The College of Saint Benedict & Saint John’s University
|I.||Purpose, Scope and Definitions|
|III.||Reporting Sexual Misconduct|
|IV.||Fair and Equitable Treatment of the Parties|
A. Purpose and Notice of Non-discrimination. The purpose of this Policy is to maintain an environment that is free from the physical and emotional threat of sexual misconduct, including sexual harassment, sexual assault, and other forms of sexual violence. The College of Saint Benedict (CSB) and Saint John’s University (SJU) have zero tolerance for sexual misconduct in any form.
CSB and SJU are committed to compliance with all applicable anti-discrimination laws and do not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, disability, familial status, status with regard to public assistance, or other legally protected category or characteristic, in their programs and activities. Harassment based upon an individual’s legally protected status is a form of prohibited discrimination.
In accordance with Title IX, this Policy addresses the institutions’ prohibition of sexual misconduct, including sexual harassment, sexual assault, and other forms of sexual violence. Sexual harassment, sexual assault, and other forms of sexual misconduct are forms of sex discrimination. Not only are they prohibited by this Policy, but they are also prohibited by various federal and state laws, including Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 and the Minnesota Human Rights Act.
As institutions which espouse Catholic and Benedictine values, every community member’s awareness of and respect for the rights and human dignity of all persons undergirds community life. These values demand that we strive to create an environment where the sacredness of each person is honored. Sexual assault, sexual harassment, and other sexual misconduct violate the sacredness of the person, weaken the health of the community, and are antithetical to the missions of our institutions.
The College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University will investigate and promptly seek the equitable resolution of all allegations of sexual misconduct, take steps to prevent the recurrence of sexual misconduct, and to correct its effects on victims and others.
Questions or concerns regarding Title IX, sex discrimination, sexual harassment or sexual misconduct may be directed to the institutions’ Title IX Coordinators:
Questions or concerns may also be directed to the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights:
|Mailing address:||U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights
Lyndon Baines Johnson Department of Education Building
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-1100
B. Scope. This Policy applies to all students, faculty, and staff of CSB and SJU. Other individuals or organizations engaging in or conducting activities associated with CSB and/or SJU or doing business at or with CSB and/or SJU are also required to comply with the provisions of this Policy. All community members will abide by this Policy at all times, whether on campus or away from campus, when engaged in programs or activities sponsored by the institutio(s) or which otherwise relate to the institution(s) or its business. Such activities include, but are not limited to, professional meetings, classes, practica, seminars, study abroad programs, and all other activities involving or relating to the institution(s).
1. Sexual Misconduct. Sexual misconduct incorporates a variety of behaviors, including sexual assault, sexual violence, sexual harassment, stalking, domestic violence, dating partner violence, sex-based cyber harassment, hazing of a sexual nature, peeping, voyeurism, going beyond the boundaries of consent (such as secretly allowing others to watch a sexual encounter), 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. Much sexual misconduct includes nonconsensual sexual contact, but this is not a necessary component. Threatening or intimidating speech, which meets the definition of sexual harassment, for example, will constitute sexual misconduct. 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. Domestic violence and dating partner violence constitute sexual misconduct, regardless of whether the intimate or sexual relationship between the parties is consensual.
2. Sexual assault is defined as sexual contact, including but not limited to penetration, without consent. Sexual assault is a form of sexual violence and a severe form of sexual harassment. Sexual assault includes, but is not limited to rape (including sodomy and sexual assault with an object); fondling (the touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, without the consent of the victim); incest; and statutory rape.
3. Sexual contact, for purposes of this Policy, shall have the same meaning as it has under Minnesota law. “Sexual contact” includes, but is not limited to, the intentional touching by an individual of another's intimate parts (including an individual's breasts, inner thighs, buttocks, genitals and/or groin area, whether clothed or unclothed); or the coerced touching by an individual of another's intimate parts. Sexual contact also includes the intentional removal or attempted removal of clothing covering an individual's intimate parts.
4. Consent means words or overt actions by a person indicating a freely given present agreement to perform a particular sexual act with the person initiating sexual contact. Consent must be informed and freely and actively given.
a. Consent requires more than the existence of a prior or current social or sexual relationship between the parties.
b. Consent to one sexual act does not imply consent to another. Consent has to be specific to the act and persons involved, at the time of the act. Past consent to sexual activity does not imply ongoing future consent. Consent can be withdrawn at any time. Although consent does not need to be verbal, verbal communication is the most reliable form of asking for and obtaining consent.
c. Simple silence, the lack of a negative response, or failure to resist is not consent. It is the responsibility of the person initiating sexual contact to obtain consent to any and all sexual contact that person initiates.
d. 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. Coercion refers to intimidation that would compel an individual to do something against his or her will by the use of psychological pressure, physical force, or threats of severely damaging consequences. Coercion is more than an effort to persuade or attract another person to engage in sexual activity. Coercive behavior differs from seductive behavior based on the degree and type of pressure someone used to obtain consent from another.
e. A person who is incapacitated cannot give valid consent to sexual contact. Incapacitation means the inability to understand the fact, nature, or extent of the sexual situation. Incapacitation may result from mental or physical disability, sleep, unconsciousness, involuntary physical restraint, or from the influence of drugs or alcohol.
With respect to incapacitation due to the influence of drugs or alcohol, incapacitation requres more than being under the influence of drugs or alcohol; a person is not incapacitated simply because he or she has been drinking or using drugs.
Where drugs and/or alcohol are involved, incapacitation is determined based on the facts and circumstances of the particular situation looking at:
(1) whether the individual was able to understand the fact, nature, or extent of the sexual situation, (2) whether the individual was able to communicate decisions regarding consent, nonconsent, or the withdrawal of consent, and (3) whether such condition was known or reasonably known to the respondent or a sober, reasonable person in respondent's position. Use of drugs or alcohol by the respondent is not a defense against allegations of sexual misconduct and does not diminish personal accountability or criminal liability.
f. A person who has not reached the legal age of consent cannot give consent. The legal age of consent may vary depending on the circumstances and the applicable state law. In Minnesota, the age of consent is 16.
g. Where there is otherwise credible evidence to support a finding of nonconsent, corroborating testimony is not required.
5. Sexual harassment, a form of discrimination based on sex, is defined in part as follows:
a. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual or gender-based nature when:
i. submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or educational experience; or submission or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis of employment decisions or academic or education-related decisions affecting such individual (Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment); or
ii. such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially and unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or educational experience or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working, residential, or educational environment. (Hostile Environment Sexual Harassment).
b. Examples of Sexual Harassment. The determination of what constitutes sexual harassment depends upon the specific facts of each situation in the context in which the conduct occurs. Sexual harassment may take many forms. It may be subtle and indirect, or blatant and overt. It may be conduct affecting an individual of the opposite sex or conduct affecting an individual of the same sex. It may occur between peers or between individuals in a hierarchical relationship. If it meets the conditions set forth in the above definition, conduct such as the following may be considered sexual harassment:
i. Non-verbal harassment may include suggestive or insulting sounds, leering, whistling, obscene gestures, and visual displays;
ii. Verbal harassment may include statements (written or spoken) drawing upon sexual innuendo, suggestive comments, insults, humor or jokes emphasizing gender-specific traits or clothing, sexual propositions (including repeated unwelcome invitations to social engagements), or sexual threats;
iii. Physical harassment may include unwanted touching, pinching, patting, hugging, or brushing of one’s body. In its most extreme form, physical sexual harassment includes sexual assault.
iv. Gender-based harassment may include non-verbal, verbal or physical harassment directed at an individual or a group of individuals solely on the basis of gender, whether or not such conduct is sexual in nature. It also may include harassment based on stereotypical notions of what is female/feminine and male/masculine or a failure to conform to those gender stereotypes.
v. In some cases, consensual romantic or sexual relationships may form the basis for a claim of sexual harassment. These relationships are particulary complex when there is a power imbalance between the individuals involved in the relationship. Such relationships may also affect other members of the campus community adversely and give rise to conflict of interest concerns when there is real or perceived favorable treatment or an unacceptable work environment. Refer to the policies on Consensual Romantic or Sexual Relationships for further information at http://www.csbsju.edu/humanrights/consensual-romatic-or-sexual-relationships.
6. Dating Violence. 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 the statement of the individual alleging the dating violence and 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. Dating violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse.
7. Domestic Violence. Domestic Violence is violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner 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 or intimate partner, 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. In addition to the relationships described above, Minnesota law defines domestic violence to include violence committed between parents and children, blood relatives, persons who are presently residing together or who have resided together in the past, persons involved in a significant romantic relationship, and a man and woman, if the woman is pregnant and the man is alleged to be the father. While not exhaustive, the following are examples of conduct that can constitute domestic violence; physical harm, bodily injury or assault; the infliction of fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, or assault; terroristic threats; criminal sexual conduct; or interference with an emergency call.
8. Stalking. Stalking means engaging in a course of 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. For purposes of this definition, “course of conduct” means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person, or interferes with a person’ s property. Stalking can be a form of sexual harassment. Stalking behavior includes, but is not limited to:
a. Repeated, unwanted, intrusive, and frightening communications by phone, mail, text, email, and/or social media;
b. Repeatedly leaving or sending victim unwanted items, presents, or flowers;
c. Following or laying-in-wait for the victim at places such as home, school, work, or recreation place;
d. Making direct or indirect threats to harm the victim, the victim’s children, relatives, friends, or pets;
e. Damaging or threatening to damage the victim’s property;
f. Posting personal information or spreading rumors about the victim on the internet, in a public place, or by word of mouth;
g. Unreasonably obtaining personal information about the victim.
As defined by Minnesota law, stalking means “ to engage in conduct which the actor 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.”
D. Other Important Terms.
1. Associate refers to any individual or organization engaging in or conducting activities associated with CSB and/or SJU or doing business at or with CSB and/or SJU, including members of Saint John's Abbey and Saint Benedict's Monastery.
2. Campus refers to the entire physical grounds of CSB and SJU.
3. Campus authorities refer to the Department of Security at the College of Saint Benedict, Life Safety Services at Saint John's University, and/or the Dean(s) of Students, or Lead or Deputy Title IX Coordinators.
4. Community and institutions refer to CSB and SJU and in the case of community, all of their students, faculty and staff, and associates.
5. Complainant means a person alleged to have been subjected to a Policy violation, but need not be the person who initiates the complaint.
6. Complaint refers to an alleged Policy violation that initiates a complaint process as set forth in the Procedures.
7. Complaint process refers to the process used to investigate and adjudicate complaints made under the Procedures, from initiation of complaint through determination and appeal, if any.
8. Faculty refers to a person employed by CSB or SJU in a faculty appointment.
9. Policy refers to the Sexual Misconduct Policy for the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University.
10. Procedures refer to the Sexual Misconduct Complaint Procedures for the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University. The procedures can be found at www.csbsju.edu/sexualmisconductprocedure.
11. Report refers to the providing of any information to the institution(s) regarding conduct that may violate the Policy.
12. Respondent refers to a person alleged to have violated the Policy.
13. Sanctions for students: The purpose of sanctions will be to ensure the health and safety of our campus communities by preventing the recurrence of problematic behavior and addressing its effects including the effects of the violation on the complainant. In determining sanctions, the Deans of Students (or their designees) may consider a variety of factors, including but not limited to, the type and severity of misconduct, the weight of the evidence, and the respondent's complete disciplinary record. Possible sanctions can include any one or more of the following:
i. Expulsion: the permanent disenrollment of the student from the institution.
ii. Suspension: the disenrollment of a student for a specific period of time. Students who are suspended from the institution(s) generally may not be present on the premises of the College of Saint Benedict or Saint John's University for the period of the suspension or leave and may be subject to other conditions as well. Suspension is also an interim measure that may be taken while an investigation is being conducted.
iii. Other sanctions include: disciplinary probation, no contact or limited contact directive, required assessment and/or counseling, required attendance at educational programs, restitution, community service hours, restriction of privileges, administrative referrals, behavioral contracts, reflection paper, and/or written warning.
14. Sanctions for faculty and staff: The purpose of sanctions will be to ensure the health and safety of our campus communities by preventing the recurrence of problematic behavior and addressing its effects including the effects of the violation on the complainant. In determining sanctions, the Human Resources Director and appropriate administrator (or designees) may consider a variety of factors, including but not limited to, the type and severity of misconduct, the weight of the evidence, and the respondent's employment/disciplinary record. Further information on Sanctions for faculty and staff is covered in Section VIII.B. of this policy.
Suspension is a sanction that may be used for faculty or staff. It is also an interim measure that may be taken while an investigation is being conducted.
Suspension as an interim measure for faculty and staff:
i. For a faculty member, suspension as an interim measure refers to a temporary suspension of work duties and will be implemented in accordance with Section 22.214.171.124 of the Faculty Handbook. In accord with 126.96.36.199, and pending the results of the investigation, the faculty member will be suspended, or assigned to other duties in lieu of suspension, only if immediate harm to the college [university], to its students, or to other individual members of the college [university] community is threatened by continuance. Before implementing 188.8.131.52, the president will consult with the Provost as to the length, and the other conditions of the suspension. Salary and benefits will continue during the period of the suspension.
ii. For a staff member, suspension as an interim measure is termed an Involuntary Leave of Absence and refers to a temporary suspension of work duties when the staff member is the subject of an investigation or when the staff member's presence poses an immediate threat of harm within the institution. This interim measure will be implemented in accordance with the Involuntary Leave of Absence section of the appropriate Administrative and Support Staff Handbook. Before imposing the involuntary leave, the employee's supervisor will consult with the Human Resources department and the appropriate Vice President as to the length, and the other conditions of the suspension. Salary and benefits will continue during the period of the suspension.
Suspension as a sanction for faculty and staff:
i. For a faculty member, suspension as a sanction will be implemented in accord with section 184.108.40.206 of the Faculty Handbook. Again, the president will consult with the Provost as to the length, and the other conditions of the suspension.
ii. For a staff member, suspension as a sanction will be implemented in accord with the Disciplinary Action section of the Administrative and Support Staff Handbook. Before imposing the suspension as a sanction, the employee's supervisor will consult with the Human Resources department and the appropriate Vice President as to the length, and the other conditions of the suspension.
iii. In accordance with the applicable handbook, members of Saint Benedict's Monastery and Saint John's Abbey serving in faculty or staff appointments for the College or University are subject to the above provisions, as well as to applicable Bylaws of the respective Orders.
15. Staff refers to a person employed by CSB or SJU in an administrative or support staff appointment.
16. Student refers to any person enrolled in CSB or SJU, undergraduate or graduate.
17. Supervisor refers to administrators, department chairs, faculty, residence directors, faculty residents, residence assistants, staff persons, and others who have the responsibility for faculty, staff, or students’ terms and/or conditions of employment, educational and academic opportunities, and living situations.
18. Title IX Coordinators are officials of CSB and SJU who have been appointed by their respective institutions to address issues of gender-based discrimination and/or sexual misconduct, including overseeing Title IX complaints, identifying and addressing any patterns or systemic problems that arise during the review of such complaints, and assisting in answering any questions related to the Policy and Procedures. The Title IX Coordinators for each institution who have responsibility for sexual misconduct complaints are listed in the contact information at the end of this Policy and at the end of the Sexual Misconduct Complaint Procedures. See the Sexual Misconduct Complaint Procedures, Part I – Responsibility (www.csbsju.edu/sexualmisconductprocedure).
For information regarding the Joint Sexual Assault Policy or to obtain a complete copy of the complaint procedure, contact Jody Terhaar, CSB Dean of Students, (320) 363-5601 ; Mike Connolly, SJU Dean of Students, (320) 363-3171 ; or Judy Bednar, faculty/staff human rights officer (320) 363-5071 .