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Campus Policies

Sexual Violence 

Introduction

A safe and healthy educational environment is important to the mission and values of Bemidji State University. The Sexual Violence Policy developed by the University provides clear, concise and specific information to all members of our learning community.

Policy Statement

Sexual violence is an intolerable intrusion into the most personal and private rights of an individual, and is prohibited at Bemidji State University. The University is committed to eliminating sexual violence in all forms and will take appropriate remedial action against any individual found responsible for acts in violation of this policy. Acts of sexual violence may also constitute violations of criminal or civil law, or other Bemidji State University polices may require separate proceedings. To further its commitment against sexual violence, Bemidji State University provides multiple reporting options, an investigative and disciplinary process, and prevention training or other related services as appropriate.

Application of Policy to Students, Employees and Others

This policy applies to all BSU students, faculty, staff, and others, as appropriate, where incidents of sexual violence have been reported on BSU property. Reports of sexual violence committed by a student at a location other than on BSU property are covered by this policy pursuant to the factors listed in the BSU Student Code of Conduct and MnSCU Policy 3.6, Part 2. Reports of sexual violence committed by a BSU faculty or staff member at a location other than BSU property are covered by this policy. Individuals reported to have committed acts of sexual violence on BSU property that are not students, faculty or staff are covered by this policy. Allegations of discrimination or harassment are governed by Board Policy 1B.1.

Definitions

The following definitions apply to the BSU Sexual Violence Policy.

  • Sexual violence includes a continuum of conduct that includes sexual assault, non-forcible sex acts, dating and relationship violence, stalking, as well as aiding acts of sexual violence.

  • Sexual assault means an actual, attempted or threatened sexual act with another person without that person’s consent. Sexual assault is often a criminal act that can be prosecuted under Minnesota law, as well as form the basis for discipline under Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) student conduct codes, the Bemidji State University Student Code of Conduct, and employee disciplinary standards. Sexual assault includes, but is not limited to:

  • Involvement without consent in any sexual act in which there is force, expressed or implied, or use of duress or deception upon the victim. Forced sexual intercourse is included in this definition, as are the acts commonly referred to as “date rape” or “acquaintance rape.” This definition also includes the coercing, forcing, or attempting to coerce or force sexual intercourse or a sexual act on another.

    • Involvement in any sexual act when the victim is unable to give consent.

    • The intentional touching or coercing, forcing, or attempting to coerce or force another to touch an unwilling person’s intimate parts (defined as primary genital area, groin, inner thigh, buttocks, or breast).

    • Offensive sexual behavior that is directed at another such as indecent exposure or voyeurism.

  • Dating and relationship violence includes physical harm or abuse, and threats of physical harm or abuse, arising out of a personal intimate relationship.  This violence also may be called domestic abuse or spousal/partner abuse and may be subject to criminal prosecution under Minnesota state law.

  • Stalking is conduct directed at a specific person that is unwanted, unwelcome, or unreciprocated and that would cause a reasonable person to fear for her/his safety or the safety of others or to suffer substantial emotional distress.

  • Consent is informed, freely given and mutually understood. If coercion, intimidation, threats, and/or physical force are used, there is no consent. If the complainant is mentally or physically incapacitated or impaired so that the complainant cannot understand the fact, nature, or extent of the sexual situation, and the condition was known or would be known to a reasonable person, there is no consent; this includes conditions due to alcohol or drug consumption, or being asleep or unconscious. Silence does not necessarily constitute consent, and past consent of sexual activities does not imply ongoing future consent. Whether the respondent has taken advantage of a position of influence over the complainant may be a factor in determining consent.

  • Non-forcible acts include unlawful sexual acts where consent is not relevant, such as sexual contact with an individual under the statutory age of consent, as defined by Minnesota law, or between persons who are related to each other within degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law.

  • BSU property means the facilities and land owned, leased, or under the primary control of Bemidji State University as a member of the Minnesota State Colleges system.

  • “Employee” means any individual employed by Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, its colleges and universities and system office, including student workers.

  • The term Student is defined in the Student Code of Conduct

Reporting Sexual Violence

Complainants of sexual violence may report incidents at any time, but are strongly encouraged to make reports promptly in order to best preserve evidence for a potential legal or disciplinary proceeding. Complainants are strongly encouraged to report incidents of sexual violence to law enforcement for the location where the incident occurred (dial 911). The Department of Public Safety (218-755-3888, 24 hours) can provide assistance in reporting to local law enforcement. The BSU Department of Public Safety website provides additional information about reporting, including advice about preserving evidence.  The Annual Security Report on the Public Safety website includes information about complainant options and complainant rights.

In addition, campus security authorities (defined as “an official of an institution who has significant responsibility for student and campus activities”) are available to assist students with reporting of sexual violence. The BSU Department of Public Safety has more information about campus security authorities on their website.

Finally, these individuals serve as campus contacts for assisting sexual violence complainants.

Dr. Mary Ward
Title IX Coordinator
Deputy Hall
218-755-2010       
 
Marybeth Christensen Jones
Chief Human Resources Officer
Deputy Hall
218-755-3966
 
Dr. Randy Ludeman
University Conduct Officer
Walnut Hall
218-755-3750
 

Investigative and Disciplinary Process

MnSCU Board of Trustees policy 1B.3 “Sexual Violence Policy.”  In addition, the University also utilizes the MnSCU Procedure 1B.3.1, “Sexual Violence Procedure."  The MnSCU Board policy and procedure provide extensive and detailed information about the investigative and disciplinary process used by the University, and these documents are provided to individuals who report sexual violence to the campus contacts identified above. Student complainants have the option to change their academic and/or on-campus living situations after an alleged act of sexual violence, if such changes are reasonably available.  The procedures in the Student Code of Conduct provide a list of the possible sanctions for a student found in violation of this policy, and they include suspension, dismissal or expulsion from the university.

The University has developed a flowchart that depicts the process for resolving complaints of harassment or discrimination. (Select "flowchat" text in previous sentence for hyperlink to flowchart). The above information is available on the BSU website.

Resources

Campus and community offices and agencies stand ready to provide assistance to victims of sexual violence.

Campus and community offices and agencies stand ready to provide assistance to victims of sexual assault.

The Campus Public Safety website also has helpful information about personal safety and reducing risk of sexual violence.

The BSU Responsible Men, Responsible Women program enhances student success by providing information about sexual harassment, sexual violence, safe relationships, healthy relationships, personal safety, alcohol and drug use, and supportive services and phone numbers.

Bemidji State University participates in the B-SMART (Bemidji Sexual Assault Multidisciplinary Action Response Team), providing community connections and a victim centered approach to sexual violence reporting and procedures. More information can be found about B-SMART at the website.

As part of the Minnesota Colleges and Universities System (MnSCU), Bemidji State University follows the MnSCU Board of Trustees policy 1B.3 “Sexual Violence Policy.”  In addition, the University also utilizes the MnSCU Procedure 1B.3.1, “Sexual Violence Procedure.” The MnSCU Board policy and procedure provide extensive and detailed information, and these documents are provided to individuals who report sexual violence to the campus contacts identified above.