STUDENT COMPLAINT AND INVESTIGATION PROCESS – involving another student
Augsburg University is guided by the principles of a prompt, fair, and impartial investigation and resolution of a sexual misconduct complaint. The Student Complaint and Investigation Process is used for all sexual misconduct allegations against another student, including cases of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking.
The process includes:
1. An intake meeting with the Student Complainant
2. Information gathering regarding the complaint
3. When appropriate, a disciplinary meeting to resolve the complaint
4. When requested, an appeal
The University will communicate regularly with the Complainant and the Respondent striving to complete the investigation and resolution of the complaint in no more than 60 days. Time frames may vary depending upon the complexity of the investigation. Additional time may be needed in those instances and will be communicated with the Complainant and Respondent.
Investigators and hearing officers
Current staff and faculty conduct investigations and conduct disciplinary meetings. They receive annual training on issues related to sexual misconduct, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking, as well as training on how to conduct investigations and disciplinary meetings that protect the safety of the Complainant, the fair treatment of the Respondent, and promotes accountability. As a small university, Augsburg values good relationships between students, staff, and faculty. Staff and faculty engaged in the sexual misconduct investigation process include those who have a passion for justice, are committed to fairness, and pay attention to power, privilege, and the multiple aspects of identity.
All proceedings will be conducted by staff or faculty who do not have a conflict of interest or bias for or against the Complainant or Respondent. If someone has a prior interaction with the Complainant or Respondent, they are asked to put that relationship aside. Any concerns regarding a potential conflict of interest perceived by the Complainant or Respondent should be explained in writing and submitted to the Title IX Coordinator.
Complainants and Respondents may have an advisor who attends the meetings in which they participate. The advisor may advise the Complainant or Respondent. The advisor may not speak for the Complainant or Respondent, ask questions, make statements, or interrupt the proceedings.
Information and notice
Both the Complainant and the Respondent will be given the same support, information, and opportunities throughout the process. This includes notice of an investigation, and the opportunity to present witnesses, and to provide evidence at disciplinary meetings. The information shared does not include communications and meetings between the Investigator and the Complainant concerning accommodations or protective measures provided, unless required (e.g., no contact order). The standard of evidence used by Augsburg University is the preponderance of evidence (more likely than not) in its investigation process. Mediation of a sexual misconduct complaint is not appropriate and will not be considered.
In cases of alleged sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence or stalking: once a decision is made the University will notify both parties of the outcome and the appeal process. Compliance with the Violence Against Women Act and the Campus SaVE Act does not constitute a violation of section 444 of the General Education Provisions Act, commonly known as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). FERPA does not permit disclosure, without permission, to the respondent in cases involving other categories of sexual misconduct.
Access to Information
In cases of alleged sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence or stalking: the Complainant or Respondent may review any information that will be used in decision-making of the disciplinary meeting phase of the process once it is determined that a disciplinary meeting will occur. To review information, the Complainant or Respondent should submit in writing a request to the Dean of Students. The Complainant or Respondent may review the information in the presence of an Augsburg University representative. The Augsburg representative is present solely to oversee the review of the file and cannot receive questions about the process or situation under review. In compliance with FERPA, some materials may be copied for the Complainant or Respondent.
1. Intake Meeting with the Student Complainant
The Dean of Students and Director of Public Safety or their designees will conduct an intake meeting with a Complainant and provide general information regarding the Sexual Misconduct Policy, support resources available, interim measures that may be taken immediately or throughout the process, and reporting options. The intake meeting will occur within 5 business days of the University being notified by the Complainant. The following reporting options will be explained before any steps are taken.
Option #1: An individual may allege that a sexual misconduct incident occurred (with or without sharing any names or details) but not want the University to investigate or take any action at this time.
Option #2: An individual may allege that a sexual misconduct incident occurred and request that the University talk with the Respondent but do nothing more. This puts the Respondent on notice that an incident was reported and that the University is aware of the allegations.
Option #3: An individual may allege that a sexual misconduct incident occurred and request that the University use the conduct system to determine an outcome.
In all cases or as the sole option: An individual may ask the University to assist in contacting the Minneapolis Police Department and/or file criminal/civil charges.
The Complainant may choose an option and change that option at any time regardless of whether an investigation was already underway.
The University will follow the wishes of the Complainant unless there is immediate danger to the person or the community at large. If immediate danger is present, the University may begin an investigation or contact the Minneapolis Police Department. The decision to move forward will be made by the Director of Public Safety, the Title IX Coordinator, and the Vice President of Student Affairs or their designees.
If the Complainant was under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, the individual would be granted amnesty for drinking under age, being intoxicated, or using illegal drugs. The University’s first concern is that the person receives the support and care for healing to begin.
If information is provided anonymously or the person chooses not to disclose the name(s) of the Respondent or the report is from a third party, the University may be limited in its response. The University will take reasonable steps to respond to the complaint.
The following will be used in Option #3 for alleged violations of the Sexual Misconduct Policy, following the Intake Meeting.
2. Information Gathering
1. The Dean of Students (Dean) and Director of Public Safety (Director), or their designees meet with the Complainant. The meeting will occur within five (5) business days of the intake meeting conclusion. They review reports and determine what interim measures are appropriate for the Complainant or the Respondent, if any. The Dean, Director, or designee will serve as the Investigator.
2. The Investigator will meet with the Respondent. The meeting will occur within five (5) business days of the conclusion of the intake meeting with the Complainant.
3. The Investigator will conduct other interviews as necessary. The interview meeting(s) will occur within ten (10) business days following the conclusion of the meeting with the Respondent.
4. The Investigator will share the results of the information gathering interviews with the Dean of Students and Director of Public Safety or their designees. The meeting will occur within five (5) days of the conclusion of the interview meeting(s).
5. The Dean and Director or their designees will determine if the investigation findings provide sufficient evidence that the:
• alleged behavior in the complaint violated the sexual misconduct policy. If so, the Dean and Director will convene a disciplinary meeting with the Respondent.
• alleged behavior did not violate the sexual misconduct policy. If so, the information gathering phase would end. The Complainant and the Respondent would be notified of the decision and the reason for the decision.
3. Disciplinary Meeting
1. The Dean of Students and Director of Public Safety will review the information provided by the Investigator, meet with the Complainant and Respondent and others as needed, and make a determination whether a violation of the sexual misconduct policy occurred. If so, the Dean and Director will determine the appropriate sanctions. The review will occur within five (5) business days of the meeting with the Investigator.
All sanctions outlined in the University conduct process are available which include the following: a letter of warning/reprimand, social probation, warning of last chance, eviction, banned from the residence halls or on-campus events, suspension from the University, and expulsion. See also Section F.
2. In cases of alleged sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence or stalking: The Dean of Students and Director of Public Safety will share their decision verbally and in writing with the Complainant and the Respondent individually, within five (5) business days of the meeting with the Investigator. In other Sexual Misconduct disciplinary meetings, the Dean of Students and Director of Public Safety will share information as permitted by FERPA.
1. The Complainant and/or the Respondent may appeal the decision of a disciplinary meeting under the following conditions:
• New evidence not reasonably available before the completion of the information gathering process
• Unfair investigation or disciplinary meeting
• University failed to follow policy
• Sanctions imposed are too severe or inadequate
The appeal must be in writing outlining the reason(s) for the appeal request and sent to the Vice President of Student Affairs within five (5) days of the receiving the outcome of the disciplinary meeting.
2. The Vice President of Student Affairs/Title IX Coordinator will review the information related to the complaint, information gathering, and disciplinary meeting and render a decision within five (5) days of receiving the appeal request. The Vice President of Student Affairs may uphold, overturn, or amend the decision.
3. As required by federal law, the Vice President of Student Affairs/Title IX Coordinator will disclose to the Complainant and Respondent the final results of the investigation in writing.