Faculty Toolkit

As a member of the CSB and SJU community, faculty play a critical role in responding to and reducing the rates of sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, and stalking (SADVDVS) on our campuses. The rates of SADVDVS among college students are high. We also know many students join our community having survived past trauma.

We have developed the faculty toolkit as a resource to help our campuses become a more safe, responsive, and trauma informed community. If you have any questions regarding the content in this toolkit, please call the Title IX Office at: 320-363-5943 or e-mail Tamara Hennes-Vix at [email protected].


Trauma Informed Practices

To read more about trauma informed pedagogies:  see the article from Spotlight on Teaching: Trauma Informed Pedagogies

For additional resources and references from Academic Impressions regarding trauma informed practices, see the following page: References and Resources

Bystander Intervention

People have different barriers when it comes to intervention. Some people are busy and feel overworked, others are shy, and others don’t want to seem unprofessional in the workplace. But in the same way that there are different kinds of barriers, there are also different approaches to intervention that can get around these barriers. It helps to think ahead about the interventions that one might do in potentially concerning situations.  The goal of bystander intervention is to potentially stop harm before it happens.

For a classroom presentation on bystander intervention skills for sexual misconduct, contact the CERTS Student Health Promotion group at [email protected]

Think about these choices – better known as the 4D’s: 

Direct: do it yourself

Step in and address the situation directly.

Delegate: bring others in

Find others who can help you to intervene in the situation.

Distract: diffuse the situation without directly addressing it

Distract either person in the situation to intervene.

Delay: if you’re feeling unsafe or unsure whether someone in the situation is feeling unsafe, you may just want to observe and be aware of the potential need to take further action.

Situational Awareness:

  1. You observe: Increased withdrawal, avoidance, or nervousness observed in a student, colleague, or loved one.
    1. Check in with the person. Ask the person if things are all right. Describe what you’ve noticed, express your concern and communicate your desire to help.
    2. Contact the Health or Counseling Center and quickly consult with one of the counselors about your concern, brainstorming together appropriate interventions.
  2. You overhear: Statements ridiculing, demeaning, or belittling others:
    1. Express your concern with the disparaging comment your heard.
    2. Talk to your colleagues about the most effective way to manage classroom dynamics.
    3. Change the subject; introduce a new topic so the conversation turns away from the disparaging comments.
  3. You overhear: Stories about “sexual escapades” that don’t sound entirely consensual.
    1. Invite a violence prevention expert to inform a student or colleague about power-based personal violence.
    2. Direct attention to you, breaking up the conversation.  Consider whether a report needs to be made to the Title IX office.
    3. Speak with the involved students after class about what you overheard.
  4. You overhear: Conversations that reinforce societal norms that this violence is “none of my business”.
    1. Engage in a discussion about the role of the bystander in intervening to prevent harm. Together, brainstorm realistic interventions.
    2. Invite a violence prevention expert to inform a student or colleague about power-based personal violence and each community member’s role in preventing it.

Know Your Resources

Communicating your commitment to preventing violence also communicates that you are a safe person to ask for help. Know your resources so that when someone discloses that they are a survivor of violence you know where to get more help (Office on Violence Against Women, US Department of Justice).

How to Handle Difficult Conversations & Student Disclosures

Every survivor’s experience and healing are unique, there are times when topics in the classroom may lead to difficult conversations.  The topic may not always be directly connected to SADVDVS, but related themes can still be difficult for some.  When this happens, it is important for faculty to have ideas on how to lead those conversations to keep a supportive environment for all students. 

Difficult Topics

Suggestions for Handling Difficult Conversations

When Harm has ben Caused

In the event of harm being caused in the classroom, it’s important your response is appropriate, helpful, and educational.  Below are a few tips and an example.

In cases where a conversation may need to be terminated abruptly due to participant discomfort, it is important to follow up with the students involved. Breaking the silence may not be easy but remember, students are counting on you to do so. 

You begin the following class by stating that you were reflecting on a comment made during the previous class. You then challenge the assumptions embedded in this comment by providing evidence to the contrary. It is essential that the comment be acknowledged and addressed, as inaction can cause even more distress to students who were affected by it. Furthermore, you can offer resources and support to students who may have been impacted by the classroom discussion (McGill University).

HOW TO BREAK THE SILENCE: The classroom can sometimes be a space where students make remarks or statements about rape culture and gender-based or sexual violence that can be harmful. 

Example: A student who is an adult survivor of child sexual abuse participates in a classroom discussion in which a comment is made stating that if an assault truly happened, its legitimacy should be questioned, particularly if the disclosure or report was not made immediately. The student finds the discussion extremely painful and challenging and approaches you after class asking you to do something. 

Upon reflection, you recognize that you could have addressed the comment in the moment by stating any of the following: 

“Actually, the time lapse between an assault and disclosure or reporting varies tremendously and has nothing to do with the validity of the allegation.”

“This is a common misconception but there is no empirical evidence supporting this.”

Student Disclosures

There are times that students will seek you out as a trusted person to share an incident of sexual misconduct.  There is information to help you with student disclosures available on the Title IX website.

Survivors’ suggestions for classroom support:

Below are some tips from survivors you may find helpful on how to handle difficult conversations (adapted from Supporting Student Survivors in the Classroom, Macalester College) 

Aspects of this course may be emotionally difficult and learning about violence is always challenging. You may personally connect with or be affected by some of the material covered in this course, so I urge you to identify a support system outside of this class. I am happy to meet with you to discuss any concerns or accommodation needs, but I also encourage you to seek out confidential or other resources.”

Syllabi Statements & Sample Syllabi Statements

Your syllabi present a unique opportunity to educate every student about classroom and course expectations, as well as their rights and resources on campus. Students and professors often forge close mentoring and advising relationships, because classroom discussions and course topics often engage emotionally charged subject matter, and because sexual misconduct is a very real issue, your syllabi should be specific about the roles and responsibilities of you and your students, including your responsibility to report suspected sexual misconduct. Including a statement in your course syllabus also sends the message to the students that you take the issues seriously and understand the impact of SADVDVS.  Below, you will find examples that you can use in whole or part within your syllabi to prepare and inform your students.  Always consider sharing resources with students at the beginning of the semester to give them a voice and choice in how they make decisions about what is happening in their lives.  The following is a list of resources to consider including in your syllabi:

Confidential Resources:

CSB and SJU Counseling: 320-363-3236

CSB and SJU Health Services 320- 363-5605

Central Minnesota Sexual Assault Center 320-251-4357 or 1-800-237-5090

Anna Marie’s Alliance (Dating and Domestic Violence Services) 320-253-6900

Other Resources:

Reporting and Supportive Measures: Title IX Office: 320-363-5943; Title IX – Sexual Misconduct Prevention – CSB and SJU

Sample Syllabi Statements

Other options:

Healing and Prevention Resources: Project EMBRACE – CSB+SJU

Content Warnings & Trigger Warnings

There are times when faculty will have discussions on very sensitive topics during class.  It is important to let students know in advance that this will happen.  There are students in your classroom who may have experienced trauma.  Discussions related to SADVDVS, or other violence/oppression topics can bring up flashbacks or thoughts about past trauma.  All 5 senses can cause someone to be triggered, which means their brain is remembering a past traumatic event and initiates the “fight, flight, freeze, or fawn” response.  These responses can show up in various ways physically throughout the body, including increased heart rate, leg shaking, facial expressions, & skin color, as well as through behavior such as shutting down/tuning out and lacking engagement in the classroom.

Below are some ways you can make your students aware that these sensitive topics are upcoming.

From https://sites.lsa.umich.edu/inclusive-teaching-sandbox/wp-content/uploads/sites/853/2021/02/An-Introduction-to-Content-Warnings-and-Trigger-Warnings-Draft.pdf :

Content warnings are verbal or written notices that precede potentially sensitive content. These notices flag the contents of the material that follows, so readers, listeners, or viewers can prepare themselves to adequately engage or, if necessary, disengage for their own wellbeing.

Trigger warnings are a specific variety of content warnings that attempt to forewarn audiences of content that may cause intense physiological and psychological symptoms for people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other anxiety disorders.

Individuals do not have control over what triggers them, but many have personal strategies they use to cope with triggers when they are encountered.

Faculty are encouraged to allow accommodations related to classroom participation & course content – Contact Title IX or Student Accessibility Services for ideas, and/or encourage the student to reach out to Title IX and/or SAS Office.

Title IX Office: 320-363-5943

SAS: 320-363-5245

Sample Content Disclaimer:

 For the above content warnings, you can include support resources and/or a reminder that students can contact you should they experience any difficulty with the assignment or material.

Classroom ideas for awareness and prevention of sexual misconduct:

Faculty can choose to incorporate activities related to SADVDVS into their courses as a way to enhance awareness and education on these topics.  Assigning a paper on a topic or offering extra credit for participating in community are a couple of options.    

Some additional ways you can quickly establish your commitment to these issues, include the following:

Service-learning project ideas for students:

A note on the importance of male engagement in sexual misconduct prevention:

One of the main goals of sexual misconduct prevention is to fully engage male identifying faculty, staff, and students in creating campus cultures that intentionally replace risk factors connected to unhealthy, violent masculine social norms with healthier, nonviolent ones. This positive approach includes providing opportunities for male administrators, faculty, staff, and students across a campus to internalize addressing gender-based violence as part of their identities as men. To achieve this, campuses can use healthier masculinities within a public health approach to build men’s comprehension of the issue, promote their learning of bystander intervention skills, and sustain their participation beyond any singular activity.   

There are many resources that support the work of men to prevent violence, here are a few to check-out:

Additional ways to provide awareness in the classroom

Classroom presentations

Ways to integrate moments of safety into your academic work:

Assign a paper on a topic that relates to your academic course content and this issue. The following list is by no means exhaustive. You can assign topics from the list or offer it as a brainstorming tool for students.

*PBPV= Power Based Personal Violence

Extra Credit Ideas

Offering extra credit to students is always a very motivating factor. Below are some activities or events that could be used as extra credit assignments.

Suggested sites:

In-Class Activity

One way to mobilize a community of bystanders is to connect students to a belief that they can have an important impact on the world. Sometimes students can best connect to their own hope and belief that we can make a positive difference when they look back and remember others who have changed the world for the better.

Set up: This activity can be done by having partners or small groups talk about each prompt or by having individuals write their responses quietly, then have broader group sharing.

Instructions: Please write/talk about the following prompts:

Reporting Requirements and Resources

Staff and Faculty Required Reporting of Sexual Misconduct

All CSB and SJU employees who are not confidential resources and who obtain or receive information regarding possible Sexual Misconduct must report that information to a Title IX Coordinator.  Student employees who receive such information in the course of their work position or duties must report the information to a Title IX Coordinator.

Incidents that must be reported by CSB or SJU employees and student employees include:

Such a report should be made as soon as possible and should include all relevant details needed to assess the situation. This includes, to the extent known, the names of the complainant, respondent, and other individuals involved in the incident, as well as relevant facts, including the date, time, and location.

Employees and student employees who receive such reports should not attempt to “investigate” the allegation or require the reporting individual to provide all of the details surrounding the alleged Sexual Misconduct. To the extent the reporting individual provides detail, that information should be provided to a Title IX Coordinator. Upon receiving a report of alleged or possible Sexual Misconduct, the Title IX Coordinator will evaluate the information received and determine what further actions should be taken consistent with the complaint resolution process and this Policy.

CSB and/or SJU employees who are not confidential resources and student employees who receive a report of Sexual Misconduct should bring the report directly to a Title IX Coordinator and should not share information about the report with any other individual. If the individual is uncertain whether the information should be reported to a Title IX Coordinator, the individual should seek guidance from a Title IX Coordinator before providing the Title IX Coordinator with any identifiable information regarding the report. Failure of a CSB and/or SJU employee who is not a confidential resource or a student employee to report allegations of Sexual Misconduct to a Title IX Coordinator may result in disciplinary action.

If an individual has made a report to a CSB and/or SJU employee who is not a confidential resource and has not yet heard from a Title IX Coordinator, they should make the report directly to a Title IX Coordinator.

Policy and Reporting – CSB+SJU

A note on False Reporting:

An important piece to note is related to false reporting.  Research (see links below) proves there are very few false reports of SADVDVS, though public perception suggests otherwise.  Students join a community that has a pre-conceived notion related to false reports.  As educators and mentors, we are in a great position to help correct the misconception that the majority of reports are false.

Crime/Law Enforcement Stats (UCR Program) — FBI

Unfounding Sexual Assault: Examining the Decision to Unfound and Identifying False Reports – Spohn – 2014 – Law & Society Review – Wiley Online Library

Publications_NSVRC_Overview_False-Reporting.pdf

Supportive Resources On and Off Campus

CSB and SJU care about students.  If a student has been a victim of sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, and/or stalking and needs assistance, the following resources are available to them (*Denotes Confidential Services):

CSB/SJU Counseling* (320)363-3236          

CSB/SJU Health Services* (320)363-5605                    

Title IX Office (320)363-5943

Mental Health Crisis Line*(320)253-5555

The On-Campus Reporting Procedure is open to all students.  To report sexual misconduct (incidents of sexual assault, sexual harassment, dating/domestic violence, sexual exploitation, or stalking) or to read the full policy and procedure, go to the Title IX website at http://www.csbsju.edu/title-ix. Throughout the complaint process, the complainant and respondent are encouraged to utilize the support and resources of the Counseling Center, the Title IX Office, and an Advisor of their choosing.

For incidences of bias or hate, students can report on the Bias Reporting webpage at: http://www.csbsju.edu/bias-reporting or you can call and report at CSB to 320-363-5601 or SJU at 320-363-2737. 

Student Health is Important.  Victims of sexual assault or dating/domestic violence are encouraged to seek out immediate medical assistance after an incident of abuse. 

For sexual assault forensic exams, STI treatment, pregnancy concerns, and evidence collection:

St. Cloud Hospital Emergency Trauma Center*1406 6th Ave N, Saint Cloud, MN 56303: 320-251-2700

For sexual health concerns on or off campus:

CSB and SJU Health Services*: 320-363-5605

St. Joseph CentraCare Clinic*: 320-363-7765

LGBTQ+ Specific Health Care at CentraCare*: 320-654-3633

Safety and Options for Healing

Students have a right to feel safe in their interactions with other people.  There are resources that can assist students on and off campus to feel safe and to cope with what they have experienced or are experiencing.

On/Off Campus Advocacy, Mental Health, Safety, and Academic Resources

Helpline: 1-800-800-0350 or on their website at http://www.outfront.org

Healing Resources

For general information on a wide variety of topics related to healing and trauma, go to the Project EMBRACE website at http://www.csbsju.edu/project-embrace

For resources specific to Stalking, go to The Stalking Prevention, Awareness, and Resource Center (SPARC) at http://www.stalkingawareness.org.   

If you are in an immediate mental health crisis and experiencing thoughts of suicide, call 911.

You may also contact the following text and lifelines for additional support:

National Crisis Text Line:

http://www.crisistextline.org
Text HOME to 741741
Free, 24/7, Confidential

Suicide Prevention Lifeline:

http://www.988lifeline.org
 Dial 988 for Suicide and Crisis Lifeline

Crime Reporting:

For a crime that occurred in St. Joseph/CSB campus:

CSB Security: 320-363-5000

St. Joseph Police Department: 320-363-8250

For a crime that occurred at St. John’s University:

SJU Life Safety: 320-363-2144

Stearns County Sheriff’s Office: 320-251-4240

Academic Resources:

The Study at CSB/SJU: Drop-In Hours: Sunday, 3 – 9 p.m., Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m. – 9 p.m., Friday, 10 a.m. -4 p.m., SJU Alcuin Library Room 371

Academic Advising: 102 Academic Services Building, College of Saint Benedict, Phone: 320-363-5687

Campus resources

Assisting a Student through Student Accessibility Services (SAS) or other Resources

When a student experiences a traumatic incident such as sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, or stalking, there are a wide variety of impacts that the student may face.  Emotional and psychological impact are very likely.  It is common for an individual going through a crisis to have symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that could include:

Other symptoms that are common when an individual experiences a traumatic event include:

Staff and faculty can make a referral to Student Accessibility Services (SAS) and/or the Title IX Office for a student who is struggling with the impact of trauma and the staff at SAS/Title IX will assist the student to pursue needed accommodations on campus.

Student Accessibility Services: Intake paperwork: https://clockwork.csbsju.edu/clockwork/custom/misc/home.aspx?_ga=2.110191811.758097567.1681134055-199174873.1645126488

To schedule a meeting with SAS staff: 320-363-5245

Title IX Office: 320-363-5943, to file a report: File a Report – CSB+SJU

The CSB and SJU Well-Being Center can provide confidential counseling to students who are experiencing the impact of a traumatic event.  Counseling can assist a student to develop strategies for coping with any symptoms or stress that they are experiencing in their lives.

To schedule an appointment with CSB and SJU counseling: 320-363-3236

A note to faculty on supporting a student accused of sexual misconduct:

If a student discloses to you that they have been accused of sexual misconduct, here are some resources for that student: Student Resources – CSB+SJU (click on last FAQ)

If a student has been identified as a respondent in an investigation being conducted by the Title IX office, or as the subject of a law enforcement investigation, they are encouraged to contact the Title IX Office about respondent support services. The Title IX Coordinator(s) will work with the student to evaluate their care and support needs and discuss their options under the Institutions Title IX and Sexual Misconduct policy.  Contact information for the Title IX Coordinators can be found here: Title IX Coordinators – CSB+SJU.

Self-Care

Self-care is the act of doing an activity you personally enjoy in order to preserve your mind and body. In the fields of sexual misconduct, dating/domestic violence, and stalking, self-care is especially important to remember to fit into our schedule. The exposure to trauma and disclosures can lead to vicarious trauma or secondary trauma. Self-care is something you do for yourself and can look different for each of us. Remember: you cannot best support others if you aren’t supporting yourself.

Possible Self-Care Ideas:

  1. Think about what you enjoy doing. This could be anything from a walk around the block during lunch to a weekend trip to a park. Self-care looks different for each of us.
  2. Schedule a time to do it each day, week, or however often you feel it is needed. Put time on your calendar for it to remind yourself to do it and to not schedule other things for those times.
  3. Think of ways to incorporate relaxing activities in your day-to-day schedule. This could be anything from closing your laptop while you eat your lunch to leaving your phone in your bag while you commute to work or school.
  4. Spend time with those that make you happy. Surround yourself with people that are fun and supportive.
  5. It’s okay to say no. If you feel like your body or mind will not benefit from doing something, take a break to rest or do something you do enjoy and that feels relaxing.
  6. Take care of your body. If you are feeling tired, try to get to bed just a few minutes earlier each day.
  7. Think about why you are doing the self-care activity. Remind yourself why you are taking time out of your day to do something that is not for work or school – it is for you! Self-care helps us recuperate from a stressful or busy schedule and to be more productive afterwards.
Glossary of Terms

Glossary of Terms (Source:  https://www.mcgill.ca/osvrse/files/osvrse/faculty_toolkit_final_web.pdf)

Sexual Violence: An umbrella term that refers to a continuum of psychological or

physical actions of a sexual nature that is threatened, attempted or committed

towards a person without their consent. It may be directed towards a person’s

sexual orientation, sexual or gender expression, or gender identity. It includes sexist,

homophobic and/or transphobic jokes, coercion, stalking, voyeurism, cyberviolence,

sexual harassment, interpersonal (or intimate partner) violence and sexual assault.

Sexual violence is influenced by intersecting forms of oppression and discrimination,

including but not limited to sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, and

classism. Acts of sexual violence can happen in-person, online or by phone.

Gender-Based Violence (GBV): Involves the use and abuse of power and control

over another person and is perpetrated against someone based on their gender

identity, gender expression or perceived gender. Violence against women and girls is

a form of gender-based violence. It also has a disproportionate impact on LGBTQI2

(lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex and two-spirit) and

gender non-conforming people. This includes emotional and psychological violence,

such as intentional misgendering, intentional “outing”, and use of gendered slurs, as

well as physical, sexual, and structural or systemic violence.23

Consent: Free, informed, expressed and ongoing agreement to engage in sexual

activity. It cannot occur when a person is incapable of consenting to the activity,

for example, when a person is rendered incapacitated by alcohol or drugs, is

unconscious, or where the sexual activity has been induced by conduct that

constitutes an abuse of a relationship of trust, power or authority, such as the

relationship between a professor and their student.

Cyber Violence: Technology-facilitated sexual violence (TFSV), where mobile and

online technologies are used as tools to blackmail, control, coerce, harass, humiliate,

objectify or violate another person.24 Part of the challenge is to devise appropriate

terminology to describe a vast array of different gender-based online harms such

as ‘revenge pornography’, ‘virtual rape’, ‘cyberstalking’ and ‘online gender-based

hate speech,’ as well as the use of new technologies to perpetrate more traditional

or conventional crimes, such as domestic violence or sexual assault.25

Disclosure: The act of making new information known for the purpose of seeking

support and/or information.

Gender Non-Conforming: A descriptive term and/or identity of a person who

has a gender identity and/or expression that does not conform to the traditional

expectations of the gender they were assigned at birth. People who identify as

“gender non-conforming” or “gender variant” may or may not also identify as

“transgender.” 26

Gender Pronouns: A word used instead of a noun, chosen by the person you are

engaging with, and often brought up during introductions. Knowing someone’s

pronoun informs you of how to refer to the person. Examples of gender pronouns

include but are not limited to: they, she, he, them, ze. More information on Gender

Pronouns and how to use them

Interpersonal Violence: Also referred to as Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) and

Domestic Violence, it is the abuse of power and control within a past or current

relationship that endangers the well-being, security or survival of another person.

Interpersonal Violence can occur in all types of relationships (e.g., dating, long-term,

common-law, marriage, etc.). It can also occur between roommates and close

friends.

Rape: Physically forced or otherwise coerced penetration – even if slight – of the

vulva or anus, using a penis, other body parts or an object. The attempt to do so is

known as attempted rape. Rape of a person by two or more perpetrators is known

as gang rape or multiple perpetrator rape.27

Rape Culture: A culture in which dominant ideologies, media images, social practices

and institutions promote or condone, either implicitly or explicitly, the normalization

of male sexual violence and victim blaming. In a rape culture, incidents of sexual

assault, rape and general gender-based violence are ignored, trivialized, normalized

and/or made the fodder of jokes and entertainment.28

Report: The act of informing an individual having authority to discipline an alleged

perpetrator (for example, the Dean of Students, the Dean of Graduate and

Postdoctoral Studies or a Faculty Dean) about an incident of Sexual Violence for the

purpose of initiating a disciplinary or administrative process.

Safe(r) Space: An area or forum where there are stated norms against (certain

forms of) exclusion, discrimination and oppression. A Safe(r) Space challenges and

confronts oppression and discrimination.

Sexual Assault: Any act of a sexual nature performed without the consent of the other person(s). Forms of sexual assault can include:

Sexual Harassment: Any unwanted sexual communication or attention that is

offensive, intimidating or humiliating, whether in verbal, written or visual form. This

may include psychological violence, verbal abuse, manipulation and coercion. An

example of sexual harassment is when a teacher’s assistant invites a student on a

date and implies that their grades will benefit if they accept the invitation or worsen

if they don’t.

Survivor/Victim: Any person who has experienced Sexual Violence. The term “survivor”

generally focuses on agency and resilience whereas “victim” refers to the person

being victimized by someone else and focuses on elements outside of a person’s

control. It is equally possible for a person to self-identify as a survivor and a victim

depending on their experience. Personal, cultural, and socio-political reasons may

influence a person in self-identifying with either term.

Trauma-Informed Care: is grounded in the understanding of the many different

impacts trauma can have on an individual and community. It places an emphasis on

fostering the physical, psychological and emotional safety of the person disclosing.

It is an approach that is rooted in empowerment and in regaining control over one’s

situation.

Trigger: A term used to describe the result of a sensation, image, event, reading,

dialogue, film, etc. that provokes an emotional response to a past traumatic

experience.

Victim Blaming: The act of blaming the occurrence of sexual assault on the

survivor instead of the perpetrator. Victim blaming can be implicit. For example,

recommending that one does not wear revealing clothing or travel alone at night

implies that such actions provoke sexual assault. A non-victim blaming response

acknowledges that perpetrators make choices to violate the bodily integrity of

others and that perpetrators alone are responsible for these choices.