 
  10. The investigator is authorized to contact any and all individuals with potentially relevant information. The university recognizes, however, that individuals who are bound by legal privileges may not be able to disclose privileged information, unless an exception applies. The investigator is authorized to access relevant records, except those legally protected as confidential or privileged, and may collect any additional evidence relevant to the complaint. The nature and scope of the investigation is within the discretion of the investigator. 
  11. The complainant and respondent will be asked to identify all relevant evidence they would like the investigator to review, as well as witnesses they would like the investigator to interview. The investigator is not required to consider the evidence submitted or interview any particular witness, even if identified by one of the parties. However, in determining whether to interview witnesses or review evidence, the investigator should consider such factors as equity, fairness, thoroughness, and impartial treatment of both parties.
  12. All participants in the investigation are expected to cooperate fully by providing complete, accurate, and truthful information. They may also be expected to sign statements or other documents memorializing the information they provided, and may be asked to keep the substance of the interview confidential. Failure to cooperate fully with the investigator may subject the individual to the full range of disciplinary actions, as applicable. 
  13. Formal rules of evidence do not apply in the process described herein. In cases where an evidentiary or procedural question arises in connection with the investigation or adjudication process, the investigator may make a determination or refer the matter to the Title IX Coordinator or other appropriate university official for a decision. The evaluation of evidence by the investigator includes consideration of its relevance, materiality, and credibility.
  14. When the investigator determines that sufficient information has been collected to allow the investigator to make a recommended finding, the complainant and respondent may review the witness statements and other relevant materials. Both will have an opportunity to respond to this information in writing within seven days.

Determination and Sanction

  1. The investigator will submit a final report to the designated adjudicator. The final report will include the investigator’s recommended finding of whether the policy or policies under investigation have been violated, the investigator’s rationale, and investigation materials, including both parties’ written responses. The investigator's recommendation will be based on the preponderance of evidence standard, i.e., whether it is more likely than not that the policy was violated.
  2. The adjudicator is responsible for making the determination of whether any university policy under investigation has been violated. The adjudicator is not bound by the investigator’s report; rather, it is advisory to the adjudicator. The adjudicator may accept or reject the investigator’s recommended finding in whole or in part, and may request additional relevant information before making a determination. The adjudicator may consult with the investigator and/or other persons as determined in the discretion of the adjudicator. The adjudicator will avoid duplicating the efforts of the investigator, as well as accepting the investigator’s recommended finding without careful review of all of the evidence.
  3. The adjudicator may request an individual meeting with either party or any other person(s) as appropriate. This meeting is intended to provide each party with an opportunity to make a brief statement directly to the adjudicator. This meeting is not intended to serve as a hearing or a cross-examination, although the adjudicator may ask questions as needed.
  4. After review of the investigator’s report and recommended finding, the adjudicator will issue a determination as to whether sexual misconduct (or a violation of other university policies, if applicable) occurred. The adjudicator’s determination will be based on a preponderance of the evidence standard.
  5. If the adjudicator finds that a staff member has engaged in conduct that violates this policy (or other university policies under investigation, if applicable), the Director of Human Resources will make a recommendation regarding discipline and/or other appropriate action, to the appropriate supervisory authority.  After review of the recommendation, the supervisory authority will initiate procedures to determine and impose appropriate disciplinary action.
  6. If the adjudicator finds that a faculty member has engaged in conduct that violates this policy (or other university policies under investigation, if applicable), the Director of Human Resources will make a recommendation regarding discipline and/or other appropriate action to the appropriate supervisory authority for the program at issue. Sanctioning and appeals for faculty whose primary appointment is with the undergraduate college will follow the procedures for College faculty.  After review of the recommendation, the supervisory authority will initiate procedures to determine and impose appropriate disciplinary action according to the procedures in existing Faculty Handbook policies, other employment policies, and/or contracts, as applicable.
  7. If the adjudicator finds that a student has engaged in conduct that violates this policy (or other university policies under investigation, the Vice President for Mission, the Dean of Students, the Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Services or the Title IX Coordinator may impose disciplinary and/or other appropriate action. Prior conduct may be taken into account in the assignment of these actions.
  8. To the extent permitted by law, the complainant and respondent will be simultaneously informed, in writing, of (a) the determination and the outcome of any disciplinary or other action arising out of an allegation of sexual misconduct or any other alleged policy violation that was investigated and adjudicated under this policy; (b) the determination and the outcome of any disciplinary or other action taken arising out of an allegation of any other policy violation investigated and adjudicated under this policy; (c) The university’s procedures for complainants and respondents to appeal the decision and/or discipline and/or actions imposed, if applicable; (d) any change to the results of a disciplinary process that occurs prior to the time that such results become final; and (e) when such results become final.

The university strives to treat all the parties involved in a sexual misconduct incident in a fair and equitable manner. Accordingly, the university strives to provide the parties with the following:

Rights of Complainants

Individuals whose complaints of sexual misconduct are being investigated and adjudicated by the university can anticipate that:

  • They will be treated with sensitivity, dignity, respect, and in an unbiased manner by all involved administrators, investigators, and adjudicators.
  • They will determine when to repeat a description of the sexual misconduct incident.
  • They will be informed in writing that their complaint is being investigated, and of any other related policy violations being explored through this investigation.
  • They will be provided with written notification of the university’s Sexual Misconduct Policy, which includes notification to students and employees about existing counseling, health, mental health, victim advocacy, legal assistance, visa and immigration assistance, student financial aid services, and other services available for complainants, both on campus and in the community, and which also includes notification of options for, and available assistance in, changing academic, living, transportation, and working situations or protective measures if so requested by the complainant and if such accommodations are reasonably available, regardless of whether the complainant chooses to report a crime to campus public safety or law enforcement.
  • They will be afforded the same rights and opportunities as the respondent throughout the investigation and adjudication process.
  • They will be given periodic status updates throughout the investigation and adjudication process.
  • They may access the university and/or external resources for fair and respectful medical and counseling services at any time.
  • They may choose to pursue a formal complaint with external law enforcement authorities or other federal or state agencies at any time, or they may decline to do so.
  • They may be accompanied by an adviser of their choice to any meeting, interview or proceeding that they are attending regarding the investigation and adjudication process. 
  • If the respondent has a right to appeal the result under applicable university policies, the complainant will have the same right. Written of any applicable appeal procedures will be provided to the respondent at the time the respondent receives notice of the result.  
  • If the respondent has a right to appeal the result under applicable university policies, the complainant will have the same right. The complainant will receive written of any applicable appeal procedures at the time the complainant receives notice of the result.
  • They may retain legal counsel at any time. An attorney who wishes to communicate with the university about a case may contact the university’s general counsel directly. An attorney who is asked to serve as an adviser during this process is subject to the same restrictions applicable to all advisers. 

Rights of Respondents

  • Individuals responding to complaints of sexual misconduct that are being investigated and adjudicated by the university can anticipate that:
  • They will be treated with sensitivity, dignity, respect and in an unbiased manner by all involved administrators, investigators, and adjudicators.
  • They will be informed in writing that a complaint of sexual misconduct against them is being investigated, and of any other related policy violations being explored through this investigation.
  • They will be advised of the university’s Sexual Misconduct Policy.
  • They will be afforded the same rights and opportunities as the complainant throughout the investigation and adjudication process.
  • They will be given periodic status updates throughout the investigation and adjudication process.
  • They may access university and/or external resources for medical and counseling services at any time.
  • They may be accompanied by an adviser of their choice to any meeting, interview, or proceeding that they are attending regarding the investigation and adjudication process.
  • They will be informed in writing, simultaneously with the complainant, of:
    • the adjudication result, to the extent permitted by law;
    • any applicable procedures to appeal the result of the university’s disciplinary proceedings, to the extent they are available;
    • any change to the result following an appeal; and
    • when such results become final.
  • If the complainant has a right to appeal the result under applicable university policies, the respondent will have the same right.  Written notice of any applicable appeal procedures will be provided to the respondent at the time the respondent receives notice of the result. 
  • They may retain legal counsel at any time. An attorney who wishes to communicate about a case with the university may contact the university’s general counsel directly. An attorney who is asked to serve as an adviser during this process is subject to the same restrictions applicable to all advisers.

 

Interim Measures may include, but are not limited to:

  • No Contact Orders restricting encounters and communications between the parties during the course of the investigation and disciplinary proceeding;
  • Academic accommodations, including but not limited to deadline extensions, incompletes, course changes or late drops, or other arrangements as appropriate;
  • Residential accommodations, including but not limited to arranging for new housing, or providing temporary housing options, as appropriate;
  • Changing transportation or working arrangements or providing other employment accommodations, as appropriate;
  • Assisting the individual in accessing support services, including, as available, victim advocacy, academic support, counseling, disability, health or mental health services, visa and immigration assistance, student financial aid services, and legal assistance
  • Informing the individual of the right to report a crime to local law enforcement and/or seek orders of protection, restraining orders, or relief from abuse orders from United States courts or courts outside of the United States as applicable, and providing assistance if the individual wishes to do so. Referral to counseling and health services
  • Referral to the Employee Assistance Program
  • Education to the community
  • Providing campus escorts

An individual does not need to report sexual misconduct to law enforcement in order to receive support services from the university.

Sanctions:

Student Sanctions

  1. Oral Reprimand: An oral statement to a student that he or she is violating or has violated institutional rules. No reprimand shall be entered as a permanent part of the student’s record unless issued by the appropriate accountability body.
  2. Written Reprimand: Notice in writing that continuation or repetition of inappropriate conduct within a period of time stated in the warning may be cause for more severe disciplinary action.
  3. Forced Change of Residency: A requirement that the student move from one residence hall area to another.
  4. Removal From Campus Housing: A requirement that the student vacate campus housing by a designated time.
  5. No Contact Orders: Restricting encounters and communications between the parties after the investigation and disciplinary proceeding;
  6. Trespass Warning: The student is prohibited from visiting or returning to a part or all of any designated area of campus. If the student returns, he/she is subject to arrest and additional action.
  7. Fines: An appropriate fine may be levied for policy violations or damages incurred.
  8. Restitution: A restitution order may be entered requiring the student to reimburse the complainant or university for any loss as a result of the student’s sexual misconduct violation.
  9. Campus Work: The student may be required to participate in educational programs or projects may be assigned.
  10. Loss of Privileges: The student may be denied access to campus technology, recreational facilities, etc.
  11. Disciplinary Probation: The student may be excluded from participation in privileged or extracurricular university activities as set forth in the notice of probation.
  12. Interim Suspension: The student may be temporarily suspended by an official of the university for a designated period of time. Students who are placed on interim suspension are judged to be disruptive in conduct to the educational mission and/or pose a substantial threat to the health or safety of themselves or others. An interim suspension is made pending a hearing on the alleged offense.
  13. Deferred Suspension: Students are suspended but are allowed to continue as a student under specific conditions as outlined by the Office of Residence Life and agreed upon by the student.
  14. Suspension: The student is excluded from classes and other privileges or activities or from the university, as set forth in the notice of suspension, for a definite period of time.
  15. Expulsion: The student’s status as a student is terminated for an indefinite period of time. The following sanctions may be imposed upon any member of the university community found to have violated this policy.
  16. Withholding Diploma: A student’s diploma may be withheld for a specified period of time.
  17. Revocation of Degree: A student’s degree may be revoked by the university.

Employee Sanctions

  1. Warning – Written or Verbal
  2. Performance Improvement Plan
  3. Required Counseling
  4. Required Training or Education
  5. Demotion
  6. Loss of Pay Increase
  7. Suspension Without Pay
  8. Suspension With Pay
  9. Revocation of Tenure
  10. Termination

Members of the university community who believe they have been subject to criminal sexual misconduct by a stranger or by someone they know (or who believe that another crime has occurred) are strongly encouraged to notify Campus Safety on the Winona Campus, Campus Security on the Twin Cities Campus and/or local law enforcement authorities immediately so that the alleged assailant can be apprehended if still in the area and so that law enforcement is able to gather evidence. Time is a critical factor for evidence collection and preservation. 

Campus Safety on the Winona Campus and Campus Security on the Twin Cities Campus are available to assist a complainant who wants to make a report to law enforcement. If a student or employee wishes to make a report of sexual misconduct to the local police or wishes to file a complaint of sexual misconduct with the local police, the student or employee should contact Campus Safety (Winona Campus) or Campus Security (Twin Cities Campus). Personnel in those offices will assist the student or employee in making contact with the local police. Staff members are available to accompany the student or employee to meetings with the local police if the student or employee so desires. In addition, Campus Safety on the Winona Campus, Campus Security on the Twin Cities Campus, or local law enforcement can ensure that the individual has access to appropriate medical treatment and tests, crisis counseling, information, and other support services.

Law Enforcement Contact Information

Winona Law Enforcement Center
Non-emergency: 454-6I00
TDD/voice: 452-2382
Emergency: 911
612-335-4040

City of Minneapolis Police Department
Non-emergency: 311
TDD/voice: 612-673-3383
Emergency: 911

City of Rochester Police Department:
Non-emergency: 507-328-6800
Emergency: 911

City of Apple Valley Police Department:
Non-emergency: 952-322-2323
Emergency: 911

City of Oakdale Police Department:
Non-emergency and Emergency: 911

The university strictly prohibits retaliation against any person who complains in good faith of a sexual misconduct policy violation. In addition, the university strictly prohibits retaliation against any respondent. Finally, the university strictly prohibits retaliation against any person because of their good faith involvement in an investigation or hearing as part of the complaint process.  Encouraging others to retaliate also violates this policy. The interim measures outlined herein are not considered retaliation.

Retaliation is any materially adverse action, or threat thereof, against an individual because of the individual's good faith report or complaint of a potential policy violation or his/her good faith participation in an investigation or hearing. Retaliatory acts may include, but are not limited to: adverse changes in employment status or opportunities; adverse academic action; adverse changes to academic, educational, and extracurricular opportunities; harassment; intimidation; acts or comments intended to embarrass the individual; and seeking out or attempting to discover the parties and witnesses involved in a report or complaint process for the purpose of influencing their participation or testimony or taking adverse action against them. Retaliatory conduct by university community members and third-parties is prohibited regardless of whether it occurs on or off campus, in person, or through social media, email, or other form of communication. Retaliation by organizations affiliated with either the complainant or the respondent is also prohibited.

Any retaliation should be reported to the Title IX Coordinator immediately. The university cannot stop retaliation unless it knows about it.

Those who harass a witness, a complainant, or the respondent after a report is made will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.

Bystander Intervention is a social science model that predicts that most people are unlikely to help others in certain situations. A bystander is anyone who observes an emergency or a situation that looks like someone could use some help. They must then decide if they are comfortable stepping in and offering assistance.

Research has found that people tend to struggle with whether helping out is their responsibility and one of the major obstacles to intervention is something called diffusion of responsibility—which means that if several people are present, an individual is much less likely to step up and help out because he/she believes someone else will. Other major reasons that bystanders fail to intervene are that the situation is too ambiguous, that the bystander is worried about misjudging the situation and thus will be embarrassed by intervening, or that the bystander believes the victim is in some way responsible for the situation and is thus, getting what they deserve.

Saint Mary's University Student-Athlete Advisory Committee "It's On Us" video

"It's On Us" website

Bystander pledge

  • Approach everyone as a friend
  • Do not be antagonistic
  • Avoid using violence
  • Be honest and direct whenever possible
  • Recruit help if necessary
  • Keep yourself safe
  • If things get out of hand or become too serious, contact the police

Possible bystander interventions in a situation potentially involving sexual assault, relationship violence, stalking, or cyberstalking

  • Step in and separate the two people. Let them know your concerns and reasons for intervening. Be a friend and let them know you are acting in their best interest. Make sure each person makes it home safely.
  • Use a distraction to redirect the focus somewhere else: “Hey, I need to talk to you.” or “Hey, this party is lame. Let’s go somewhere else.”
  • Evaluate the situation and people involved to determine your best move. You could directly intervene yourself, or alert friends of each person to come in and help. If the person reacts badly, try a different approach.
  • Recruit the help of friends of both people to step in as a group.
  • Divert the attention of one person away from the other person. Have someone standing by to redirect the other person’s focus. Commit a party foul (i.e. spilling your drink) if you need to.

Extreme jealousy
Jealousy is a sign of insecurity and lack of trust, but the abuser will say that it is a sign of love. The abuser will question the victim about who they talk to, accuse them of flirting, or be jealous of time spent with their friends, family, or children. The abuser may refuse to let the victim work or go to school for fear of meeting someone else. The abuser may call the victim frequently or drop by unexpectedly. The abuser may accuse the victim of flirting with someone else or having an affair.

Controlling behavior
One partner completely rules the relationship and makes the decisions. This includes “checking up” on the victim, timing a victim when they leave the house, checking the odometer on the car, questioning the victim about where they go. They may also check the victim’s cell phone for call history, their email or website history. The abuser may control the finances and tries to tell the victim how to dress, who to talk to, and where to go.

Quick involvement
The abuser comes on strong at the beginning of the relationship, pressuring for a commitment and claims “Love at first sight” or “You’re the only person I could ever talk to,” or “I never met anyone like you before.” Often, in the beginning of a relationship, the abuser is very charming and romantic and the love is intense.

Unrealistic expectations
Abusers expect their partners to meet all their needs and be “perfect." They may say things like “If you love me, then I’m all you need.”

Isolation
The abuser tries to keep the victim from friends and family by putting down everyone the victim knows, including their family and friends. They may keep the victim from going to work or school.

Blames others for their problems and feelings
The abuser does not take responsibility for their problems, blaming others (usually the victim) for almost everything (“you made me mad”).

Hypersensitivity
An abuser is easily insulted and takes everything as a personal attack and blows things out of proportion.

Cruelty to animals or children
The abuser may punish animals brutally or be insensitive to their pain. They may have unfair expectations of children or tease them until they cry.

Verbal abuse
The abuser says cruel and harmful things to their victim, degrades them, curses at them, calls them names, or puts down their accomplishments. The abuser tells their victims they are stupid, and unable to function without them. They embarrass and put down the victim in front of others as well.

Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde
The abuser experiences severe mood swings and the victim may think the abuser has a mental health problem. One minute they can be charming and sweet and the next minute they become angry and explosive. Explosiveness and moodiness are typical of people who beat their partners.

Past battering
The abuser has a history of past battering of partners and although they may admit to that, they say their previous partner provoked them to do it. A batterer will beat any partner they are with if the person is with them long enough for the violence to begin; situational circumstances do not cause a person to have an abusive relationship.

Threats of violence
This includes any threat or physical force meant to control the victim: “I’ll kill you,” “I’ll break your neck,” “If you ever leave, I’ll kill you.”

Breaking or striking objects
This behavior is used as a punishment (breaking treasured possessions), but is mostly used to terrorize the victim into submission. The abuser may break or strike objects near the victim to frighten them.

Any force during an argument
The abuser may hold the victim down, restrain them from leaving the room, may push, shove, or hold them against a wall.

Students or employees may contact the crisis hotline for a referral to local mental health agencies

First Call for Help
211

Winona Campus students or employees may contact the Women's Resource Center for information, referrals, and advocates for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault (Sexual Assault Crisis Center)

77 East Fifth Street
Winona, MN 55987
507-452-4440
507-452-4453 (24-hour hotline)

Twin Cities Campus, Apple Valley Center, and Oakdale Center students or employees may contact the following agencies for information, referrals, and advocates for victims of sexual assault:

Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault
651-209-9993      

Sexual Violence Center
612-871-5100 (business)
612-871-5111 (crisis line)

Hennepin County Medical Center
612-871-5111 (24-hour hotline)
612-873-5832 (office)

Rape and Sexual Abuse Center
612-825-4357 (24-hour hotline)
612-374-9077 (office)  

SOS Sexual Violence Services of Ramsey County

651-266-1000 (24-hour hotline)

Sexual Assault Resource Center - Washington County
503-640-5311 (24-hour hotline)

360 Communities (Dakota County)
952-985-5300 (24-hour hotline)

Rochester Center students or employees may contact the following agencies for information, referrals, and advocates for victims of sexual assault:

Dodge, Filmore & Olmstead Counties Victim Service
507-289-0636 (24-hour hotline)
507-328-7270 (office)

Any student or employee who has been sexually assaulted may call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-HOPE. By calling this number, you will be automatically connected to your closest rape crisis center.

Twin Cities Campus, Apple Valley Center, and Oakdale Center students or employees may contact the following agencies for information, referrals, and advocates for victims of dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking:

Domestic Violence Project
Dap First call
612-874-7063 (10:00 a.m.–4 p.m. Monday–Friday)

Hennepin County Domestic Abuse Center
612-348-5073

Day One (dayoneservices.org)
866-223-1111 (24-hour hotline)

MN Domestic Violence Crisis Line
866-223-1111 (24-hour hotline)

Bridges to Safety (Ramsey County)
651-266-9901 (Monday–Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.)

Lewis House (Dakota County)
651-452-7288

Rochester Center students or employees may contact the following agencies for information, referrals, and advocates for victims of dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking:

Women’s Shelter, Inc.
507-285-1010 (crisis line)
507-285-1938 (office)

https://www.notalone.gov/
Information for students, schools, and anyone interested in finding resources on how to respond to and prevent sexual assault

https://www.whitehouse.gov/1is2many
Resources from the White House on sexual assault

https://rainn.org/get-information/links
Resources for rape, abuse, and incest survivors

http://www.nrcdv.org/
Resources of domestic violence

http://stepupprogram.org/
Bystander intervention resources

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGoWLWS4-kU
Consent.  It’s as simple as tea

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/early-lead/wp/2016/06/04/you-took-away-my-worth-a-rape-victim-delivers-powerful-message-to-a-former-stanford-swimmer/?wpisrc=nl_az_most
A sexual assault victim's message to her attacker.

http://www.mncasa.org/
Resources for victims/survivors of sexual violence.

Title IX Coordinator

Ann E. Merchlewitz
Heffron Hall Executive Office
amerchle@smumn.edu
507-457-1587

The Title IX Coordinator is the official from the university who has been appointed by the university to address issues of gender-based discrimination and sexual misconduct. The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for general oversight of issues related to sexual misconduct and sex discrimination, helps to process complaints of sexual misconduct and sex discrimination, and assists with general education and compliance efforts.

Senior Women's Administrator

Nicole Fennern
nfennern@smumn.edu
507-457-1638

The Senior Woman Administrator (SWA) is the highest ranking female in each NCAA athletic department. The designation of SWA is intended to encourage and promote the involvement of female administrators in meaningful ways in the decision-making process in intercollegiate athletics. The designation is intended to enhance representation of female experience and perspective at the institutional, conference and national levels and support women’s interests. Her daily responsibilities can include any department tasks and must include senior management team responsibilities.