|Approved by the:
|Student Senate March 5, 2015|
The Office for Student Conduct and Academic Integrity (OSCAI) would like to acknowledge and commend the resolution put forward by the Student Senate in support of the Title IX Sanctioning Guidelines created by OSCAI which provide transparency in the adjudication of Title IX violations.
Students found responsible for disciplinary offenses under the University of Minnesota Board of Regents Student Conduct Code are subject to sanctions. Many factors are considered when determining appropriate sanctions such as the severity of the offense, the culpability of the student, the impact to the community, and the opportunity for student development. Title IX Sanctioning Guidelines were developed to provide guidance so that community members and impacted parties who are dealing with incidents of sexual violence or harassment are informed about the range of possible sanctions for accused students. The guidelines allow the University to retain the flexibility to respond to every situation on an individual basis.
Input was sought from various stakeholders about these guidelines. However, OSCAI welcomes further discussion and input about the guidelines as the University strives to address all Title IX violations.
Resolution Concerning Minimum Sanctions for Sexual Assault : University Senate : University of Minnesota
The Student Senate recommends to the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost of the University that the University move forward with the Office for Student Conduct and Academic Integrity's (OSCAI) working draft of minimum sanction guidelines for sexual assault and that they are brought back to the Student Senate when complete.
The Student Senate requests that the University administration work to create a policy that would reflect the OSCAI minimum sanctions to create a precedent, and provide the Campus Committee on Student Behavior (CCSB) panelists with best practices for aligning sanctions with findings of responsibility in cases of sexual misconduct.
The Student Senate also requests that students be involved in the policy development process.
The Aurora Center states that at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, 22% of individuals who identify as women and 5% of individuals who identify as men have reported experiencing sexual assault. It is an incredibly prevalent issue on all of the University of Minnesota campuses. Subdivision VIII, Sexual Assault, of Section VI, Disciplinary Offenses, of the University of Minnesota Board of Regents Policy: Student Conduct Code states sexual assault is defined as "actual, attempted, or threatened sexual contact with another person without that person's consent" and can be prosecuted under the Student Conduct Code. Cases of violating the Student Conduct Code Policy on sexual assault are reported to the OSCAI, investigated by the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (EOAA), and complaints are heard and decided by the CCSB.
Currently, sanctions can range from written warning to expulsion for violating the University Student Conduct Code on sexual assault, and there have been inconsistencies and a lack of precedent in how the panel decides cases, as there are no definite guidelines and panelists may change from year to year. The purpose of minimum sanctions guidelines is to establish precedent and provide CCSB panelists with best practices for aligning sanctions with findings of responsibility.
The University has firm sanction guidelines in the case of violating the scholastic dishonesty under the Board of Regents Policy: Student Conduct Code. The penalties range from warning with no penalty, or zero points on the assignment if it is minor plagiarism in a rough draft or unauthorized group work, to an F in the course if it is considered significant plagiarism. Currently OSCAI has a working draft of minimum sanctions guidelines for individuals found responsible for violating the sexual assault subdivision of the Student Conduct Code. That would also have explicit punitive measures laid out for issues regarding sexual misconduct and sexual assault.
The proposed changes are preceded not only by other University policies, but by other institutions' policies as well. Large research institutions such as Ohio University and University of Iowa have successfully implemented minimum sanctions guidelines.
5. Sanctioning Guidelines for Sexual Misconduct, Ohio University
http://www.ohio.edu/communitystandards/guidelines/sexualassault.cfm (accessed February 15th, 2014)