University of Minnesota Duluth
 
 
myUMD | Search | People | Departments | Events | News

 Campus Climate

Sexual Misconduct FAQ

Will the information I share about sexual assault be kept confidential?

What options do I have for reporting sexual misconduct?

What are the benefits of reporting a sexual assault to the police?

What if I'm an employee at the university and I became aware of an incident of sexual misconduct issue?

Why am I encouraged to report an incident of sexual misconduct to the Dean of Students Office?

Should I report a sexual assault if I was drinking underage when it occurred?

Does it make a difference if the sexual misconduct occurs on or off campus?

Why should I seek medical attention when I haven't decided whether I want to report the assault to the police or the university?

Where can I find information about umd crime statistics?

Where can I find information on how to reduce my risk of being a victim of sexual assault?

 

If I share information about a sexual assault, what is the difference between confidentiality and privacy?

CONFIDENTIAL: Under Minnesota law, communications with some individuals are confidential. This means that any information shared by the victim/survivor with a specific individual will not be used against him or her in court or shared with others. This individual cannot be subpoenaed to testify against the victim/survivor in a court of law.

Students should always confirm whether confidentiality applies to the communication. Generally, confidentiality applies when a student seeks services from the following persons:

    • Program for Aid to Victims of Sexual Assault (PAVSA) advocate
    • Psychological counselor (including counselors at UMD Student Counseling Services)
    • Health care provider (including medical professionals at UMD Student Health Center)
    • Personal attorney
    • Religious/spiritual counselor


PRIVATE: University of Minnesota Duluth is committed to creating an environment that encourages students to come forward if they have experienced any form of sexual misconduct. The university will safeguard the identities of the students who seek help or who report sexual misconduct. That is, university employees will seek to keep the information private (other than a counselor or medical provider).

A university employee cannot guarantee complete confidentiality, but the individual can guarantee privacy. Information is disclosed only to select officials who have an essential need to know in order to carry out their university responsibilities. As is the case with any educational institution, the university must balance the needs of the individual student with its obligation to protect the safety and well being of the community at large. Therefore, depending on the seriousness of the alleged incident, further action may be necessary, including a campus security alert. The alert, however, would never contain any information identifying the student who brought the complaint.

What options do I have for reporting sexual misconduct?

In addition to supporting individual students affected by sexual misconduct, the university takes all incidents seriously and has a responsibility to address misconduct. When sexual misconduct involves criminal behavior, students are strongly encouraged to report the situation to law enforcement. The Student Conduct Office will assist the student in notifying UMD Police or local law enforcement if the student so requests.

An incident can be reported even if the student has not decided whether to take legal action. Nonetheless, students are always free to report and are encouraged to share instances of such behavior with the Student Conduct Office (contact information below) regardless of whether or not they choose to press formal criminal charges with law enforcement.

Students are strongly encouraged to report incidents of, or share information about, sexual misconduct as soon as possible. This is true even if the student with a complaint or a witness may have concern that his or her own alcohol or drug use, or other prohibited activity were involved. The Student Conduct Office will not pursue disciplinary violations against a student with a complaint or a witness for his or her improper use of alcohol or drugs if the student is making a good faith report of sexual misconduct.

The university can take action only if the university is made aware of the behavior. If a university administrator becomes aware of a complaint or other violation of this policy, the administrator should bring the information to the Student Conduct Office so that concerns are heard and services can be offered to the affected students.

The university strongly encourages prompt reporting of complaints and information rather than risking any student's well being. Although there is no time limit on the reporting of formal charges with the university, the university may ultimately be unable to adequately investigate if too much time has passed or if the accused student has graduated. Factors that could negatively affect the university's ability to investigate include the loss of physical evidence (e.g., prompt medical examinations are critical to preserving the physical evidence of sexual assault), the potential departure of witnesses, or loss of memory.

The university strongly encourages students to report concerns to either or both of the following offices:

    For emergencies, contact 911. For non-emergencies, or if criminal behavior is involved, students are encouraged to contact UMD Police by telephone at 218-726-7000 or in person at room 287, Darland Building. Contacting UMD Police does not mean you must pursue charges. UMD Police can advise you of your options and can also preserve evidence while you consider your options.

    To seek assistance and support, or to report misconduct, contact the Student Conduct Office (245 Kirby Plaza, 218-726-8969, csriley@d.umn.edu).

    In all situations, the university's goal is to treat the student who reports misconduct with sensitivity and fairness, while also ensuring the accused individual receives due process if any disciplinary action is to be imposed.

    The Student Conduct Office will make a student services staff member available to a student with a complaint if the student would like assistance throughout any university investigation or adjudication process. This staff member is not an "advocate" as that term is used below (see "Confidential Advocacy and Support"), nor is that staff person a representative who will speak on behalf of the student in any investigatory or adjudication process. Rather, the staff member serves as a point of contact to answer questions and explain processes, join the student in meetings, and make sure the student's expressed needs are being addressed.

    For complaints against other students, the Student Conduct Process shall govern the complaint, investigation, and adjudication process through the Office of Student and Community Standards. See the following section of the Student Conduct Code:

    Subd. 6. Threatening, Harassing, or Assaultive Conduct.

    For complaints against faculty or staff, the investigation and adjudication may ultimately occur through the Office of Human Resources or the Office of Equal Opportunity

    In situations where an accused student faces both a disciplinary complaint and a criminal charge, the university reserves the right to move forward with the disciplinary investigative and adjudication process at the same time the criminal process is proceeding.

What are the benefits of reporting a sexual assault to the police?

Contacting UMD Police does not mean you must pursue charges. UMD Police can advise you of your options and can also preserve evidence while you consider your options. UMD Police can also advise you on safety planning techniques.

For emergencies, contact 911. For non-emergencies students are encouraged to contact UMD Police by telephone at 218-726-7000 or in person at room 287, Darland Building.  Or, contact the Duluth Police Department at 911 or in person at 411 West First Street, Room 104, Duluth, MN  55802.

What if I’m an employee at the university and I have become aware of an incident of sexual misconduct?

For Employees: Suggested Steps if you Learn Someone has been Sexually Assaulted

As a member of the UMD community, you may be called upon to provide support to a victim of sexual assault and to refer this person to professional resources. These steps are designed to help you best support and inform someone of the resources available to assist with the person’s physical and emotional needs.

Some things to remember about your conversation with this person:

    Recognize that it can be an enormous step for someone to talk with another person about a sexual assault and that this person has placed trust in you by revealing the experience. That being said, remember that you are not a counselor, an investigator, or a state-certified victim advocate. Acknowledge the boundaries on your relationship with this person while helping her or him access the resources and assistance that can offer the best support and care.

    Given the trust the person has placed in you, please respect the person’s privacy. Do not share the person’s experience with others except for the Student Conduct staff, as explained below.

    Believe the person, support the person’s choices, and refer the person to the appropriate resources listed below..

    You can assure the person that no records or reports of sexual assault are kept in the victim’s permanent academic or personnel records.

    Finally, in addition to the resources available to the person, there are also resources available to you as an employee. If you feel you need to talk to someone about the impact of this situation for yourself personally, you can contact the Employee Assistance Program.

Share the following information:

    Let the person know she or he can contact PAVSA (Program for Aid to Victims of Sexual Assault) to speak with a confidential, state-certified victim advocate who is trained to work specifically with victims of sexual assault. The advocate can explain all of the options available to the person and also support the person through any of the next steps, which may include counseling, medical, university disciplinary processes, or law enforcement notification. If possible, offer the person the use of your phone and a private space to make the call.

    24-hour Crisis Line.....218-726-1931

    Monday-Friday, 8:30am-4:30pm.....218-726-1442

    PAVSA advocates are available on site at UMD on Monday and Thursday evenings during fall and spring semester in the Women's Resource and Action Center (Kirby Student Center 266) from 6:00-9:00 pm.

    Let the person know there are other resources in addition to the PAVSA advocate. Again, if possible, offer the person the use of your phone and a private space to make the call, or offer to walk with the person to any of the on-campus offices.

    Medical Services: the person may want to seek confidential medical attention to care for her or himself or to preserve evidence of the assault in the event criminal charges might be contemplated later. In Duluth, these exams are free. A sexual assult nurse examiner at either St. Luke's Hospital or Essential Health (St. Mary's Hospital) will:

    • provide complete medical exams
    • provide appropriate treatment, including pregnancy testing, emergency contraception, and STD/HIV preventive medication
    • preserve evidence through forensic exam

    St. Luke's Hospital - 915 East First Street.....218-249-5555

    Essentia Health (St. Mary's Hospital) - 407 East Third Street.....218-786-4000

    UMD Health Services does not collect evidence but does offer the following medical services for UMD students:

    • emergency contraception
    • medical exam
    • appropriate treatment, including pregnancy test and STD treatment
    • referral to UMD Counseling with student's permission
    • referral to local hospital with student's permission

    Counseling Services: the person may want to speak with a professional counselor in a confidential setting.

    Student Counseling Center (for students)

    Employee Assistance Program (for employees)

    Law Enforcement: the person may wish to contact law enforcement even if the person has not decided whether to pursue criminal charges. Police can advise the person of options, help preserve evidence while the victim considers those options, and assist in safety planning and consideration. Contacting law enforcement does not mean the person must pursue criminal charges.

    UMD Police

    Duluth Police

    Office of Conduct and Community Standards:  a student can speak with the staff for any of the following matters:

    Assistance with classes or housing

    Information about interim steps to protect the student or campus

    Information about the student disciplinary process

    Additional services or resources on campus or in the community

    Let the person know that you need to disclose the assault to the Student Conduct Office for purposes of complying with the Clery Act (a federal law requiring that campuses report and track crime statistics). This disclosure can be as broad or narrow as the person wants -- you do not need to disclose the name of the person you are meeting with if that person does not give permission to do so. In that case, simply report as much about the assault as you can (date, location) without identifying the person. To notify the Student Conduct Office, call 218-726-8969.

    Let the person know you believe and support her or him, and that you hope they will take some steps to help and care for her or himself.

Why am I encouraged to report an incident of sexual misconduct to the Student Conduct Office?

The Student Conduct staff can assist a student in filing formal complaints or, if the student does not want to file a formal complaint, the staff can work with the student to address concerns over housing, class assignments or schedules, leaves of absence, withdrawal or other academic concerns. The office staff can also assist the student in notifying UMD Police or local law enforcement, if the student so requests.

The Student Conduct Office will make a staff member available to a student with a complaint if the student would like assistance throughout any university investigation or adjudication process. This staff member serves as a point of contact to answer questions and explain processes, join the student in meetings, and make sure the student's expressed needs are being addressed. This staff member is not an "advocate" (as described in the sexual misconduct policy) nor is that staff person a representative who will speak on behalf of the student in any investigatory or adjudication process.

In all situations, the university's goal is to treat the student who reports misconduct with sensitivity and fairness, while also ensuring the accused individual receives due process if any disciplinary action is to be imposed.

The Student Conduct Office and UMD Police may take immediate interim actions to protect the safety of the university community, to enable students with complaints and witnesses to continue studies, and to ensure the integrity of an investigation. These actions may include:

    Interim suspension of the accused student

    No-contact notices

    Modifying class or work schedules

    Making alternate housing arrangements

    Addressing other academic concerns (e.g., absences, assignments, grades, leaves of absence, withdrawal)

To seek assistance and support, or to report misconduct, contact the Student Conduct Office (245 Kirby Plaza, 218-726-8969, csriley@d.umn.edu).

Should I report a sexual assault if I was drinking underage when it occurred?

Students are strongly encouraged to report incidents of, or share information about, sexual misconduct as soon as possible. This is true even if the student with a complaint or a witness may have concern that his or her own alcohol or drug use, or other prohibited activity were involved. The Student Conduct Office will not pursue disciplinary violations against a student with a complaint or a witness for his or her improper use of alcohol or drugs if the student is making a good faith report of sexual misconduct.

 

Does it make a difference if the sexual misconduct occurs on or off campus?

No. The University Student Conduct Code gives jurisdiction for enforcement of the code to cover off-campus student conduct when the conduct, as alleged, adversely affects a substantial University interest and either:  (a) constitutes a criminal offense as defined by state or federal law, regardless of the existence or outcome of any criminal proceeding; or (b) indicates that the student may present a danger or threat to the health or safety of the student or others.

Why should I seek medical attention when I haven't decided whether I want to report the assault to the police or the university?

Seeking medical attention can help you in many ways. First, seeking medical attention can help you take care of your own health by checking for injuries, treating those injuries, and addressing the possibility of sexually transmitted infections.

Second, a forensic medical exam can preserve evidence of the assault. This is important even if you are currently undecided about your next steps because you may later decide to pursue criminal charges or university disciplinary charges - that evidence can help in both situations. A medical exam is not, however, required before pursuing criminal or university disciplinary charges.

In Duluth, initial medical exams are free for a person who has been sexually assaulted.

Where can I find information about UMD crime statistics? http://www.d.umn.edu/conduct/conduct/campus-crime.htm

 

 

 

 

 

© 2014 University of Minnesota Duluth
The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.
Last modified on 07/20/11 07:52 AM
University of Minnesota Campuses
Crookston | Duluth | Morris
Rochester | Twin Cities | Other Locations