This procedure details the informal and formal process for resolving complaints and grievances involving a student and a school employee.
Step A: Informal Process
If a problem exists involving a student and a college employee, the student should seek to resolve the problem by discussing the situation with the college employee. The student is encouraged to put their concerns in writing, identify the issue, identify possible options for resolution, and ask the employee to meet with them at a time when they can both provide the issue full attention. If the student is not comfortable speaking with the employee by themselves, they are encouraged to reach out to the supervisor of the employee for assistance in arranging and facilitating a conversation. If this does not resolve the issue, or this approach is not feasible in the particular situation, the student may refer the issue to the cabinet member who oversees the employee.
Step B Formal Process:
If the problem cannot be resolved through the informal process, the student may submit a grievance, in writing, to the cabinet member who oversees the employee. All grievances must be submitted in writing on the Student Grievance Form (PDF) which is available through the Student Affairs office. The aggrieved student should submit the completed grievance form to the cabinet member within 30 business days of the occurrence of the event on which the complaint is based. The cabinet member will review the complaint, meet with involved parties, and render a decision in the matter. The decision of the cabinet member is final, only with exceptions as described below.
Cabinet members include:
- College President
- Vice President of Academic Affairs
- Vice President of Student Affairs
- Vice President of Finance and Administration
- Director of Human Resources
Appeals to the Chancellor
A student may appeal the college's final decision to the chancellor if the grievance involves a board policy, system procedure, the actions of a college or university president, an issue of institutional or program quality such as a college's or university's compliance with the standards of an accrediting or licensing agency, or a claim of consumer fraud or deceptive trade practice. The decision of the chancellor is final and binding.
No retaliation of any kind shall be taken against a student for participation in a complaint or grievance. These procedures also shall protect student and employee data privacy rights. This grievance procedure does not prohibit the student from filing a grievance with any of the appropriate federal, state or local departments of human rights, in addition to or instead of the college process. However, students are encouraged to use the formal procedure above.
Section 113 - Student Code of Conduct Procedure
Section A: Sanctions
Warning - A warning is an oral or written notice to students that their conduct has been inappropriate. The warning will note that future violations may result in more serious sanctions. A verbal warning will always be followed up with a written summary of the warning to the student. The written warning or summary will be placed in the student’s record.
Probation – A probation period is a specified period of time during which students will have an opportunity to remediate their behavior. Students may be restricted from participation in college classes or activities. Additionally, students may be required to complete specific actions during the probationary period.
Summary Suspension - A suspension, not to exceed nine (9) school days, imposed without an informal process or formal hearing to ensure the safety and well-being of members of the College community. Notice of the summary suspension must be provided in writing to the student.
Suspension - Denial of the privilege of enrollment for a specified period of time after which the student is eligible to return. Conditions for re-admission may be specified. Notations of suspensions must be posted on transcripts in accordance with System Procedure 3.29.1.
Expulsion - Permanent denial of the privilege of enrollment. Notations of expulsion must be posted on transcripts in accordance with System Procedure 3.29.1.
Section B: Investigation and Informal Process
Any member of the college community may file a written complaint alleging that a student or organization has violated student conduct proscriptions. Persons filing complaints shall be informed of their rights under the Minnesota Statute 13.04, subdivision 2 and be provided with information about the process and the anticipated timeline of the investigation. Following the filing of a complaint against a student, the person responsible for administering the code (in this policy, referred to as the “administrator”) shall conduct an investigation of the charges. The college’s process shall include the following:
- If the complaint seems unwarranted, the administrator may discontinue proceedings. The administrator will document their decision to discontinue proceedings and shall send a letter that explains that to the complainant.
- If there is sufficient evidence to support the complaint, the administrator shall offer the accused student an opportunity to resolve the alleged violation at an informal meeting. No less than two business days prior to this informal meeting, the student shall be given oral or written notice of the charges against them and of the evidence to support the charge, and directed to the code of conduct for their review. The student will be given the option to waive the two-day notice period in order to hold the informal meeting sooner. During the informal meeting the administrator shall review the complaint and the evidence with the student and allow the student to present a defense against the complaint. Within a reasonable time period following the informal meeting, the administrator shall inform the accused student in writing of their decision whether a violation of the code was established by a preponderance of evidence and any applicable sanction as well as options available for an appeal and/or a formal hearing.
- A student who is subject to a sanction of expulsion or suspension, except summary suspension, for more than nine days may agree to accept the sanction, or may request, in writing within two business days of delivery of the decision, a formal hearing prior to the implementation of the sanction. . Other sanctions must be accepted or may be appealed in accordance with the college’s appeal procedures.
- If the accused student fails to appear for the informal hearing, the administrator may proceed to review and act upon the complaint in their absence and shall notify the student in writing ofwhether a violation of the student code of conduct was established by a preponderance of evidence and any applicable sanctions as well as options available for an appeal and/or a formal hearing. The complainant must receive notification consistent with state and federal privacy laws.
Section C: Formal Hearing and Due Process Rights
- The College will select the formal hearing panel. The panel will consist minimally of a faculty member and a student affairs staff member. A college administrator, selected by the college president, will facilitate the proceedings. The administrator will not participate in the deliberations or decision making of the panel.
- Students referred for a formal hearing will be notified in writing at least two (2) school days prior to the hearing of the time, place, and date of the formal hearing. The student’s failure to appear at the hearing will not prevent the hearing from proceeding as scheduled.
- Within a reasonable time prior to the hearing, the student will be notified in writing of the charges, the evidence to be presented, a list of witnesses, and the nature of their testimony.
- The student shall be given the opportunity to speak in their own defense, to present witnesses, to question any witnesses and to have an advocate present. The advocate may provide advice to the student, but may not participate in any questioning or presentation of information. When there is likelihood that a student involved in conduct proceedings will face criminal prosecution for a serious offense, it may be advisable for the student to have an attorney as advocate.
- A written notice of findings and conclusions will be provided to the student within ten (10) school days after the hearing. The notice will inform the student of any sanctions to be imposed. The notice shall also contain information regarding any applicable appeal process.
- The complainant must receive notification of process outcomes consistent with state and federal privacy laws.
In certain circumstances, a summary suspension may be imposed prior to an informal or formal proceedings. A summary suspension may be imposed only when the accused student's presence on the college or university campus would constitute a threat to the safety and well-being of members of the campus community. To the greatest extent possible before implementing the summary suspension, the accused student must be given oral or written notice of the intent to impose summary suspension and must be given an opportunity to present oral or written arguments against the imposition of the suspension. However, the refusal of a student to accept or acknowledge this notice must not prevent the implementation of a summary suspension. Notice of the summary suspension must be provided in writing to the student. After the student has been summarily suspended, the student must be provided an opportunity for an informal process or formal hearing within the shortest reasonable time period, not to exceed nine (9) school or business days. During the summary suspension, the student may not enter the campus or participate in any college or university activities without obtaining prior permission from the administrator.
Section D: Appeal
The student has the right to appeal the sanction at the end of the conduct process in writing, to the college president or designee within ten (10) school days following the conclusion of the conduct process. The president or designee will have ten (10) school days to respond to the appeal.
Students have the right to appeal the college president's decision to an administrative law judge at the Office of Administrative Hearings. The administrative law judge will conduct a hearing and make a recommendation regarding sanction to the MN State chancellor or designee. The decision of the chancellor or designee will be final.
Section 123: Access to Student Records Procedure
Access by Student
Upon written request, the College shall provide a student with access to their education records, unless limited by law. All students at a college have the same rights regarding their education records irrespective of age.
There is no charge for viewing the records even if the college is required to make a copy for the record in order to provide access. Responses to requests by students to review their education records shall be immediate, if possible, or within ten business days.
Upon request, the meaning of their education record shall be explained to the student by Southeast l personnel assigned to, and designated by, the appropriate office.
Students have the right to review only their own records. When a record contains private information about other individual(s), disclosure cannot include information regarding the other individual(s). A student does not have access to financial information and statements of the student’s parents or any information contained therein.
A student may gain access to their educational records in writing. Requests should be directed as follows:
- Accounting Supervisor
- Director of Financial Aid
Students do not have access to confidential letters or statements of recommendation placed in education records before January 1, 1975 or after January 1, 1975 if the student waived his/her right of access as permitted by law.
Consent for Release to Third Parties Generally Required
The College will not disclose or release to a third party personally identifiable information from education records without the prior written consent of the subject student except as authorized by law.
To be valid, a written consent for the disclosure of education records must: 1) specify the records to be disclosed; 2) state the purpose of the disclosure; 3) identify the party or class of parties to whom the disclosure may be made; and 4) be signed and dated by the student. If the disclosure is to an insurer or its representative, the release must also include an expiration date no later than one year from the original authorization, or two years for a life insurance application. If the student requests, the school shall provide them with a copy of the records released pursuant to the consent. A consent to release education records is available in the Student Affairs Office.
Release Without Consent
As required or permitted by law, the College will release personally identifiable information in an education record without consent as follows:
- to college school officials who have been determined to have a legitimate educational interest in the records; Note: Southeast has defined school official as: a person employed by the College in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel); a person or company with whom the College has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a trustee of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities; or a student serving on an official committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate education interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her official responsibilities.
- to federal, state, or local officials or agencies authorized by law, including, but not limited to authorized representative of: The Comptroller General of the United States; the Attorney General of the United States; the Secretary of the United States Department of Education; or state and local educational authorities;
- in connection with a student’s application for, or receipt of, financial aid;
- to accrediting organizations or organizations conducting educational studies, provided that these organizations do not release personally identifiable data and destroy such data when it is no longer needed for the purpose it was obtained;
- upon adequate proof, to the parents of a dependent student as defined in section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954;
- in compliance with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena, provided a reasonable effort is made to notify the student in advance unless such subpoena is a Federal grand jury subpoena or other subpoena issued for a law enforcement purpose and the court or issuing agency specifically directs the institution not to disclose the existence of a subpoena;
- to appropriate persons in an emergency situation if the information in necessary to protect the health or safety of the students or other persons; the information has been designated by the college as “Directory Information” and the student has not exercised their rights of non-disclosure;
- the information is the final result of the alleged student perpetrator’s disciplinary proceeding to an alleged victim of a crime of violence (as defined in 18 U.S.C. Sect 16) or non-forcible sex offense; or
- the information is the final result of a disciplinary hearing finding that a student has violated the college’s rules or policies by conduct defined as a crime of violence in 18 U.S.C. Sec 16, or non-forcible sex offense, and the final results were reached on or after October 7, 1998.
- If you are currently enrolled in, receiving services, seek or intend to enroll at a college or university within the Minnesota State College and University System, your academic records from that institution are available to officials of other schools within the System while you are in attendance. Disclosures of your records to other schools under other circumstances require your prior written consent.
The College will inform a third party to whom personally identifiable information is released of the applicable limitations on re-disclosure. If the institution discovers that a third party who has received student records from the institution has released or failed to destroy such records in violation of such limitations, it will prohibit access to education records for five (5) years.
Record of Requests for Disclosure
Where required by law, a record of requests for disclosure and such disclosure of personally identifiable information from student education records shall be maintained by MSC Southeast for each student and will be also made available for inspection pursuant to this policy. Records of requests for disclosure no longer subject to audit or under active request for access will be maintained according to the applicable records retention policy.
Directory Information Procedure
The following information on students at Southeast is designated as Directory Information, which is public data accessible to the public upon request pursuant to Minn. Stat. Sect. 13.03:
- student’s name
- major field of study
- participation in officially recognized activities and sports
- dates of attendance
- degrees and awards received
- date of graduation
Because Directory Information is considered public, Minnesota State College Southeast will release such information to anyone upon request except for the Directory Information of students who have requested suppression. Students who wish to suppress their Directory Information must submit a written request by completing an Authorization to Withhold Directory Information form, which will remain in effect until a change is requested in writing. This form can be picked up in Student Affairs or found on our college website at: http://www.southeastmn.edu/current_student/forms/index.aspx
Students who wish to restrict their names should realize that their names will not appear in the President's List, commencement bulletin and other Minnesota State Southeast College publications. Also, third parties will be denied all of the student's Directory Information and will be informed that there is no information available about the student's attendance at Minnesota State College Southeast. Students who wish to override a suppression request for a specific party or purpose may do so by providing a written authorization to the Registrar's Office.
Minnesota State College Southeast designates the following information as Limited Directory Information. These are defined as Limited Directory Information for enterprise technology related purposes internal to the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system that are approved by the System Office IT, including but not limited to inclusion of email addresses and StarID numbers in a directory accessible to Minnesota State students and employees.
- Student email addresses
- Student StarID numbers
Notice to Students About Directory Information
Students may direct that the above-listed Directory Information be withheld from public disclosure by notifying the Office of the Registrar in writing by the fifth day of your starting semester. The Authorization to Withhold Directory Information Form is valid until a written request to rescind is received in the Office of Registrar. Students who request suppression of their Directory Information will also be deemed to have requested suppression of their Limited Directory Information.
Challenge of Record Procedure
Students may challenge the accuracy or completeness of their education records. Note: the right to challenge a grade does not apply under this policy unless the grade assigned was allegedly inaccurately recorded. Students may challenge a grade within one academic term after the grade has been posted to their official transcript.
The student may discuss his or her problems informally with the college Registrar. If agreement is reached with respect to the student’s request, the appropriate records will be amended, and a reasonable attempt will be made to notify past recipients of inaccurate or incomplete data, including recipients named by student. If not, the student will be notified within a reasonable period of time that the records will not be amended, and will be informed by the Registrar
Student requests for a formal hearing must be made in writing to the Minnesota Commissioner of Administration within 60 days of receiving the decision. The request must bey directed to: Commissioner of Administration, State of Minnesota, 50 Sherburne Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55155, who, within a reasonable period of time after receiving the request, will inform the student of the date, place and the time of the hearing. The hearing will be conducted by the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) and according to the procedures set forth in Minn. Stat. Chapter 14. Students may present evidence relevant to the issues raised and may be assisted or represented at the hearings by one or more persons of their choice, including attorneys, at the student’s expense.
Decisions of the hearing officer will be based solely on the evidence presented at the hearing, will consist of the written statements summarizing the evidence and stating the reasons for the decisions, and will be delivered to all parties concerned.
The education records will be corrected or amended in accordance with the decision of OAH if the decision is in favor of the student. If the decision is unsatisfactory to the student, the student may place with the education records statements commenting on the information in the records or statements setting forth any reasons for disagreeing with the decision of the hearing officer, or both. The statements will be placed in and maintained as part of the student’s educational records, and released whenever the records in questions are disclosed.
Students may have copies of their education records and this policy upon request. There will be a fee for copies of records and transcripts, at the student’s expense.
Copies of academic records or transcripts will not be released for students who have a delinquent financial obligation or financial “hold” at the college, unless otherwise required by law.
Complaints regarding alleged failures to comply with the provisions of FERPA may be submitted in writing to the Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 600 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, D.C. 20202-4605.
Complaints may also be submitted to the following designated college official.
Complaints about compliance with the MGDPA may be brought to the college Data Practices Compliance Official, Maryellen Kanz, Director of Human Resources., or to the Minnesota Commissioner of Administration.
Section 125: Veterans' Responsibility: Training Credits Procedures and Guidelines
To request Veteran's Educational Benefits:
- Student brings the Certification of Eligibility to a Veteran's representative on campus.
- If the student has attended another institution, the college will require an academic transcript from each college attended.
- The college will verify with the Veterans Affairs Office the number of credits the student takes each semester.
- It is the student’s responsibility to inform the Veterans Affairs Office or the Veteran’s representative at the school if they withdraw from any courses during the semester.
- The College may grant credit for military and other training/education that is relevant to the Southeast program curriculum. However, the subsequent reduction in credit hours may result in a reduction in the amount of the monthly check.
Satisfactory Progress Requirements
- In order to remain eligible for veteran's educational benefits, veterans are subject to College Satisfactory Academic Progress standards.
- With some exceptions, a veteran who withdraws from the college during any given term will be required to repay benefits received from the Veterans Administration for the days in which the veteran was officially enrolled in that term. Veterans should clarify with the college veteran's representative their status regarding withdrawal.
Section 138 - Procedure 1B.3.1 Sexual Violence Procedure
Part 1. Procedure objective. This procedure is designed to further implement Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board Policy 1B.3 prohibiting sexual violence. This procedure provides a process through which individuals alleging sexual violence may pursue a complaint.
This procedure is intended to protect the rights and privacy of both the complainant and respondent and other involved individuals, as well as to prevent retaliation and reprisal.
Part 2. Definitions.
Policy definitions. The definitions in Policy 1B.3 also apply to this procedure.
Campus security authority. Campus security authority includes the following categories of individuals at a college or university:
- A college or university security department;
- Other individuals who have campus security responsibilities in addition to a college or university security department;
- Any individual or organization identified in a college or university security policy as an individual or organization to which students and employees should report criminal offenses;
- An official of a college or university who has significant responsibility for student and campus activities, including, but not limited to, student housing, student discipline, and campus judicial proceedings; advisors to recognized student organizations, and athletic coaches. Professional counselors, whose official responsibilities include providing mental health counseling, and who are functioning within the scope of their license or certification are not included in this definition.
Part 3. Reporting incidents of sexual violence.
Subpart A. Prompt reporting encouraged. Complainants of sexual violence may report incidents at any time, but are strongly encouraged to make reports promptly in order to best preserve evidence for a potential legal or disciplinary proceeding.
Complainants are strongly encouraged to report incidents of sexual violence to law enforcement for the location where the incident occurred. Complainants are also encouraged to contact the local victim/survivor services office, counseling and health care providers, and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities campus security authorities for appropriate action.
Subpart B. Assistance in reporting. When informed of an alleged incident of sexual violence, all Southeast students and employees are urged to encourage and assist complainants, as needed, to report the incident to local law enforcement, local victim/survivor services and campus security authorities.
Campus security authorities, when informed of an alleged incident of sexual violence, shall promptly assist the complainant, including providing guidance in filing complaints with outside agencies including law enforcement; obtaining appropriate assistance from victim/survivor services or medical treatment professionals; and filing a complaint with campus officials responsible for enforcing the student conduct code or employee conduct standards.
When appropriate, Southeast may pursue legal action against a respondent, including, but not limited to, trespass or restraining orders, in addition to disciplinary action under the applicable student or employee conduct standard. The College may take actions it deems necessary or appropriate in response to all protection, restraining, or no-contact orders.
Part 4. Confidentiality of reporting.
Subpart A. Confidential reports. Because of laws concerning government data contained in Minnesota Statutes §13, the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act, colleges and universities cannot guarantee confidentiality to those who report incidents of sexual violence except where those reports are privileged communications with licensed health care professionals. Some off-campus reports also may be legally privileged by law, such as reports to clergy, private legal counsel, or health care professionals.
Subpart B. Reports to campus security authorities. Complainants of sexual violence may contact any campus security authority for appropriate assistance or to report incidents. Absolute confidentiality of reports made to campus security authorities cannot be promised. However, campus security authorities shall not disclose personally identifiable information about a complainant of sexual violence without the complainant's consent except as may be required or permitted by law. There may be instances in which The College determines it needs to act regardless of whether the parties have reached a personal resolution or if the complainant requests that no action be taken. In such instances, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities will investigate and take appropriate action, taking care to protect the identity of the complainant and any other reporter in accordance with this procedure.
Subpart C. Required Reports. Any campus security authority or any college or university employee with supervisory or student-advising responsibility who has been informed of an alleged incident of sexual violence shall follow college or university procedures for making a report for the annual crime statistics report. In addition, the campus security authority shall report to other school officials, as appropriate, such as the campus affirmative action office, the campus office responsible for administering the student conduct code, and/or the designated Title IX compliance coordinator, in order to initiate any applicable investigative or other resolution procedures.
Campus security authorities may be obligated to report to law enforcement the fact that a sexual assault has occurred, but the name or other personally identifiable information about the complainant will be provided only with the consent of the complainant, except as may be required or permitted by law.
Part 5. Policy notices.
Subpart A. Distribution of policy to students. The College shall, at a minimum, at the time of registration make available to each student information about its sexual violence policy and procedure, including its online reporting system that allows for anonymous reporting, and shall additionally post a copy of its policy and procedure at appropriate locations on campus at all times. The College may distribute its policy and procedure by posting on an Internet or Intranet Web site, provided all students are directly notified of how to access the policy by an exact address, and that they may request a paper copy.
Subpart B. Distribution of policy to employees. The College shall make available to all employees a copy of its sexual violence policy and procedure. Distribution may be accomplished by posting on an Internet or Intranet Web site, provided all employees are directly notified of the exact address of the policy and procedure and that they may receive a paper copy upon request.
Subpart C. Required Notice. The College shall have a sexual violence policy, which shall include the notice provisions in this part.
- Notice of complainant options. Following a report of sexual violence, the complainant shall be promptly notified of:
a. Where and how to obtain immediate medical assistance; complainants should be informed that timely reporting and a medical examination within 72 hours are critical in preserving evidence of sexual assault and proving a criminal or civil case against a perpetrator. Complainants should be told, however, that they may report incidents of sexual violence at any time.
b. Where and how to report incidents of sexual violence to local law enforcement officials, and/or appropriate College contacts for employees, students, and others. Such contacts should be identified by name, location and phone number for 24-hour availability, as applicable.
c. Resources for where and how complainants may obtain on- or off-campus counseling, mental health or other support services.
- Notice of complainant rights. Complainants shall be notified of the following:
a. Their right to file criminal charges with local law enforcement officials in sexual assault cases;
b. Rights under the crime victims bill of rights, Minnesota Statutes §611A.01 - 611A.06, including the right to assistance from the Crime Victims Reparations Board and the commissioner of public safety;
c. Availability of prompt assistance from campus officials, upon request, in notifying the appropriate campus investigating authorities and law enforcement officials, and, at the direction of law enforcement authorities, assistance in obtaining, securing and maintaining evidence in connection with a sexual violence incident;
d. Assistance available from campus authorities in preserving for a sexual violence complainant materials relating to a campus disciplinary proceeding;
e. That complaints of incidents of sexual violence made to campus security authorities shall be promptly and appropriately investigated and resolved;
f. Upon a sexual assault complainant's request, the college, university or system office may take action to prevent unwanted contact with the alleged assailant, including, but not limited to, transfer of the complainant and/or the respondent to alternative classes, or a work site or to alternative college-owned housing, if such alternatives are available and feasible.
g. Upon the request of the complainant, students who reported sexual assaults to the College and subsequently chose to transfer to another college or university will be provided with information about resources for victims of sexual assault at the college or university to which the complainant is transferring
Part 6. Investigation and disciplinary procedures.
Subpart A. Immediate action. The College, at any time during the report/complaint process, reassign or place on administrative leave an employee alleged to have violated Board Policy 1B.3, in accordance with the procedures in System Procedure 1B.1.1. Such action must be consistent with the applicable collective bargaining agreement or personnel plan.
The College may summarily suspend or take other temporary measures against a student alleged to have committed a violation of this Board Policy 1B.3, in accordance with System Procedure 1B.1.1 or Board Policy 3.6.
Subpart B. General Principles. The College shall use System Procedure 1B.1.1 Report/Complaint of Discrimination/Harassment Investigations and Resolution when investigating complaints of sexual violence. Procedures used in response to a complaint of sexual violence should avoid requiring complainants to follow any plan of action, to prevent the possibility of re-victimization.
The College investigation and disciplinary procedures concerning allegations of sexual violence against employees or students must:
- Be respectful of the needs and rights of individuals involved and treat them with dignity;
- Not suggest to the complainant that they were at fault for the sexual assault or should have behaved differently to prevent the assault;
- Proceed as promptly as possible;
- Permit a student complainant and a student respondent to have the same opportunity to have an appropriate support person or advisor present at any interview or hearing, in a manner consistent with the governing procedures and applicable data practices law;
- Afford employees the right to representation consistent with the appropriate collective bargaining agreement or personnel plan;
- Be conducted in accordance with applicable due process standards and privacy laws;
- Simultaneously Inform both the complainant and respondent of the outcome in a timely manner, as permitted by applicable privacy law.
- Be based on a preponderance of evidence standard, meaning that it is more likely than not that the policy, procedure, or code has been violated.
The past sexual history of the complainant and respondent shall be deemed irrelevant except as that history may directly relate to the incident being considered.
A respondent's use of any drug, including alcohol, judged to be related to an offense may be considered to be an exacerbating rather than mitigating circumstance.
Subpart C. Relationship to parallel proceedings. In general, The College investigation and disciplinary procedures for allegations of sexual violence will proceed independent of any action taken in criminal or civil courts. The College need not, and in most cases should not, delay its proceedings while a parallel legal action is on-going. If the college is aware of a criminal proceeding involving the alleged incident, they may contact the prosecuting authority to coordinate when feasible. Criminal or civil court proceedings are not a substitute for the College procedures.
Subpart D. Memorandum of understanding with local law enforcement. The College shall enter into a memorandum of understanding with the primary law enforcement agencies that serve their campus(es). Prior to the start of each academic year, each college or university shall distribute an electronic copy of the MOU to all employees on the campus that are subject to the memorandum. Colleges and universities are exempt from the MOU requirement if they and local or county law enforcement agencies establish a sexual assault protocol team to facilitate effective cooperation and collaboration between the college or university and law enforcement.
Subpart E. False statements prohibited. The College take allegations of sexual violence very seriously and recognizes the consequences such allegations may have on a respondent as well as the complainant. Any individual who knowingly provides false information regarding the filing of a complaint or report of sexual violence, or who provides false information during the investigation of such a complaint or report, or may be subject to discipline or under certain circumstances, legal action. Complaints of conduct that are found not to violate policy are not assumed to be false.
Subpart F. Withdrawn complaint. If a complainant no longer desires to pursue a complaint through the college proceeding, the college reserves the right to investigate and resolve the complaint as it deems appropriate.
Subpart G. Discretion to pursue certain allegations. Minnesota State College Southeast reserves discretion whether to pursue alleged violations of policy under appropriate circumstances, including, but not limited to, a determination that an effective investigation is not feasible because of the passage of time, or because the respondent is no longer a student or employee of the college or university.
Subpart I. Sanctions. Sanctions that may be imposed if a finding is made that sexual violence has occurred include, but are not limited to, suspension, expulsion of students or termination from employment for employees. The appropriate sanction will be determined on a case-by-case basis taking into account the severity of the conduct, the student's or employee's previous disciplinary history, and other factors as appropriate.
Witnesses or victims who report in good faith an incident of sexual violence will not be sanctioned by the college, university, or system office for admitting in the report to a violation of the student conduct policy on the use of alcohol or drugs.
Subpart J. Retaliation prohibited. Actions by a student or employee intended as retaliation, reprisal or intimidation against an individual for making a complaint or participating in any way in a report or investigation under this policy are prohibited and are subject to appropriate disciplinary action.
Part 7. Sexual violence prevention and education.
Subpart A. Campus-wide training. The College must include in their sexual violence policy a description of educational programs that they offer to students and employees to promote the awareness of sexual violence offenses, including sexual violence prevention measures and procedures for responding to incidents. Education shall emphasize the importance of preserving evidence for proof of a criminal offense, safe and positive options for bystander intervention, and information on risk reduction to recognize warning signs of abusive behavior and risk associated with the perpetration of sexual violence.
Subpart B. Other training and education. The College and affiliated student organizations are encouraged to develop educational programs, brochures, posters and other means of information to decrease the incidence of sexual violence and advise individuals of the legal and other options available if they are the complainants of an incident or they learn of such an incident.
Subpart C. Training for individuals charged with decision making authority. Prior to serving as either an investigator or decision maker for complaints under this procedure, administrators shall complete investigator or decision-maker training provided by the system office.
Investigators/decisionmakers, campus security officers, and anyone else involved in the adjudication process must receive annual training on the issues related to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking and how to conduct an investigation and hearing process that protects the safety of victims and promotes accountability.
Part 8. Maintenance of report/complaint procedure documentation.
Data that is collected, created, received, maintained or disseminated about incidents of sexual violence will be handled in accordance with the privacy requirements of the Minnesota Statutes §13 (Minnesota Government Data Practices Act), and other applicable laws.
Information on reports of incidents of sexual violence that are made to Campus Security Authorities shall be documented in accordance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security and Campus Crime Statistics Act, codified at 20 United States Code section 1092 (f). Such information will be used to report campus crime statistics on college and university campuses as required by that Act.
During and upon the completion of the complaint process, the complaint file shall be maintained in a secure location. Access to complaint file information shall be in accordance with the applicable collective bargaining agreement or personnel plan, the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and other applicable law and policy.
The College shall annually report statistics on sexual assaults to the Minnesota Office of Higher Education. Additionally, the report must be published on each college and university website in accordance with state law.
Minnesota State College Southeast Procedure
Any individual who believes they have been, or are being, subjected to conduct prohibited by Board Policy 1B.3, Sexual Violence Policy, is encouraged to report the incident to the Title IX Officer.