When one comes to Saint Mary’s, one joins an academic community whose core values are fairness, mutual respect, trust, and honesty. To accomplish its mission to awaken, nurture and empower learners to ethical lives of service and leadership, the Saint Mary’s community depends on the personal responsibility and integrity of all its members. Academic integrity should not be understood as merely following certain rules; rather, it is a way of acting based on shared values that lies at the heart of any academic endeavor. A commitment to academic integrity facilitates the pursuit of knowledge and understanding by providing a framework for the open, honest and respectful exchange of ideas and information. It fosters creativity and critical thinking; it allows students to develop the self-confidence that comes from acquiring academic skills; it provides correct information to instructors so that they can give appropriate feedback in the essential relationship between students and teachers; and, ultimately, it ensures the integrity of the Saint Mary’s degree.
Students at Saint Mary’s University are expected to maintain the highest standards of academic integrity. Academic dishonesty, in any form, will not be tolerated and will subject the student to disciplinary sanctions up to and including dismissal. Academic dishonesty comes in a variety of forms. The most common forms are plagiarism, fabrication, abuse of Internet sources, cheating, lying and academic misconduct.
- Plagiarism is the presentation of someone else’s words, ideas or data as one’s own. When a student submits work that includes the words, ideas or data of others, the source of that information must be acknowledged through complete, accurate and specific citations, as well as quotation marks if verbatim statements are included. By placing his/her name on work submitted, the student certifies the originality of all work not otherwise identified by appropriate acknowledgments. Examples of plagiarism include: copying someone else’s previously prepared material such as lab reports, class papers, etc.; copying a paragraph or even sentences from other works; and self-plagiarism (turning in for new credit your own work from a previous class without authorization).
- Fabrication is the intentional use of invented information or the falsification of research or other findings with the intent to deceive. Examples include: the citation of information not taken from the source indicated; submission in a lab report of falsified, invented or fictitious data; submitting as the student’s own work prepared by another, including purchasing or downloading from the Internet; and falsely representing hours or experience in a field experience or internship.
- Abuse of Internet sources is the acquisition or presentation of information obtained by purchase or downloaded for free from the Internet without explicit written acknowledgment of the source. Examples include: submission of a paper prepared by other persons or agencies, including commercial organizations; and the combination of passages from various sources presented as one’s own thoughts or analysis.
- Cheating is an act or attempted act of deception by which a student seeks to misrepresent that he/she has mastered information on an academic exercise that he/she has not mastered. Examples include: copying from another student’s test; allowing another student to copy from a test paper; taking a test for someone else; collaborating during a test or assignment with another student by giving or receiving information without the instructor’s permission; or using notes when disallowed.
- Lying is giving false or misleading information to gain an academic advantage.
- Academic misconduct is the intentional violation of university policies by tampering with grades or taking part in obtaining or distributing any part of an administered test. Examples include: accessing academic files without appropriate permission; duplicating computer software that has been copyrighted; and forging another person’s signature.
If an instructor has reason to believe a student has committed an act of academic dishonesty, the work may be submitted to a third party (person or electronic database) for pattern matching and verification. The program director authorizes this review and facilitates the submission. If a person or electronic database is used, the student must submit the work electronically, and the work is encoded to preserve the student’s privacy.
Suspicion of academic dishonesty must be reported to the program director. The program director initiates and documents an investigation in conjunction with a dean. The program director will meet with the individual to provide a fair opportunity for response to the allegation. After doing so, the program director may consult with others. If the program director has reason to believe academic dishonesty has occurred, he or she recommends a sanction to the dean. The dean will render judgment and impose sanctions. The individual may appeal the judgment or sanction by initiating the grade grievance procedure.
The university reserves the right to revoke a degree if it discovers academic dishonesty that may have impacted the award of the degree initially.
As members of a Lasallian community of scholars, students are expected to adhere to the highest levels of respect and professionalism in all interactions with other members of the university community or with individuals at practicum, internship, student teaching, etc., sites. In cases where a student’s behavior is not professional or is disrespectful toward others within the university community, the student may be subject to disciplinary action. Complaints about unethical, unprofessional, or disrespectful behavior must be made, in writing, to the program director. The program director will notify the dean of the allegation.
To determine if disciplinary action is appropriate, a disciplinary hearing will be held by an appointed committee. The committee will be chaired by the program director of the program in which the student is enrolled. Other members of the committee will be: a representative from the university community chosen by the student, and administrators or staff selected by the dean. The dean may attend the hearing as an interested party, but is not a member of the committee.
At the hearing, the student may address the allegations and respond to questions from committee members. The committee may hear from other appropriate individuals. At the conclusion of the hearing, the committee will discuss the allegations, determine if the allegations are accurate and then determine if disciplinary action should be recommended to the dean.
The dean will review the committee’s recommendation and make decisions regarding disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal. The dean will notify the student. Students may appeal to the vice president.
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota reserves the right to take disciplinary action against a student for his or her behavior independent of a written complaint and independent of this procedure.
Policy on Children and Guests in the Classroom
The primary mission of the Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota is to educate graduate and degree completion students. To that end, Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs have the responsibility to provide a place of instruction that is free from internal as well as external distraction and conducive to learning. To provide a place of instruction which is free from distraction requires that some restrictions be placed on children and guests in the classroom and on campus. In addition to concerns about the ability to carry out Schools of Graduate and Professional Program’s mission, the presence of children and guests in classrooms and in campus facilities raises safety and liability issues.
This policy statement addresses issues raised by the presence of children and guests in classrooms and on the campus and provides guidance for students and employees of the college.
First and foremost, Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs and its facilities (classrooms, offices, public service areas and grounds) should not be viewed as a substitute for child care arrangements. This policy does not preclude an adult from bringing children on campus for visits, but when the reason for the child’s presence is to take the place of child care services, then it is inappropriate for the child to be on site.
Second, at no time may children be unattended or unsupervised on campus. The terms “unattended” and “unsupervised” are used to refer to situations in which the child is on campus or in a campus facility and is not under the immediate physical control of an adult or an instructor. As a practical matter, children may not be left unattended in public areas while the adult is in class. Nor may a child be left to wait or play outside a classroom while the accompanying adult is in class.
Third, only enrolled students may be present in classrooms. Guests and children may not attend class with enrolled students. The presence of children in class is often a disruptive factor, not just because a child might be noisy or active, but because inadvertently attention is centered on the child rather than on the teaching/learning process. Moreover, children may not be present at the employee’s work site during an employee’s assigned work hours. This does not preclude short visits when the child is accompanied by another responsible adult.
Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs instructors and staff must advise students that it is a violation of Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs policy to allow children in the classroom. Students who do not comply with a request to remove children from class will be dealt with in accordance with the Student Behavior Policy.
Finally, as a safety measure, Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs employees and students should not allow children to be left unattended on campus. Staff or students who observe children who appear to be unattended should contact Campus Security. Campus Security may contact local law enforcement to handle the situation.
It is a violation of federal law to reproduce or share copyrighted materials, print or digital, without appropriate permission. Sharing materials includes posting content online but does not include sharing links to material posted online by another party. Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota considers a violation of copyright law to be academic misconduct.
The Fair Use provision of copyright law permit students to make and distribute copies of traditionally copyrighted materials without seeking permission from the copyright holder in situations related to teaching, scholarship, and research. All decisions to share copyrighted material must be determined on a case-by-case basis, using the fair use factors. Students who determine that their use of copyrighted materials meets fair use guidelines must attribute (cite) the original source. Students may contact the Twin Cities Campus Library for additional information and for a copy of the U.S. Copyright Law (17 U.S.C. § 101).
The University will purchase all proprietary computer software or site licenses. The use of copied software on any university equipment is prohibited.
Updated March 19, 2015
Institutional Review Board (IRB) and Collection of Data from Human Participants
The Institutional Review Board (IRB) for the Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota is responsible for the review of all research involving human participants conducted at or sponsored by the Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs. Research may be conducted by students, faculty, staff, or outside entities. This policy includes but is not limited to data collection for class assignments, capstone projects, master’s integrative papers or theses, and dissertations. Additional approvals may be required for research which involves the cooperation of external institutions or agencies.
The IRB seeks to assure that research with human participants is conducted in accordance with legal requirements and ethical principles of respect for persons, beneficence and justice. These principles require the balancing of risks to participants against the scientific knowledge to be gained and the potential benefits to participants and society. This policy is not meant to prevent access to information or opinions within the scope of critical inquiry and scholarship. All applicants for IRB review and all faculty members supervising research submitted for IRB review must complete the Collaborative Institute Training Initiative (CITI) research ethics course.
All research projects must be reviewed and approved by the IRB prior to the collection of any data from human participants for research purposes. Complete instructions for the preparation of an IRB application may be accessed on line at Blackboard. After initial review of a submitted research proposal, the IRB will determine whether the research project is 1) exempt from IRB review, 2) subject to expedited IRB review, or 3) subject to full IRB review.
Electronic Communication Policy
Saint Mary’s University recognizes that individuals occasionally have a situation in which they need to be accessible to their employers and/or families during scheduled class time. In addition, some individuals’ employment or personal responsibilities require that they be accessible at all times. Cellular telephones and personal paging devices are the primary method used to ensure this communication linkage.
However, the persistent use of such devices can be disruptive to the classroom environment. Therefore, individuals who have this kind of communication need should notify their instructor. They should reduce and/or eliminate audible signals and respond to non emergency calls during classroom breaks and take all calls outside of the classroom.
Students at off-campus locations should follow the policies of the location which may prohibit use of cell phones.
Staff are encouraged to discuss the use of such devices as part of faculty orientation. Faculty are encouraged to discuss the use of such devices as part of the course overview.
Good Name Policy
Members of the university community recognize that freedom means the acknowledgment of responsibility to the subjects used in classroom discussions. Students and faculty are responsible for protecting the good name of any organization under discussion. They should communicate no information that either implicitly or explicitly impugns the good name of an organization, person, place, or thing being discussed or studied.
Conflict of Interest
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota seeks to avoid conflicts of interest in teaching and advising. A conflict of interest occurs when a student or employee of the university is engaged in both a teaching or advising relationship and a familial, cohabitational, supervisory, financial, professional, or personal relationship with another student or employee of the university. Examples of conflicts of interest include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Use of class lists to solicit business for purposes other than university business.
- Duality of relationships within coursework, advisement, and/or professional organizations.
- Any present or past relationship that causes discomfort for either party to the relationship.
Any student or employee of the university will immediately notify the program director or a university administrator if a conflict of interest has developed in a teaching or advising relationship. The program director or university administrator will take action as appropriate.
Student Complaint Policy and Procedure
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota (SMUMN) is committed to respecting all members of our university community and providing a quality educational experience for all students. The objective of the Student Complaint Policy and Procedure is to ensure that the concerns and complaints of undergraduate or graduate students are addressed fairly and are resolved promptly. Complaints related to this policy are usually the result of behavior that the student feels is unjust, inequitable, or creates an unnecessary hardship.
Students may file complaints if they believe a problem is not governed by SMUMN other complaint or appeal procedures. Many of the other complaint policies may be found in the SMUMN Student Handbooks and Catalogues. If there is a question regarding which appeal or complaint procedure is the most appropriate, students should contact the Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Services (School of Graduate and Professional Programs) or the Dean of Students (College). After consulting with the student, the Associate Vice President of the Dean or their representatives will direct the student to the most appropriate procedure.
Whenever possible, students are encouraged to seek an informal resolution of the matter directly with the faculty or individual(s) involved. Often a complaint can be resolved in this way. However, if an informal approach is neither successful nor advisable, the student should use the following procedure:
- A student complaint form should be submitted to the Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Services or the Dean of Students. It should contain (at a minimum) the date and time of the alleged conflict or action, the reason(s) for the complaint, a summary of the complaint, a list of other persons who may provide information and any appropriate documentation. The student must also include the resolution or outcome he or she is seeking. The complaint must be submitted within ten (10) business days of the alleged conflict or action.
- Upon receipt of a completed form, a conference will take place with the student and the Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Services or the Dean of Students or their designees.
- The Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Services or the Dean of Students or their designees will notify appropriate persons and request any information or documentation needed to resolve the complaint.
- The Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Services or the Dean of Students or their designees may attempt to resolve the complaint by encouraging discussion between the student(s) and the faculty member/administrator or by taking the appropriate action to resolve complaint.
- A review of the complaint with the supervisor(s) or others in the line of supervision may be used when deemed appropriate and beneficial to the process.
- All relative documentation and possible outcomes must be submitted by the student or other appropriate persons within ten (10) business days of the date the complaint is filed.
- When possible, the final resolution (or a finding of “unresolved”) will be filed in the Dean of Students office or the Student Services Office within fifteen (15) business days of the date the complaint is filed. If there are circumstances requiring an extension of this deadline, the staff member assigned to the complaint will notify the parties involved.
- If the student is not satisfied with the outcome of the complaint, a committee will be appointed to review the information and render a final decision. The committee will consist of representatives appointed by the Vice President for the Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs, the Vice President for Academic Affairs (College), and the Vice President for Student Life. Their decision will be final.
A record of all complaints and their resolution will be documented and the records will be kept in the Dean of Students office on the Winona campus and the Student Services Office on the Twin Cities campus.
A grievance is a complaint that may result in disciplinary action against a staff member or student. This grievance procedure only applies where no other university policy provides a process for addressing the subject matter of the grievance.
In order to encourage attention to individual concerns, the Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs has developed this grievance procedure. The university believes that concerns ought to be handled at the lowest possible level of organizational structure. Grievants who wish to address concerns will observe the following procedures:
- The grievant should discuss the matter with the student, faculty, or staff member concerned. If the concern relates to sexual harassment by the student, faculty, or staff member concerned, the grievant may refer the matter immediately to the program director.
- If a satisfactory resolution is not achieved, the grievant will discuss the matter with his or her program director. The program director will attempt to resolve the issue between the student, faculty, or staff member.
- If a satisfactory resolution is not achieved, a dean will attempt to resolve the issue.
- If a satisfactory resolution is still not achieved, the dean will forward a written statement describing the grievance to the vice president.
- Upon receiving the dean’s statement, the vice president will review the grievance, make a decision, and impose sanctions, if necessary, within a reasonable time. Sanctions may include any action up to and including expulsion, termination, and legal action.
- If either party is not satisfied with the vice president’s decision that party must, within 15 days, submit to the vice president a written request to establish an ad hoc committee of individuals from the university community. The student may select a peer advocate to serve as a member of the committee. The committee will determine its own procedures to hear the case. The case will be heard within a reasonable time. The committee then has a reasonable time to complete its deliberations. A majority vote of the committee is needed to make a recommendation on the grievance.
- The committee shall notify all parties of its recommendation.
- The vice president will confirm or modify the recommendation, and notify the parties involved and the student of the decision.
- The decision of the Vice President is final.
The grievance procedure must be initiated within four months of the event causing the grievance.
Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, and Sexual Assault Policy
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota prohibits and will not tolerate discrimination against any member of this university community by any other member of the university community and pledges to seek out and eradicate all forms of discrimination in its activities and programs. Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota supports federal and state laws that prohibit discrimination against any person because of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, familial status, status with regard to public assistance, or disability.
Discrimination is the segregation or separation of individuals based on race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, familial status, status with regard to public assistance, or disability.
Discriminatory practices include any instances of differential treatment that interfere with an individual’s full participation in this university community when the differential treatment is based on an individual’s race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, familial status, status with regard to public assistance, or disability. Examples of discrimination include the following actions if said actions are based upon the categories listed above : racial/ethnic/religious slurs or slurs based upon and individual’s sexual orientation, racially/ethnically/religiously offensive comments or offensive comments about an individual’s sexual orientation, discouraging classroom participation, preventing students from seeking help outside class, causing students to drop or avoid certain classes, reducing the development of the individual collegial relationships crucial for future professional development, dampening career aspirations, undermining self-confidence, assigning tasks/responsibilities without regard to experience, qualification’s and/or job description, providing training opportunities annually, or evaluating job performance based on arbitrary standards.
Any student who believes that she or he has been discriminated against by a member of the university community may request assistance as follows:
Associate Vice President, Enrollment Management & Student Services
Ann E. Merchlewitz
Title IX Coordinator
Any student who believes that he or she has been discriminated against by another member of the university community may file a complaint with the individuals noted above. The individual to whom the complaint is made will investigate, or designate an individual to investigate, the complaint. The result of an investigation may include action up to and including expulsion. During the investigation, the victim/complainant may ask to be shielded from unwanted contact with the person against whom the complaint is being brought. To shield the complainant, the university adjust class schedules, impose restraining orders, alter work assignments, etc. A detailed copy of the Saint Mary’s Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Policy is available on the university’s website.
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota prohibits and will not tolerate the sexual harassment of any member of this university community by any other member of the university community. Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota supports federal and state laws that prohibit discrimination against any person because of gender. The university has adopted a Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Policy. A copy of this policy may be found on the university’s website.
Sexual harassment is the exercise of power by one individual over another using conduct of a sexual nature to achieve superiority. It is unwelcome and, typically, repeated behavior by which an individual subjects another individual to unwanted sexual attention, implicitly or explicitly coerces or attempts to coerce an individual into a romantic or sexual relationship, punishes or threatens to punish an individual for refusing to comply with requests for sexual favors, or engages in conduct that interferes with work or academic performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or academic environment. Examples of sexual harassment include the following: nonverbal: suggestive or insulting sounds, leering, whistling, or obscene gestures; verbal: sexual innuendo, suggestive comments, insults, humor and jokes about sex or gender-specific traits, sexual propositions, or threats; touching, pinching, brushing the body, or sexual assault.
Any student who believes that she or he has been sexually harassed by a member of the university community may request assistance as follows:
Ann E. Merchlewitz
Title IX Coordinator
Associate Vice President, Enrollment Management & Student Services
Any student who believes that he or she has been sexually harassed by another member of the university community may file a complaint with one the parties noted above. The individual to whom the complaint is made will investigate, or designate an individual to investigate, the complaint. The result of an investigation may include action up to and including expulsion. During the investigation, the victim/complainant may ask to be shielded from unwanted contact with the person against whom the complaint is being brought. To shield the complainant, the university adjust class schedules, impose restraining orders, alter work assignments, etc.
SEXUAL ASSAULT AND SEXUAL MISCONDUCT
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota prohibits all forms of sexual misconduct, including sexual assault, stalking, and relationship violence, and provides support and reporting mechanisms for all members of the university community. Saint Mary’s University has a zero tolerance for sexual misconduct in any form.
As a Lasallian Catholic institution of higher education, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota is committed to the belief that students are “entrusted to our care.” As such, the university strives to create an environment where the dignity of each person is respected and honored. Sexual assault and other forms of sexual misconduct violate the dignity of the person and are inconsistent with the mission and values of the university.
The university believes that no person should bear the effects of sexual misconduct alone. When such conduct occurs, the university’s paramount concern is for the safety and well-being of those impacted.
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota will investigate and promptly seek the equitable resolution of all allegations of sexual misconduct.
Sexual misconduct incorporates a variety of behaviors, including sexual assault, sexual violence, stalking, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual exploitation, sex-based cyber harassment, and any other conduct of a sexual nature that is nonconsensual or has the purpose or effect of threatening, intimidating, coercing or interfering with the rights of another person or persons. Photographs, video, or other visual or auditory records of sexual activity made or shared without explicit consent constitute sexual misconduct, even if the activity documented was consensual.
Sexual assault is defined as actual, attempted or threatened sexual contact with another person without that person’s consent. Sexual assault often is a crime that can be prosecuted under Minnesota state law.
Sexual contact shall have the same meaning as it has under Minnesota law. “Sexual contact” includes, but is not limited to, the intentional touching by the respondent of the complainant’s breasts, inner thighs, genitals and/or groin area, whether clothed or unclothed; or the coerced touching by the complainant of another’s intimate parts. Sexual contact includes the intentional removal or attempted removal of clothing covering the complainant’s intimate parts. It also includes all forms of sexual penetration.
Consent has the same meaning as it has under Minnesota law. “Consent” is defined as:
- Words or overt actions by a person indicating a freely given present agreement to perform a particular sexual act with the actor. Consent must be informed and freely and actively given.
- Consent requires more than the existence of a prior or current social or sexual relationship between the actor and the complainant.
- Consent to one sexual act does not imply consent to another. Consent has to be specific to the act. Past consent to sexual activity does not imply ongoing future consent. Consent can be revoked at any time. Although consent does not need to be verbal, verbal communication is the most reliable form of asking for and gauging consent.
- Simple silence, the lack of a negative response, or failure to resist is not consent. It is the responsibility of the actor to obtain consent to any and all sexual involvement that occurs.
- The use or threatened use of force or other forms of coercion or intimidation take away a person’s ability to give consent to sexual contact. Consent is not present when another person fears the consequences of not consenting. Coercion includes intimidation, threats, misuse of authority, manipulation, tricking or bribing with actions and/or words.
- A person who is asleep, unconscious or substantially impaired by drugs, alcohol, disability, or other means, or who lacks full knowledge or information of what is happening cannot consent to a sexual act. This is true regardless of whether the person voluntarily or involuntarily consumed the drugs or alcohol. Use of drugs or alcohol by the respondent, however is not a defense against allegations of sexual misconduct and does not diminish personal accountability or criminal liability.
- A person who has not reached the legal age of consent may not give consent. The legal age of consent may vary depending on the circumstances and the applicable state law. In Minnesota, the legal age of consent is 18.
- Where there is otherwise credible evidence to support a finding of nonconsent, corroborating testimony is not required.
Sexual Exploitation occurs when one person takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for his/her own advantage or benefit, or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited, and that behavior does not otherwise constitute one of other sexual misconduct offenses. Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to:
- Invasion of sexual privacy;
- Prostituting another person;
- Non-consensual digital, video or audio recording of nudity or sexual activity;
- Unauthorized sharing or distribution of digital, video or audio recording of nudity or sexual activity;
- Engaging in voyeurism;
- Going beyond the boundaries of consent (such as letting your friend hide in the closet to watch you having consensual sex);
- Knowingly exposing someone to or transmitting an STD or HIV to another person;
- Intentionally or recklessly exposing one’s genitals in non-consensual circumstances; inducing another to expose their genitals;
- Sexually-based stalking and/or bullying may also be forms of sexual exploitation.
Dating Violence means violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors: (i) the length of the relationship; (ii) the type of relationship; and (iii) the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. Any incident meeting this definition is considered a crime for purposes of Clery Act reporting.
Domestic Violence includes the felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of Minnesota, or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under domestic or family violence laws. Any incident meeting this definition is considered a crime for purposes of Clery Act reporting.
Stalking means engaging in conduct which the individual knows or has reason to know would cause the victim under the circumstances to feel frightened, threatened, oppressed, persecuted, or intimidated, and causes this reaction on the part of the victim regardless of the relationship between the actor and victim. In addition, stalking means engaging in a course or pattern of unwelcome and unwanted conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety or the safety of others or to suffer substantial emotional distress. Stalking behavior includes, but is not limited to:
- Repeated, unwanted, intrusive, and frightening communications by phone, mail, and/or email;
- Repeatedly leaving or sending victim unwanted items, presents, or flowers;
- Following or lying in wait for the victim at places such as home, school, work, or recreation place;
- Making direct or indirect threats to harm the victim, the victim’s children, relatives, friends, or pets;
- Damaging or threatening to damage the victim’s property;
- Posting information or spreading rumors about the victim on the Internet, in a public place, or by word of mouth;
- Unreasonably obtaining personal information about the victim by accessing public records, using internet search services, hiring private investigators, going through the victim’s garbage, following the victim, contacting victim’s friends, family work, or neighbors, etc.
- Directly or indirectly, or through third parties, manifesting a purpose or intent to injure the person, property, or rights of another by the commission of an unlawful act;
- Following, monitoring, or pursuing another, whether in person or through any available technological or other means;
- Returning to the property of another if the actor is without claim of right to the property or consent of one with authority to consent;
- Repeatedly makes telephone calls, sends text messages, or induces a victim to make telephone calls to the actor, whether or not conversation ensues;
- Making or causing the telephone of another repeatedly or continuously to ring; or
- Repeatedly mailing or delivering or causing the delivery by any means, including electronically, of letters, telegrams, messages, packages, through assistive devices for people with vision impairments or hearing loss, or any communication made through any available technologies or other objects.
For purposes of this definition, a “pattern of stalking conduct” means two or more acts within a five-year period. “Substantial emotional distress” means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or professional treatment or counseling.
Any incident meeting this definition is considered a crime for purposes of Clery Act reporting.
Saint Mary’s University strongly encourages students who have been sexually assaulted or been the victim or sexual misconduct to report the assault to the university and proper legal authorities, as well as to seek out any needed support.
Students may request assistance as follows:
Reporting a sexual assault or a sexual misconduct incident does not require the complainant to initiate or participate in an investigation or complaint. When the university receives a report of sexual misconduct, it has a legal obligation to respond in a timely and appropriate manner. The response of the university will vary depending on the circumstances, including the seriousness of the alleged offense, the facts reported, and the complainant’s preferences on responsive actions. (A complainant’s preferences cannot be followed in every circumstance, but the university will consider and will take reasonable steps to accommodate the complainant’s preferences to the extent possible consistent with the legal obligations of the university). The university may determine that it has a responsibility to initiate an investigation or complaint (even without the complainant’s participation). The university will conduct an appropriate investigation of all reports of sexual misconduct received.
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota will also seek to support any person adversely impacted by sexual misconduct that violates this policy. Support services that may be available include, but are not limited to, connecting the individual with appropriate on-campus and off-campus counseling and support services, making changes to academic, living, transportation, and/or working arrangements to protect the individual from contact with the respondent, assistance in filing a criminal complaint, and providing information about restraining orders and other available protections and services. An individual does not need to report sexual misconduct to law enforcement in order to receive support services from the university
Non-confidential resources are all faculty or staff members who are not medical or counseling professionals or clergy, and are therefore not permitted to honor requests for confidentiality. Non-confidential resources who learn of an incident of sexual misconduct involving a student are required to report that information to the Title IX Coordinator.
A complainant of sexual assault or sexual misconduct has the option to pursue a criminal complaint with the appropriate law enforcement agency, to pursue a complaint through the appropriate university complaint procedure, or to pursue both processes simultaneously. Regardless of the option chosen, the university will investigate all reports.
Students may report sexual assaults or sexual misconduct to anyone on campus. The following individuals are trained to received and investigate reports of sexual misconduct:
Associate Vice President, Enrollment Management and Student Services
166 LaSalle Hall
Dr. Sarah Ferguson
Associate Vice President and Academic Dean
114 Martin DePorres Hall
Ann E. Merchlewitz
Title IX Coordinator
Executive Offices, Heffron Hall
Upon receipt of a report of sexual assault or sexual misconduct, the university will investigate the report as outlined in its Sexual Misconduct Policy which can be found on the university’s website. The university will use a preponderance of the evidence standard in assessing whether sexual misconduct has occurred. The result of the investigation may result in sanctions up to and including expulsion. If in the judgment of the investigating official, the safety or the general welfare of a person or the community is endangered or sufficiently upset, the respondent may be required to leave campus immediately.
The Title IX Coordinator or his or her designee may provide interim measures intended to address the short-term effects of sexual misconduct, i.e., to redress harm to the alleged victim and the community and to prevent further violations. The university will keep interim measures and actions as private as possible.
These measures may include, but are not limited to:
- No Contact Orders restricting encounters and communications between the parties
- Academic accommodations, including but not limited to deadline extensions, incompletes, course changes or late drops, or other arrangements as appropriate;
- Changing transportation or working arrangements or providing other employment accommodations, as appropriate;
- Assisting the individual in accessing support services, including, as available, victim advocacy, academic support, fair and respectful counseling, disability, health or mental health services, visa and immigration assistance, student financial aid services, and legal assistance
- Informing the individual of the right to report a crime to local law enforcement and/or seek orders of protection, restraining orders, or relief from abuse orders from United States courts or courts outside of the United States as applicable, and providing assistance if the individual wishes to do so. Referral to counseling and health services
- Referral to the Employee Assistance Program
- Education to the community
- Providing campus escorts
- Information about resources at a new institution if the complainant elects to transfer.
The university may suspend a student, employee or organization, on an interim basis, pending the completion of the sexual misconduct investigation, particularly when in the judgment of the Title IX Coordinator or his or her designee, the safety or well-being of any member(s) of the campus community may be jeopardized by the presence on-campus of the respondent or the ongoing activity of a student organization whose behavior is in question.
A student desiring to report a sexual assault may also contact the appropriate police department for his or her jurisdiction. (In the case of a sexual assault, it is vitally important that all evidence of the assault be preserved; for example, do not wash clothing or take a shower.) The authorities there will immediately commence an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the sexual assault. The matter may be referred to a County Attorney’s Office for a determination on whether criminal charges should be filed. A statute of limitations exists for the criminal prosecution of most sexual assaults. Realistically, however, if too much of a delay occurs between the sexual assault and the report to the law enforcement authorities, information from the witnesses may be difficult to obtain and evidence may be destroyed.
If a student or someone a student knows has been sexually assaulted, telephone Campus Security at 612-728-5159. If requested by the victim, contact the law enforcement by telephoning 911 or asking a staff member to call. Emergency care at the hospital will treat any physical injuries, provide emotional support, and gather evidence.
It is strongly recommended that the victim of a sexual assault seek support and assistance from professionals as soon as possible.
Any of the following sanctions, or combinations of sanctions, may be imposed on a student or employee responsible for a violation of this policy. Disciplinary action other than those outlined below may be taken as the situation warrants. Failure to abide by the imposed sanction may result in additional violations/sanctions.
- Oral Reprimand: An oral statement to a student that he or she is violating or has violated institutional rules. No reprimand shall be entered as a permanent part of the student’s record unless issued by the appropriate accountability body.
- Written Reprimand: Notice in writing that continuation or repetition of inappropriate conduct within a period of time stated in the warning may be cause for more severe disciplinary action.
- Forced Change of Residency: A requirement that the student move from one residence hall area to another.
- Removal from Campus Housing: A requirement that the student vacate campus housing by a designated time.
- No Contact Orders restricting encounters and communications between the parties after the investigation and disciplinary proceeding
- Trespass Warning: The student is prohibited from visiting or returning to a part or all of any designated area of campus. If the student returns, he/she is subject to arrest and additional action.
- Fines: An appropriate fine may be levied for policy violations or damages incurred.
- Restitution: A restitution order may be entered requiring the student to reimburse the complainant or university for any loss as a result of the student’s sexual misconduct violation.
- Campus Work: The student may be required to participate in educational programs or projects may be assigned.
- Loss of Privileges: The student may be denied access to campus technology, recreational facilities, etc.
- Disciplinary Probation: The student may be excluded from participation in privileged or extracurricular university activities as set forth in the notice of probation.
- Interim Suspension: The student may be temporarily suspended by an official of the university for a designated period of time. Students who are placed on interim suspension are judged to be disruptive in conduct to the educational mission and/or pose a substantial threat to the health or safety of themselves or others. An interim suspension is made pending a hearing on the alleged offense.
- Deferred Suspension: Students are suspended but are allowed to continue as a student under specific conditions as outlined by the Office of Residence Life and agreed upon by the student.
- Suspension: The student is excluded from classes and other privileges or activities or from the university, as set forth in the notice of suspension, for a definite period of time.
- Expulsion: The student’s status as a student is terminated for an indefinite period of time. The following sanctions may be imposed upon any member of the university community found to have violated this policy.
- Withholding Diploma: A student’s diploma may be withheld for a specified period of time.
- Revocation of Degree: A student’s degree may be revoked by the university.
The university strictly prohibits retaliation against any person who complains in good faith of a sexual misconduct policy violation. In addition, the university strictly prohibits retaliation against any respondent. Finally, the university strictly prohibits retaliation against any person because of their good faith involvement in an investigation or hearing as part of the complaint process. Encouraging others to retaliate also violates this policy.
Retaliation is any materially adverse action, or threat thereof, against an individual because of the individual’s good faith report or complaint of a potential policy violation or his/her good faith participation in an investigation or hearing. Retaliatory acts may include, but are not limited to: adverse changes in employment status or opportunities; adverse academic action; adverse changes to academic, educational and extra-curricular opportunities; harassment; intimidation; acts or comments intended to embarrass the individual; and seeking out or attempting to discover the parties and witnesses involved in a report or complaint process for the purpose of influencing their participation or testimony or taking adverse action against them. Retaliatory conduct by university community members and third-parties is prohibited regardless of whether it occurs on or off campus, in person, or through social media, e-mail, or other form of communication. Retaliation by campus authorities, the respondent, organizations affiliated with the respondent, other students, and other employees is prohibited.
Any retaliation should be reported to the Title IX Coordinator immediately. The university cannot stop retaliation unless it knows about it.
Those who harass a witness, a complainant or the respondent after a report is made will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.
A complete copy of the university’s Sexual Misconduct Policy can be found at http://www.smumn.edu/about/offices/title-ix-coordinator.
Romantic and Sexual Relationships Policy
Long-established standards of professional ethics discourage personal relationships of a romantic or sexual nature between persons who are in a supervisor-subordinate relationship on campus, especially between faculty or staff personnel and students. No non-academic or personal ties should be allowed to interfere with the academic integrity of the teacher-student relationship or the general integrity of the supervisor-subordinate working relationship at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. With respect to sexual relationships, in particular, what might appear to be consensual, even to the parties involved, may, in fact, not be so due to the inherent differential in authority.
On this basis, the university prohibits any faculty or staff member of the university from engaging in romantic or sexual conduct, or a romantic or sexual relationship with any undergraduate student currently enrolled at the university.
Furthermore, the university prohibits any faculty or staff member of the university from engaging in romantic or sexual conduct, or a romantic or sexual relationship with any graduate student whom the faculty or staff member educates, counsels, supervises or evaluates in any way.
Likewise, the university prohibits any faculty or staff member from engaging in romantic or sexual conduct, or a romantic or sexual relationship with any faculty or staff member whom that person supervises or evaluates in any way.
Exceptions to any of these prohibitions will be considered by the EEO Officer on a limited, case-by-case basis. If a faculty or staff member has questions about the application or effect of this policy to an existing or potential relationship, it is the faculty or staff member’s duty to consult with his or her supervisor and/or the EEO Officer.
If charges of sexual harassment are made, the existence of a romantic or sexual relationship in any of the contexts stated above shall not be a defense in any proceeding unless an exception to the prohibitions herein has been made as outlined above. In addition, the university will not defend a faculty or staff member against sexual harassment charges based upon the existence of a romantic or sexual relationship unless an exception to the prohibitions herein has been made as outlined above. Individuals who violate this policy are subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination.
Workplace Violence Policy
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota is committed to providing faculty, staff, and students with an environment that is safe, secure, and free from threats, harassment, intimidation, and violence. Employees play a major role in the university’s efforts by complying with this policy, contributing to a respectful atmosphere, treating all threats seriously, and reporting incidents immediately.
The university will treat all reports of threatening behavior or violence seriously and will investigate them. The university reserves the right to search any area in order to investigate reports of workplace violence.
Prohibited Conduct and Behavior
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota will not tolerate any workplace violence, whether carried out by employees, students, visitors, former employees, or other individuals. The university expressly prohibits violence, threats, harassment, intimidation, and other disruptive behavior on its property. Violence or disruptive behavior can include physical acts of violence, gestures, intimidating presence, oral or written statements, harassing telephone calls, stalking, expressions that communicate a direct or indirect threat of physical harm, and weapons possession.
The university will investigate all reports of such incidents and will initiate appropriate action, which may include immediate removal from university property, suspension, termination and/or referral for criminal prosecution. All employees are required to cooperate in any investigations the university conducts in response to reports or acts of workplace violence. This policy applies to all work locations including, but not limited to offices, work sites, classrooms, residence halls, vehicles, and field locations.
All employees are responsible for reporting workplace violence and can do so without the fear of reprisal or criticism. Members of the university community should report incidents or violent, threatening, harassing, intimidating or other disruptive behavior as outlined below:
Any act of violence or threat of violence, or any emergency situation:
- Winona Campus Safety (Ext. 1703)
- Twin Cities Campus Security (Ext. 5159)
Verbal abuse, perceived intimidation, or harassment, or any non-emergency situation:
- Report incident to immediate supervisor or the vice president for the area.
All other situations or not sure — call:
- Winona Campus Safety (800) 635-5987 (Ext. 1703)
- Twin Cities Campus Security (866) 497-8788 (Ext. 5159)
The university will treat all reports with integrity and discretion.
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota prohibits the possession of firearms, fireworks, knives, air- or gas-operated weapons, stun guns, bows or arrows, or weapons of any kind (including martial arts weapons) on the Twin Cities Campus and any sites operated by the Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs.
The possession or use of a weapon on the Twin Cities Campus or any university site may lead to dismissal. Licensed peace officers may carry their firearms while on the Twin Cities campus.
Suspected weapons possession should be reported to Campus Security.
Drug and Alcohol Policy
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota supports the principles of a society working toward the amelioration of problems related to illicit drugs, alcohol abuse and addiction, and prescription drug abuse and addiction.
The university prohibits student and employees from unlawfully manufacturing, distributing, possessing or using alcohol or illicit drugs on its property, in the workplace, or as part of any university activities. An employee criminally convicted of unlawfully manufacturing, distributing, possessing or using alcohol or illicit drugs in the workplace or on university property must report that conviction to his/her vice president within five days of the conviction. Within 10 days of receiving notice that an employee has been so criminally convicted, the university will notify any granting federal agency. A student criminally convicted of unlawfully manufacturing, distributing, possessing or using alcohol or illicit drugs on the university’s property or as part of a university activity must report that conviction to the Vice President for Student Development on the Winona campus or the Academic Dean on the Twin Cities campus, as applicable, within five days of the conviction. Employees of the university shall not furnish underage students of the university with alcohol. Employees of the university shall not furnish any students of the university with illicit drugs.
Any employee found in violation of this policy may be immediately suspended, placed on probation or immediately terminated from employment. Any disciplinary action will follow the process outlined in the university’s employee handbooks. Any student found in violation of this policy may be suspended, placed on disciplinary probation, or expelled from the university. Any disciplinary action will follow the processes outlined for student discipline.
The university does seek to be supportive of employees who experience personal difficulties with drug or alcohol abuse. The university will attempt to help any employee who seeks assistance with a drug and/or alcohol problem without jeopardy to employment. In the event of placement in residential treatment, the university will hold the employee’s position until residential treatment has been completed. Following treatment, the university will attempt to be as flexible as possible in accommodating the employee’s needs for aftercare. In the event of outpatient treatment, the university will allow an employee to adjust temporarily his/her work schedule to accommodate outpatient treatment needs, if appropriate.
The university fundamentally recognizes the importance of every employee and student. When a problem arises as a result of drug or alcohol use, the university will make every effort to balance the employee’s or student’s concerns with the concerns of the university community and applicable legal parameters. If the university believes that the rights and needs of others are being violated as a result of an employee’s or student’s drug or alcohol problems, or if available assistance has been rejected, termination of employment or expulsion from the university may result.
Consistent with the educational nature of the institution, the university will make available to its students and employees, information, and referrals related to the prevention of and intervention for alcohol and drug problems.
The university recognizes the right of persons to use alcohol within the limitations of state law and local ordinances. However, the use of alcohol on university premises, other than residence halls, by faculty, students or staff members is limited to specific university-sponsored events with the prior approval of the appropriate vice president.
Behavior, suspected of being attributable to or influenced by alcohol or controlled substances, that disrupts or interferes, in any way, with the atmosphere conducive to teaching and learning should be reported to the person immediately in charge of the situation. If the offending behavior is that of a student, the faculty member should be notified. The faculty member should then seek assistance from a university administrator. If the offending behavior is that of a faculty member, the appropriate dean, a program director, or another university administrator should be notified. If the offending behavior is that of a staff member, the individual’s supervisor should be notified.
Actions taken by university administration for such behavior may include, but are not limited to:
- Removal of the individual from the immediate teaching, learning or work setting.
- Dismissal of the affected class if a faculty member is involved.
- Discussion of the behavior with the individual by appropriate university administrators and recommendation of remedial measures.
- Follow-up measures by the university, including ongoing monitoring, as determined on a case-by-case basis.
Health Risks Associated with Alcohol and Other Drugs
Information about the health risks associated with drug and alcohol use and abuse can be accessed at: http://www.nida.nih.gov
Information about Minnesota controlled substance crimes and penalties can be found at: http://www.revisor.leg.state.mn.us/stats/152/
Policy on the Appropriate Use of Technology Resources
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota recognizes that technology resources can be a means for intellectual, social, cultural growth, but said resources can also be a means for harassment and destructiveness. As a Catholic institution, the university has an obligation to encourage civility and respect in the use of technology resources. Consequently, members of the university community – students, faculty, and staff – are expected to exercise responsibility, operate technology resources ethically, respect the rights and privacy of others, and operate within the bounds of the law and of university policy and standards when using university technology resources.
The use of technology resources at the university is a privilege.
The university reserves the right to restrict the use of its technology resources and limit access to the same when faced with violations of federal or state laws or university policies or standards. The university reserves the right to inspect software, files, and materials stored on or transmitted by university technology resources. The university reserves the right to remove or limit access to material posted on or transmitted by its technology resources.
Technology resources include the university’s computing facilities, its electronic mail system, its voice mail system, and Internet access.
Responsibilities of Each Technology Resources User
I. Appropriate Use of Technology Resources
- Each user must use technology resources for the purposes for which they are intended. The university maintains technology resources for the purposes of conducting and fostering the instructional, educational, and research activities of the university as well as furthering the business interests of the university. Users will not use technology resources for commercial purposes or unauthorized financial gain. Users will not use technology resources for political purposes.
- Each user must use appropriate language when using technology resources. Appropriate language is language that reflects the academic and institutional values of the university. Users will not send harassing, intimidating and/or threatening messages through electronic mail, voice mail or other means.
- Each user must use technology resources consistent with local, state, and federal laws. Users must comply with federal copyright law in their use of technology resources. Users who repeatedly infringe on the copyrights of others may have their access to technology resources terminated. Unless authorized by the software developer, users may not reproduce computer software or its related documentation. Users will only use computer software in accordance with license agreements, whether the software is licensed to the university or to them.
- Each user must use technology resources consistent with the limited availability of said resources. Academic use will be the first priority for computing facilities. Users will not initiate or encourage the promulgation of chain letters, unauthorized automated or mass postings, or other types of unauthorized large scale distributions. Users will not use technology resources in a way that is wasteful of any resource, including processor, memory, disk storage, or input/output resources.
- Each user must respect the physical security of technology resources. Users will not create or release computer viruses or engage in other destructive or potentially destructive programming activities. Users will not disrupt the timeshare functions or network traffic by recklessly or intentionally overloading the system or otherwise deny or restrict the access of others. Users will not modify, alter or otherwise tamper with systems hardware or software unless explicitly authorized to do so. Users will not tamper with terminals, microcomputers, printers or any other associated university-owned equipment. Removal of computer equipment, disks, ribbons, paper, or documentation from a computing facility, without authorization, constitutes theft. Users will be prosecuted accordingly.
- Users of the university’s technology resources assume full responsibility for their experiences. The university cannot and will not protect users against the existence or receipt of material that may be offensive to them except in cases of violation of the law or of university policy or standards, and then only when technically feasible. Individuals using technology resources are warned that they may willingly or unwillingly receive or discover material that they find offensive.
- By using the university technology resources, user agrees to identify, defend (with counsel acceptable to the university) and hold harmless the university, its trustees, officers and employees against any and all claims for injury to person or damage to property (including claims of employees of user) associated with the user’s use of the university’s technology resources.
- The university requires that users of technology resources demonstrate respect for others, respect for the university, and respect for the values of a Catholic Lasallian university when using technology resources.
II. Account and System Security
- Users of the university’s technology resources are responsible for any activity that takes place through their account. Accordingly, each user should:
- Choose a secure password
- Not disclose that password to others
- Not share his/her account with anyone, without exception
- Always log out of his/her account
- Users of the university’s technology resources are responsible for maintaining a secure system environment. Accordingly, each user must:
- Immediately report security concerns to technology staff, an appropriate supervisor or an appropriate administrator
- Not modify or attempt to modify any technology resources equipment or software
- Not crash or attempt to crash technology resources systems
- Not circumvent or attempt to circumvent system security measures or restrictions
- Not access or attempt to access any unauthorized accounts, either internally or externally
- The university reserves the right to monitor the use of all the technology resources it provides or that are used within its jurisdiction or in its name. The university respects the privacy of users; however, users are advised that in an institutional setting, no absolute guarantee of privacy exists.
- Technology staff will investigate the inappropriate use of technology resources and will take appropriate action for account and system violations whenever said staff is notified of or observes such inappropriate use.
- The university will cooperate with local, state, and federal authorities investigating violations of local, state, or federal law involving technology resources of the university.
Recourse for Violations by Users
- Alleged violations of this policy by students on the Winona campus will be investigated by the Office of the Vice President for Student Development or the Office of the Vice President for the College and the Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs, whichever office is most appropriate. Alleged violations of this policy by students on the Twin Cities campus and all other university campuses or delivery sites will be investigated by the dean of the academic area. The technology resources staff will assist in investigations, as appropriate.
- Inappropriate use of technology resources by students in the College on the Winona campus will be handled using the same disciplinary judicial process as is used for violations of the Student Handbook. Inappropriate use of technology resources by students of the Twin Cities campus and all other university campuses or delivery sites will be handled using the Grievance Procedure from the most recent Twin Cities Campus Catalog and Student Handbook. The use of technology resources may be suspended during an investigation if technology resources staff reasonably believes that the inappropriate use of technology resources has occurred.
- Alleged violations of this policy by employees will be investigated by the employee’s supervisor. The supervisor will be assisted in the investigation, as appropriate, by the technology resources staff.
- Inappropriate use of technology resources by employees will be handled using the disciplinary process outlined in the Employee Handbook, the Faculty Handbook, or the Schools of Graduate Studies and Schools of Professional Programs Handbook, as appropriate.
- If a student violates this policy, he or she may face sanctions up to and including expulsion from the university. A student may lose computing privileges as a sanction for violation of this policy.
- If an employee violates this policy, he or she may face sanctions up to and including termination from employment at the university.
- The use of technology resources to commit an act of academic dishonesty may subject a student to separate sanctions for academic dishonesty and for violation of this policy.
- Students and employees may face civil and criminal consequences, independent of action by the university, if their inappropriate use of technology resources violates local, state, or federal law.