Sep 19, 2021  
2021-2022 SGPP Catalog and Handbook 
    
2021-2022 SGPP Catalog and Handbook

University Conduct



Academic Integrity

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, Saint Mary’s depends on the personal responsibility and integrity of its members. Academic integrity should not be understood as mere rule following but as a way of acting based on shared values. 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. Academic integrity fosters creativity and critical thinking. It allows students to develop the self-confidence that comes from acquiring academic skills, provides correct information to instructors so that they can give appropriate feedback, and ultimately ensures the integrity of the Saint Mary’s degree.

Academic Dishonesty

Students at Saint Mary’s University are expected to maintain the highest standards of academic integrity. Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated and will subject the student to disciplinary sanctions up to and including dismissal. Academic dishonesty takes various forms, including but not limited to plagiarism, self-plagiarism, fabrication, abuse of internet sources, cheating, lying, collusion, 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 citation as well as quotation marks if verbatim statements are included. By placing one’s name on work submitted, a 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., or copying a paragraph or sentences from other works.

Self-plagiarism, also referred to as text recycling or double dipping, is a form of academic dishonesty. Self-plagiarism is defined as using an assignment (either in part or in full) submitted for one class to fulfill the requirements of another assignment, in the same class or a different class, without program approval. The same written work should never be submitted twice without the program’s permission. Self-plagiarism prevents students from engaging with the course material and does not demonstrate new learning. Exceptions to this policy, e.g., allowing reuse of previous work for a thesis or dissertation, are at the program’s discretion. If a student must copy exact language from a previous assignment, one should cite oneself as one would for any other direct quotation.

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 one has mastered information on an academic exercise that one has not mastered. Examples include copying from another student’s test or assignment; allowing another student to copy from a test or assignment; taking a test or completing an assignment for someone else; collaborating during a test or assignment with another student without the instructor’s permission; or using notes when disallowed.

Lying is giving false or misleading information to gain an academic advantage.

Collusion is working with others but presenting the assignment as individual work.

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 permission; duplicating computer software that has been copyrighted; and forging another person’s signature.

The University uses third party review software to ensure academic integrity and to support student learning regarding the appropriate use of source material. Each program, in consultation with its dean, determines their implementation of anti-plagiarism third party tools. Student papers may also be submitted for review by the University at any time.

Review Process

When an instructor suspects a student of academic dishonesty, the instructor will meet first with the student to discuss the matter and to gain a better understanding of what transpired. If, following this conversation, the instructor believes an incidence of academic dishonesty has taken place, the instructor will write and submit an incident report to the appropriate chair or program director. The chair or program director will review the report and meet with the instructor (and student if necessary) to discuss. The chair or program director will add any pertinent or supporting information to the report, then sign and submit it to the academic integrity committee for review. The chair or program director should submit this report within seven (7) days of the instructor’s contacting them about the incident. The committee will meet to determine if the student(s) violated the University’s academic integrity policy and, if so, the level of infraction and subsequent sanctions.

Levels of Infraction

Minor infractions occur when the text is not a part of a culminating project (e.g., not a capstone, thesis, or dissertation) and the student has paraphrased carelessly. For example, one or two sections of the source material may be patched together without quotation marks, or a few words are changed, but the style and structure remain too close to the source.. The student has not acknowledged the source.

Moderate infractions occur when the text is not a part of a culminating project (e.g., not a capstone, thesis, or dissertation) and the student has copied multiple passages from a source or sources with no apparent attempt at paraphrasing. The student has not acknowledged the source. This copying may include self-plagiarism or collusion.

Major infractions occur when the text is a part of a culminating project (e.g., capstone, thesis, or dissertation) or the majority of the submission consists of work, either published or unpublished, that was created by someone else.

In addition to level of infraction, the subsequent sanctions for academic dishonesty will be determined based on number of infractions. This number is calculated across versus within individual courses. For example, a student’s second instance may occur in a different course than the first.

For a first instance of a minor infraction, the student will be given the opportunity to resubmit the assignment or complete another assignment for a minimum passing grade (a D for undergraduate courses and a C for graduate courses). If the infraction occurs on a discussion board, the student may complete another assignment for a minimum passing grade. The due date of the makeup assignment is determined by the instructor in consultation with the chair or program director. For a second instance of a minor infraction, the student will receive a zero for the assignment. For a third instance of a minor infraction, the student will fail the course. For a fourth instance of a minor infraction, the student will fail the course, and the committee will refer the case to the Vice Provost of Academic Affairs (VPFAA) for additional sanctions, including potential dismissal from the University.

For a first instance of moderate plagiarism, the student will receive a zero for the assignment. For a second instance of moderate plagiarism, the student will fail the course. For a third instance of moderate plagiarism, the student will fail the course, and the committee will refer the case to the VPFAA for additional sanctions, including potential dismissal from the University.

If the committee determines that the instance of plagiarism is major – and the infraction was not a culminating project for the student’s program – the student will fail the course. If the major infraction was on a culminating project, or this is the second major infraction on a non-culminating project, the student will fail the course, and the committee will refer the case to the VPFAA for additional sanctions, including potential dismissal from the University.

After meeting to discuss the level and number of infractions, the committee will write a Student Outcome Letter, explaining the decision and subsequent sanction, which will be sent to the student, instructor, chair or program director, appropriate dean, and VPFAA. The Outcome Letter, with the instructor and chair or program director’s report, will be kept in the student’s file.

Appeal process for plagiarism

The student may appeal the committee’s judgment. To do so, the student must write a letter, refuting the judgment, and submit it to the academic integrity committee and VPFAA within seven (7) days of the date printed on the Student Outcome Letter. The VPFAA will review the committee’s decision, instructor and chair or program director’s report, and student’s appeal and will respond in writing to the student, instructor, chair or program director, committee, and appropriate dean within seven (7) days. As the VPFAA reviews materials, they may also consult the student, instructor, chair or program director, and/or committee to help inform their decision. The VPFAA’s decision is final and may not be appealed.

The University reserves the right to revoke a degree if it discovers academic dishonesty that may have impacted the award of the degree initially.

Student Behavior

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 conducting the hearing 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 an administrator or staff member 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 supported by a prepomdeance of the evidence, 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 provost.

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.

Policy

This policy addresses the presence of children and guests in classrooms and on the campus and provides guidance for students and employees of the School of Graduate and Professinal Programs.

First and foremost, the 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. An adult may bring children to campus for visits, 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 campus.

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.

Copyright Law

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 permits 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)

The IRB is charged with ensuring the protection of the rights and welfare of human research subjects. In order to provide for the adequate discharge of the institutional responsibility, any research activity involving human subjects that will be publicly disseminated and undertaken by any faculty, staff, employee or student, or any external entities who seek to recruit or collaborate with faculty, staff, or students of the University must be reviewed and approved by the IRB prior to commencing the research activity. For more information visit https://irb.smumn.edu/ to consult the Institutional Review Board Standard Operating Procedures and send questions to irb@smumn.edu.

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 Vice Provost for Enrollment Management (School of Graduate and Professional Programs) or the Dean of Students (College). After consulting with the student, the Vice Provost for Enrollment Management or their representatives will direct the student to the most appropriate procedure.

https://cm.maxient.com/reportingform.php?SaintMarysUnivMN&layout_id=7

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 Vice Provost for Enrollment Management 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 Vice Provost for Enrollment Management or the Dean of Students or their designees.
  • The Vice Provost for Enrollment Management or the Dean of Students or their designees will notify appropriate persons and request any information or documentation needed to resolve the complaint.
  • The Vice Provost for Enrollment Management 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 the 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 Provost for the Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs, the Vice Provost 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.

Grievance Procedure

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. A grievant who wish to address concerns will observe the following procedures:

  1. The grievant should discuss the matter with the student, faculty, or staff member concerned.
  2. 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.
  3. If a satisfactory resolution is not achieved, a dean will attempt to resolve the issue.
  4. If a satisfactory resolution is still not achieved, the dean will forward a written statement describing the grievance to the vice president.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. The committee shall notify all parties of its recommendation.
  8. The vice provost will confirm or modify the recommendation, and notify the parties involved and the student of the decision.
  9. The decision of the vice provost is final.

The grievance procedure must be initiated within four months of the event causing the grievance.

Discrimination and Harassment Policy

Statement

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota is committed to creating a campus-wide environment free of discrimination by educating all members of the university community on such issues and by establishing procedures for addressing allegations of such behavior.

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota prohibits and will not tolerate discriminatory practices or harassment of any member of this university community on any university-owned property 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, status with regard to public assistance, genetic information, or disability.

 Definitions

Discrimination is the segregation or separation of individuals based on race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, genetic information, or disability. Discriminatory practices include any instances of differential treatment that interfere with an individual’s full participation in this university community. Examples: 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, qualifications and/or job description, providing training opportunities annually, or evaluating job performance based on arbitrary standards.

Harassment is a form of education or employment discrimination. To be considered discrimination, the harassment must be based on some protected trait. Under federal law, those traits include race, color, national origin, gender, pregnancy, age, religion, disability and genetic information.  Harassment is unwelcome behavior that happens because of an individual’s race, color, national origin, religions, disability, etc.   Harassment in the workplace or academic environment is unlawful when 1) enduring the offensive conduct becomes a condition of continued employment or participation in educational activities, or 2) when the conduct is severe or pervasive enough to create a work or academic  environment that a person would consider intimidating, hostile or abusive.

Any student community who believes that she or he has been discriminated against or harassed and any third party who believes that she or he has been discriminated against or harassed  by a member of the university community may request assistance as follows:

Vice Provost for Faculties and Academic Affairs
School Dean
School Program Director

Students can also report online through the Bias Reporting Form at smumn.edu/biasform. Reports may be submitted anonymously.

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. A detailed copy of the Saint Mary’s Discrimination and Harassment Policy is available on the university’s website.

SEXUAL HARASSMENT AND SEXUAL ASSAULT

Statement

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota is committed to fostering a climate free from sexual discrimination, harassment and violence, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking through clear and effective policies, a coordinated education and prevention program, and prompt and equitable procedures for resolution of reports of conduct prohibited under this policy.

As a Lasallian Catholic institution of higher education, the university believes in the inherent dignity and worth of every student and employee. As such, the university strives to create an environment where the dignity of each person is respected and honored.  Sexual discrimination, harassment and violence violate the dignity of the person and are inconsistent with the mission and values of the university.

Definitions

Sexual Harassment - Title IX.  There are six types of prohibited conduct that qualify as “sexual harassment” under Title IX, each of which is defined more specifically below: (1) quid pro quo sexual harassment, (2) unwelcome conduct sexual harassment, (3) sexual assault, (4) dating violence, (5) domestic violence, and (6) stalking. The definitions outlined herein are required by federal regulations.

For reported behavior to qualify as Title IX prohibited conduct, in addition to meeting the elements of the specific type of sexual harassment below, it must meet all of the following threshold requirements, as determined by the Title IX Coordinator and as mandated by federal regulations:

  • The conduct must have occurred against a person in the United States.
  • The conduct must have occurred within the university’s education program or activity. For purposes of this provision, this means that the conduct must have occurred either (a) in a location, event, or circumstances over which the university exercised substantial control over both the respondent and the context in which the sexual harassment occurs or (b) in relation to a building owned or controlled by a student organization that is officially recognized by the university.
  • The complainant must be participating in or attempting to participate in the education program or activity of the university at the time the formal complaint is filed.
  1. Quid Pro Quo. Conduct on the basis of sex where a university employee conditions the provision of a university aid, benefit, or service on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct; or,
  2. Unwelcome Conduct. Unwelcome conduct on the basis of sex that is determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the recipient’s education program or activity; or,
  3. Sexual Assault. Engagement or the attempt to engage in one of the following activities with another individual without consent or where the individual cannot consent because of age or temporary or permanent mental incapacity:
  • Sexual intercourse (anal, oral, or vaginal), including penetration with a body part (e.g. penis, finger, hand, or tongue) or an object, however slight
  • Intentional touching of the intimate body parts of another for the purpose of sexual gratification. Intimate body parts include the breasts, buttocks, groin, and genitals.
  • Sexual intercourse (anal, oral, or vaginal) between individuals who are not permitted to marry.
  • Sexual intercourse (anal, oral, or vaginal) with a person who is under the statutory age of consent.
  1. Dating violence. Conduct on the basis of sex that consists of violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the complainant. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the complainant’s statement and with consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
  2. Domestic violence. A felony or misdemeanor crime of violence constituting conduct on the basis of sex committed by:
  • a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim;
  • a person with whom the victim shares a child in common;
  • person who is cohabitating with, or has cohabitated with, the victim as a spouse or intimate partner;
  • a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred, or
  • any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred.
  1. Stalking. Conduct on the basis of sex that consists of engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for the person’s safety or the safety of others; or suffer substantial emotional distress. For the purposes of this definition:
  • Course of conduct means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the respondent directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person, or interferes with a person’s property;
  • Reasonable person means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the complainant; or,
  • Substantial emotional distress means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.

Sexual Assault - Non-Title IX. Conduct that meets the definition of Sexual Assault above, but does not meet all of the threshold requirements to be charged under Title IX as listed above.

Dating Violence - Non-Title IX. Conduct that meets the definition of Dating Violence above, but does not meet all of the threshold requirements to be charged under Title IX as listed above.

Domestic Violence - Non-Title IX. Conduct that meets the definition of Domestic Violence above, but does not meet all of the threshold requirements to be charged under Title IX as listed above.

Stalking - Non-Title IX. Conduct that meets the definition of Stalking above, but does not meet all of the threshold requirements to be charged under Title IX as listed above.  

 Sexual Harassment - Non-Title IX.  Any unwelcome sexual advance, request for sexual favors, or other unwanted verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when one or more of the following conditions are present:

  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct is an explicit or implicit condition of an individual’s employment, evaluation of academic work, or any university program or activity; or
  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for decisions affecting the individual; or
  • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance, i.e. it is sufficiently serious, pervasive, or persistent as to create an intimidating, hostile, demeaning, or sexually offensive working, academic, residential, or social environment under both an objective and subjective standard.

Reporting 

Saint Mary’s University strongly encourages students who have been sexually assaulted or sexually harassed or been the victim or sexual misconduct to report the incident to the university and proper legal authorities, as well as to seek out any needed support. To make a report about possible sexual harassment, sexual assault, or sexual misconduct, a party or any third party should notify the Title IX Coordinator or a mandatory reporter at the university. (A listing of mandatory reporters can be found in the university’s Sexual Assault / Sexual Harassment Policy at smumn.edu/Title IX.  A report may be made at any time, including during non- business hours, in person, by telephone, by mail, by email, or by completing the online reporting form.

A complainant does not need to provide a definitive label of his or her experience at the time a report is made, nor does a complainant have to decide on a particular course of action in advance. Choosing to make a report, and deciding how to proceed after making the report, can be a process that unfolds over time. The university will offer reasonably available supportive measures.

Confidential Resources

Privacy generally means that information related to a report of sexual harassment, sexual assault, or other sexual misconduct  will only be shared with those university employees who “need to know” in order to assist in the active review, investigation, or resolution of the report, including the issuance of supportive measures.

There is a distinction between seeking assistance from a confidential resource and making a report to the university through designated reporting options. Confidential resources, including counselors, medical health providers, and clergy,  have confidentiality obligations imposed by law and will not share information about a complainant or respondent (including whether or not that individual has received services) except under limited circumstances.  In contrast, all other university employees are expected to share information with the Title IX Coordinator

Internal Procedures 

A victim of sexual harassment, 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.  Students may report sexual harassment, sexual assaults or sexual misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator or to a university mandatory reporter. Upon receipt of a report of sexual harassment, sexual assault, or sexual misconduct, the university will proceed as outlined in its Sexual Harassment / Sexual Assault Policy which can be found on the university’s website at smumn.edu/TitleIX.  Please consult that policy for information on informal and formal resolution processes.

Supportive Measures

Upon receipt of a report of sexual harassment, sexual assault or sexual misconduct Conduct, the university may impose reasonable and appropriate supportive measures designed to restore or preserve a complainant’s equal access to university programs or activities without fee or charge, and without treating the respondent as responsible unless and until the completion of a formal resolution that determines the respondent to be responsible for a policy violation. Supportive measures are designed to restore or preserve equal access to the university’s education programs and activities without unreasonably burdening the other party. They include measures designed to protect the safety of all parties or the university’s educational environment, and include measures to deter sexual harassment.

Supportive measures are available to both the complainant and respondent regardless of whether the complainant chooses to file a formal complaint. The Title IX Coordinator will maintain the privacy of any supportive measures provided to the extent possible and will promptly address any reported violation/s of the supportive measures.

The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for coordinating the effective implementation of supportive measures. Any requests for or questions concerning supportive measures may be directed to the Title IX Coordinator or the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs.

Range of Supportive Measures

Potential supportive measures, implemented on behalf of the complainant and/or the respondent to the extent reasonably available and warranted by the circumstances, include, but are not limited to:

  • Access to counseling services and assistance in setting up an initial appointment, both on and off campus;
  • Imposition of a mutual “no-contact order” (failing to abide by the no-contact order may result in allegations of additional policy violations);
  • Rescheduled exams and assignments;
  • Extensions of deadlines;
  • Alternative course completion options;
  • Change in class scheduling, including the ability to transfer course sections or withdraw from a course without penalty;
  • Change in work schedule or job assignment;
  • Change in student’s university-owned, sponsored or controlled housing;
  • Assistance in completing housing relocation;
  • Limiting an individual’s or organization’s access to certain university facilities or activities pending resolution of the matter;
  • Voluntary leave of absence;
  • Providing an escort to ensure safe movement between classes and activities;
  • Increased security and monitoring of certain areas of the campus;
  • Medical services;
  • Academic support services, such as tutoring;
  • University-imposed administrative leave or separation;
  • University-imposed restricted access;
  • Assistance with identifying resources available to help with visa or immigration issues, legal issues and transportation options;
  • Other remedies that can reasonably be tailored to the involved individuals to achieve the goals of this policy.

External Procedures 

A student desiring to report a sexual assault may also contact the law enforcement agency for the jurisdiction in which the sexual assault occurred. (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 the 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) 720-0417.  If requested by the victim, contact the Minneapolis Police Department 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 off-campus as soon as possible.  The Title IX Coordinator is a resource that can provide assistance to the victim of a sexual assault or direct the victim to the most appropriate type of assistance.

Sanctions 

Any of the following sanctions, or combinations of sanctions, may be imposed on a student found responsible for sexual harassment, sexual assault, or sexual misconduct. 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. 

  • Statement of Concern.  A statement to students who are found in the presence of a policy violation, but who are not held formally accountable for that violation.
  • Warning.  A notification that a student has committed certain violations and that continuance of such conduct will result in more severe disciplinary action.
  • Educational Sanctions. Sanctions include, but are not limited to, alcohol education, mandatory counseling assessment and adherence to professional counseling recommendations, research papers or projects, residence hall programming, group education program, etc.
  • Behavioral Contract.  A contract allowing a student to successfully manage their behavior while remaining an active member of the university community. Failure to complete the agreed-upon provisions of the contract will result in suspension from the university, unless the student voluntarily withdraws. If suspended or withdrawn, the student must follow the readmission process outlined in the university Catalog before they may resume their studies at the university.
  • Administrative Hold on Student Accounts. A sanction used when students fail to comply with assigned tasks from a conduct hearing or Title IX investigation. This action precludes students from registering for classes and obtaining such documents as transcripts and diplomas. Once the outstanding sanction has been satisfactorily completed, the hold will be lifted.
  • Disciplinary Service. Service hours in a given area as a way to give back to the campus or local community.
  • Fine/Restitution.  A monetary penalty for violations such as vandalism or damage to university property or the property of others. All fines must be paid by personal or cashier’s check; they will not be applied to a student’s account.
  • University Restriction. Restriction from certain buildings, events, activities, etc.
  • University Housing Restriction. Residence re-assignment, removal from university housing, or restrictions on where a student may live.
  • Disciplinary Probation.  A specified period of time (ordinarily no less than the equivalent of one semester) during which a student is not in good disciplinary standing with the university.
  • Administrative Withdrawal. Withdrawal from a specific course, major, or academic department where a student or group of students violates expectations of the academic arena (classroom incivility, disruption, harassment of faculty or other students in the classroom).
  • Deferred Suspension.  A sanction for students who have been held responsible for behavior that warrants suspension but where mitigating circumstances and additional sanctions may allow a student to remain in the community while these sanctions are being completed. 
  • Suspension.  Denial of the opportunity to continue at the university for a specified period of time (ordinarily no less than one semester), or indefinitely until the student’s intervening record can support an application for readmission. 
  • Dismissal.  Denial of the opportunity to continue as a student at the university. A student who has been dismissed is not eligible to apply for readmission. A student who is dismissed is not allowed to be on campus or to be at any official university event at any time. This sanction is noted permanently on the student’s transcript.

Retaliation

The university will not tolerate retaliation against an individual who makes a report or participates in any proceedings under the Sexual Harassment / Sexual Assault Policy. That policy prohibits any form of retaliation, and community members engaging in retaliation will be subject to disciplinary action, whether such acts are implicit or explicit, or committed directly or indirectly.

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

Preamble

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.

Reporting Incidents

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.

Weapons Policy

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:

  1. Removal of the individual from the immediate teaching, learning or work setting.
  2. Dismissal of the affected class if a faculty member is involved.
  3. Discussion of the behavior with the individual by appropriate university administrators and recommendation of remedial measures.
  4. 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

Legal Sanctions

Information about Minnesota controlled substance crimes and penalties can be found at: http://www.revisor.leg.state.mn.us/stats/152/.  Under Federal Law, the sale or possession of cocaine, marijuana, heroin, an opiod, and other Controlled Substance Act (CSA) Schedule drugs is also against federal law. Penalties for conviction of a controlled substance crime may include mandatory minimum prison sentences. In addition, federal law also provides for the following, depending on the circumstances: (1) forfeiture of personal and real property used to possess or facilitate possession of a controlled substance; (2) forfeiture of vehicles, boats, aircraft, or any other conveyance used to transport or conceal a controlled substance; (3) a civil fine of up to $500,000; (4) denial of federal benefits, such as student loans, grants, etc.; (5) ineligibility to purchase a firearm; and (6) revocation of certain federal licenses and benefits, e.g., pilot licenses, public housing, tenancy, etc.

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
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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. 
  7. 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.
  8. 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
  1. Users of the university’s technology resources are responsible for any activity that takes place through their account. Accordingly, each user should:
    1. Choose a secure password
    2. Not disclose that password to others
    3. Not share his/her account with anyone, without exception
    4. Always log out of his/her account
  2. Users of the university’s technology resources are responsible for maintaining a secure system environment. Accordingly, each user must:
    1. Immediately report security concerns to technology staff, an appropriate supervisor or an appropriate administrator
    2. Not modify or attempt to modify any technology resources equipment or software
    3. Not crash or attempt to crash technology resources systems
    4. Not circumvent or attempt to circumvent system security measures or restrictions
    5. Not access or attempt to access any unauthorized accounts, either internally or externally
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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

III. Investigations
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
IV. Consequences
  1. 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.
  2. If an employee violates this policy, he or she may face sanctions up to and including termination from employment at the university.
  3. 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.
  4. 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. 

Political Activity Policy

POLICY STATEMENT

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota (the university) is a 501(c) (3) charitable organization and will not participate or intervene in political campaign activity in support of, or in opposition to, any candidate for public office. IRS rules and regulations prohibit the university from the following activities:

  • Endorsing candidates, 
  • Making campaign contributions, 
  • Engaging in fundraising, 
  • Making statements of position, verbal or written, on behalf of the institution in favor of or opposition to any candidate, 
  • Making partisan comments in official university publications or at official functions, 
  • Becoming involved in any other activity that might be beneficial or detrimental to any candidate, including activities encouraging an individual to vote for or against a candidate based on partisan criteria, or 
  • Hosting a debate or forum showing a preference for or against a certain candidate. 

OVERVIEW

Section 501(c) (3) contains an absolute prohibition on participation or intervention in political campaign activities in support of or in opposition to candidates. Organizations that violate this prohibition are subject to revocation of their tax-exempt status. In addition, organizations that violate this prohibition also risk the imposition of excise tax penalties on the organization itself as well on organization managers who approve the making of expenditures for impermissible political purposes.

DEFINITIONS

A “candidate for public office” is defined as an individual who has filed for election for public office, whether such office is national, state, or local. 

“Participation in a political campaign” includes the publishing or distribution of statements. 

“Intervention in a political campaign” includes distributing written or printed statements or making oral statements on behalf of or in opposition to a candidate.  In addition, payments made in support of candidates or political campaigns constitute intervention in a political campaign and are strictly prohibited.

UNIVERSITY-SPONSORED ACTIVITIES 

The university itself is permitted by the applicable law to organize nonpartisan civic events and activities. Such events will be open to everyone regardless of political preference or affiliation. Examples of permissible university-sponsored activities include:

  1. Voter Education, Voter Registration, Voter Guides, and Get-Out-the-Vote Drives (overseen by the university’s Campus Legislative Contact);
  2. Organizational Leaders and Political Activity; 
  3. Candidate Speaking as Candidate; 
  4. Candidates in Public Forum or Debate; and 
  5. Candidate Speaking or Participating as Non-Candidate. 

Voter Education: The university may organize nonpartisan “get-out-the-vote” drives and provide information on how to vote.

Voter Registration:  The university may conduct nonpartisan voter education activities. Permitted activities include providing educational materials about candidates and their positions (provided the materials cover a broad range of subjects and do not express an editorial opinion), and training programs designed to increase understanding of the electoral process or to encourage students, faculty, and staff to become involved in the process.

Voter Guides: Preparing or distributing voter guides may violate IRS regulations if the guide focuses on one issue, a narrow range of issues, or if the guide reflects bias, especially in close proximity to an election. Questions in voter guides should be clear and unbiased with regard to content and structure and uniform to the questions posed to candidates. Candidates should be given a reasonable amount of time to respond to the questions. Candidate choices should not be narrow or limited, and candidates should be given a reasonable amount of time and space to explain positions. The content of the guide should closely resemble the candidate’s response. Candidate responses should be subject to minimal editing. All eligible candidates should be given equal opportunity to be represented in the voter guide and the number of issues should fairly represent the range of issues considered by the entire electorate.

If the university distributes a voter guide published by another entity, it assumes responsibility for ensuring compliance with IRS regulations.

Candidate Forums, Debates, and Other Appearances: 

The university may organize a candidate forum or debate if all legally qualified candidates seeking the same office are invited to participate and the forum is structured in a nonpartisan manner with a neutral moderator. The university also may invite political candidates to speak at other events as long as all qualified candidates are provided equal access and comparable opportunities to speak. The university will not endorse a candidate at any forum or event or demonstrate a preference for a partisan viewpoint. In addition, campaign fundraising at university events, debates, and forums is prohibited. (For further detail on candidate appearances, see Sections II and III, below.)

The following factors should be considered in determining whether a forum or debate is a permissible political activity:

  1. The questions presented to the candidates should be prepared by an independent and nonpartisan panel. 
  2. The forum or debate topics should cover a broad range of issues, including but not limited to those issues of importance to the organization sponsoring the debate. 
  3. A moderator should be selected by the sponsoring organization and his or her role should be limited to ensuring that the forum or debate ground rules are followed. The moderator should refrain from commenting on the candidates’ statements in a way that demonstrates approval or disapproval of their ideas. 
  4. The forum or debate should begin and end with a clear statement to the effect that the views presented are those of the candidates and not of the sponsoring organization (e.g., “Views expressed by political candidates are not endorsed by Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.”).

Appearances in a Capacity Other than as a Candidate: 

The university may invite a public official or other individuals to speak (even if that person is also running for office) if the invitation is solely for reasons other than his or her candidacy, such as for a classroom lecture or non-political university event, but neither the university nor the candidate may mention the campaign in association with the appearance.

A candidate may also choose to appear on campus at an event open to the public. If the candidate is asked to speak or be recognized at the event, the university must ensure that: 

  • The candidate was selected for reasons other than status as a candidate or public office official;
  • The candidate speaks only in a non-candidate capacity; 
  • No mention is made of the candidate’s candidacy or public office;
  • No campaign activity occurs in relationship to the appearance; and 
  • The university maintains a nonpartisan atmosphere during the event. 

Providing Access to University Resources: The university may allow recognized student groups to use university facilities for partisan political purposes (provided the student groups follow all rules and guidelines below). Internal university communications resources may be used to alert the university community to events sponsored by student groups or rentals that are taking place on university property. Such communications must clearly list the sponsoring organization and must state that the university does not endorse any political candidates.

University Curricular Activities: Curricular activities aimed at educating students with respect to the political process (e.g., allowing students as part of a class to participate in political campaign activities) are permitted as long as the university does not influence particular student choices. The university also may adjust its academic calendar to allow students to participate in the political process (if it does not favor a campaign or issue).

NON-UNIVERSITY GROUPS OR CAMPAIGNS WISHING TO RENT UNIVERSITY SPACES 

During a political season, campaign offices or other supporters may wish to rent space on the university’s campus to hold rallies, speeches, fundraisers, or other events. Any such rentals are subject to the same rules, regulations, policies, procedures, and fees associated with any other contractual rental. No non-standard discounts or special privileges may be granted to political campaigns or candidates who rent university space.

In addition to ensuring that the terms of the rental are consistent with the university’s standard practice, the Vice President for Student Affairs (or designee) shall determine if a political rental will be accepted, using the following principles: 

  • Candidates themselves must be present at the event; the university will not rent to events featuring surrogates. 
  • Appropriate preparation and set-up time may be included with a space rental, subject to change based on other scheduled activities on the campus, and will be determined by the Senior Vice President for Finance and Operations (or designee).

Political candidate events are also subject to these requirements: 

  • Any announcement or advertisement of the appearance must bear the name of the sponsoring organization and must clearly indicate that: (1) the university does not support or oppose candidates for public office; and (2) the opinions expressed at the appearance are not those of the university. 
  • Admission to speaker appearances must be open to all members of the university community. Admission may not be restricted in any way due to the attendees’ political affiliations or views. 
  • Candidates’ appearances on campus will be limited to the designated speaking/meeting site and time. 
  • The university may permit the presence of news media personnel during the appearance, but only if media access is permitted in a politically neutral manner. Media coverage and management of the same must be coordinated with the University’s Vice President for Advancement and Communication (or designee), and an appropriate fee for this time will be charged to the renting organization. 
  • If additional assistance from university departments is needed, such as security, facilities, or technology staff, an appropriate fee for hours devoted to event preparation and staffing also will be charged. 

STUDENT GROUPS WISHING TO SPONSOR CANDIDATES OR POLITICAL SPEAKERS 

Consistent with its values as a LAsallian Catholic institution of higher education, the university is committed to fostering an open and civil exchange of a diverse array of ideas, opinions, and viewpoints. However, to ensure that the activities of members of the university community do not jeopardize the university’s tax-exempt status, and to ensure compliance with campaign finance laws, all student organizations sponsoring an appearance on university property   by political candidates, representatives of candidates, or representatives of political parties or political action committees must comply with, and must advise all speakers and their staffs of, the following guidelines:

  • Requests for space reservations and usage must comply with the requirements as set by University Event  Services. 
  • Candidates’ appearances on campus will be limited to the designated speaking/meeting site and time. 
  • Any appearance by a candidate for public office, or any person affiliated with, or speaking on behalf of, a candidate for public office, must be sponsored by a recognized university organization, unless the appearance is pursuant to a rental contract or is in a non-candidate capacity. All sponsoring student organizations must reserve space from University Event Services before the appearance. Organizations not affiliated with the university are not eligible to use university space to host partisan political activities, except under contract as a rental. 
  • The university may not indicate any support of, or opposition to, any candidate for public office, nor may it promote such advocacy by others. No person or organization may use the university’s name, letterhead, logo, or seal for such purposes, or to solicit funds for, or otherwise support or oppose, any such campaign. 
  • A speaker’s appearance may be a speech or question and answer session, organized in an academic environment, such as a lecture hall, classroom, or campus building. It shall not be conducted as a campaign rally, fundraiser, or similar event. Rallies for candidates must be set up as rentals to ensure that the free provision of campus space is not characterized as a “contribution” by the university to a campaign in violation of campaign finance laws. 
  • Any announcement or advertisement of the appearance must bear the name of the sponsoring organization and must clearly indicate that: (1) the university does not support or oppose candidates for public office; and (2) the opinions expressed at the appearance are not those of the university. 
  • The sponsoring organization must make it clear during the introduction of the speaker that the speaker was invited by the organization—not by the university—and that the university does not endorse or support any political candidates. 
  • Admission to speaker appearances must be open to all members of the university community; the sponsoring student organization may choose whether to also admit the general public. Admission may not be restricted in any way due to the attendees’ political affiliations or views. No person or organization that is unaffiliated with the university, including the speaker, campaign staff, or any other organization may exercise any control over admission to the event. 
  • There shall not be any fundraising done by anyone during, or in connection with, the appearance. The sponsoring group must inform the speaker and the speaker’s campaign or organization of this requirement. 
  • The university may permit the presence of news media personnel during the appearance, but only if media access is permitted in a politically neutral manner. The speaker, campaign staff, or any other organization or person not affiliated with the university may not direct or control media coverage of the event. Any student organization that seeks or anticipates media coverage of the event is responsible to contact the Vice President for Advancement and Communication (or designee) 
  • No university property or resources, including, without limitation, mailing lists and mail distribution services, duplicating and photocopying services, and communications infrastructure may be used to support or oppose any candidate, political party, or political action committee. 
  • Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota is a private institution.  The university reserves the right to remove or contract with appropriate authorities to remove, any individual or individuals who either threaten the safety of, or actively harm, any member of the campus community or guests of the university while on its property.  The university expects all members of its community, including students, staff, faculty, and invited guests, to behave in a civil and respectful manner during all campus political events, including discouragement of the “heckler’s veto” to curtail the right to free expression we all enjoy. 
  • Speakers and sponsoring groups must comply with any special restrictions or requirements that may apply to certain facilities. 
  • To eliminate any appearance of sponsorship by the university, any services or expenses associated with the event that are not typically covered by the university will be billed to the sponsoring organization. 

CAMPAIGN ACCESS to UNIVERSITY PROPERTY

Candidates may wish to walk around the university’s property or enter its facilities. Candidates seeking access to university property are required to make an appointment 48 hours prior to the visit. Candidates who want to visit any university property must contact the Vice President for Student Affairs to submit their request.   Once the request for an appointment is approved, candidates or campaign staff may distribute campaign literature in the foyer of the Toner Student Center Lounge near the steps to the Dining Hall on the Winona Campus and in La  Salle Hall in the lounge area near the bookstore on the Twin Cities Campus. Distribution of campaign literature may only occur between the hours of noon and 8:00 p.m.

Candidates are allowed to enter classrooms only if the faculty member of record has agreed.   Prior to the appearance of a candidate in a class, the faculty member must notify the Vice President for Student Affairs of the visit at least 48 hours in advance, providing information on the date and time of the candidate visit, the candidate’s name, and class being visited.

POLITICAL ADVERTISEMENTS

Political posters, signs, and advertisements are subject to the same posting policy and mailing policy as all other posters, signs, and advertisements, with the following exceptions:

  1. When the purpose of publicity implies that the university supports, endorses, or lends its name to the group or candidate, posters, signs, and advertisements are not permitted.
  • Political posters, signs, and advertisements are prohibited in all administrative offices, classrooms, and academic wall space.
  • In accord with all other posting policies, students and faculty may post what material they wish in their rooms/offices and on their doors without content discrimination based on politics. For individual room doors, all occupants must agree to the placement of the signs.
  1. All materials sent to students on behalf of a Student Senate-recognized club or organization must clearly indicate the name and contact information of the sponsoring university club or organization.  Materials sent to students directly from a candidate or a non-university recognized club or organization must be clearly postmarked by federal mail.
  2. Campus-based postings (including chalkings) must identify an on-campus sponsor and adhere to the Posting and Publicity Guidelines in the Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota Student Handbooks. 

POLICY ON STUDENT DEMONSTRATIONS

This student policy establishes expectations regarding student expression and participation in demonstrations at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota (“the university”).

This policy applies to all university students,  undergraduate and graduate, regardless of whether the student is a degree-seeking student. This policy does not afford a venue for demonstrations by individuals who are not university students.

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota provides an education grounded in its Lasallian Catholic heritage.  Essential to that education is freedom in the pursuit of truth by examination of issues and problems from various points of view.  The university will, therefore, assure and encourage the opportunity for open dialogue consistent with its Lasallian Catholic mission and according to the character of the university.

The university has adopted various policies and standards that establish the expectations that apply to every person who is invited and chooses to join the university community. 

  • As an academic community, the university is committed to fostering an educational environment that promotes open dialogue, discussion exploration, and evaluation of diverse ideas.
  • As a Catholic university, the university recognizes the additional responsibility of each member of our community to respect the inherent dignity of each person and to consider the moral implications of each person’s beliefs, values, and ideas.  While the university welcomes various perspectives and diverse views, it understands that such views may be contrary to the ethical standards of the university community as determined by the Board of Trustees and the President of the university.  

Demonstrations

The right to assemble in peaceful demonstration within the university community is permitted. The university retains the right to assure the safety of all individuals, to protect property, and to maintain the continuity of the educational process.  A demonstration may include any of the following:

  • Demonstration – A large group of people, usually gathering for a cause. It sometimes includes a group march, ending with a rally or a speaker.  A demonstration is similar to a protest in that they both can use the same or similar methods to achieve its goals.
  • Assembly - Any public gathering, congregation, or exhibition of three or more persons for the purpose of conveying or displaying a message or supporting a cause.
  • March – A walk by a group of people to a place in order to express objection to or support for an event, situation, or policy.
  • Protest – A protest is a way to express objections with any event, situation, or policy. These objections may be manifest either by actions or by words.
  • Vigil – An observance of commemoration meant to demonstrate unity around a particular issue or concern, and/or to promote peace and prevent violence.

Broadly speaking, the demonstration may not substantially obstruct, impair or interfere with (i) teaching, study, research, or administration of the university, (ii) the authorized and other permissible use of university facilities, including meetings of university students, faculty, staff, administrators and/or guests; or (iii) the rights and privileges of other members of the university community. 

The university adopts the following protocols relating to student demonstrations:

  1. The demonstration may not deny or infringe upon the rights of any university community members or visitors.
  2. The demonstration may not deny access to offices or other facilities to university community members or guests.  It may not interfere with the freedom of movement or normal activities of any person or group.
  3. The demonstration may not interfere with or impede in any way pedestrian and roadway traffic into or around a campus. 
  4. The demonstration may not endanger the safety of any person on campus.
  5. The demonstration may not result in the violation of laws or the destruction of property.
  6. The demonstration may not have a commercial or business purpose.
  7. The demonstration may not disrupt or interrupt presentations by speakers or performers invited to the university.
  8. The demonstration will not be permitted inside any university building.  All demonstrations will be conducted outside of buildings in a designated area within the time limits established by the Office of Campus Safety/Campus Security.
  9. Demonstrators will conduct themselves in a respectful and a safe manner. Only signs that can be held by hand are permitted. No signs attached to any stick, pole, or building are allowed.  No banners are permitted unless they are approved by the Office of Student Affairs in advance of the demonstration.  Banners may not impede movement and may not be attached to any university building or structure.
  10. The demonstration may not include any amplified equipment (public address systems, megaphones, etc.).  All demonstrations held outdoors are subject to the noise level requirements of the cites of Winona, Minneapolis, or Rochester as applicable.
  11. Demonstrators will remove any litter that results from their activity.
  12. The demonstration may not include or result in temporary or permanent defacement of any university property. Nothing is to be attached, even temporarily, to a building or structure inside or outside.  
  13. A demonstration may invite a counter-demonstration.  When these occasions arise, the expression of all parties is important.  A separate demonstration area may be designated by the Office of Student Affairs for those persons with views that differ from the views held by the demonstration organizers.  Any counter-demonstration must be approved in advance using the process outlined below. The demonstration must not react to the peaceful dissent of others by attempting to deny their rights.  
  14. External guests are not to be invited or permitted to join in the demonstration. 

Students, including student groups and organizations, planning to hold a demonstration must complete and submit a “Demonstration Notice” form, available from the Office of Student Affairs on the Winona campus, at least 72 hours in advance of the planned demonstration. These forms require students to identify such matters as the proposed time, place, and manner of the demonstration along with a general plan for the event. Upon receipt of the completed Notice, the Office of Student Affairs or its designee will consult with organizers of the demonstration and with the appropriate administrators, if applicable, to establish the plan for the event.  This will include reasonable parameters of time, place, and manner, and will work with the appropriate administrators to reserve space and make other logistical arrangements.  Recognizing that the educational aims of particular speeches are better attained within environments other than a large public forum, the university retains the right to assign speakers to appropriate environments.  The Office of Student Affairs may consult with appropriate university personnel to ensure there is appropriate campus communication about the event.  When appropriate, the General Counsel will review and advise as to the appropriateness of any such planned demonstration.

The planning process is intended to be a consultative and collaborative process that facilitates students’ opportunity to express their views while assuring that students and the university fulfill their responsibilities related to the event.  The university may require the demonstration to be rescheduled or may prohibit the demonstration if it determines that the demonstration poses a substantial risk to the community or university property. 

The allowance of student demonstrations does not imply sponsorship of the demonstration by the university or that the views of the demonstrators are supported or endorsed by the university.