Investigation Process

Augsburg College will respond to and investigate sexual misconduct complaints occurring in the context of our educational and organizational programs, activities, and relationships including those that occur on and off campus. In addressing sexual misconduct complaints, Augsburg College will comply with applicable Federal and State laws.

Augsburg College will investigate any claims and allegations involving sexual misconduct brought forward by a complainant. The College will follow the wishes of the complainant unless there is immediate danger to the complainant or the community at large. Complainants may be students, employees, guests, and/or third parties.

Anyone who becomes aware of any sexual misconduct should report it.  All submissions using this form will be sent immediately to the Dean of Students, Sarah Griesse and the Title IX Officer, Dionne Doering.

Student Complaint and Investigation Process

Intake Meeting with the Student Complainant
The Dean of Students and Director of Public Safety 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 following reporting options will be explained before any steps are taken.

Option #1: An individual may share that a sexual misconduct incident occurred (with or without sharing any names or details) but not want the College to do anything at this time.

Option #2: An individual may share that a sexual misconduct incident occurred and request that the College investigate.

Under Option #2, there are two types of investigations.
1. The individual may request that the College talk with the respondent but do nothing more. This puts the respondent on notice that an incident was reported and that the College is aware of the allegations.

2. The individual may request that the College use the conduct system to determine an outcome.

Option #3: An individual may ask the College 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 College 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 College 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 College’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 College may be limited in its response. The College will take reasonable steps to respond to the complaint.

Investigation Process
Augsburg College is guided by the principles of a prompt, fair, and impartial investigation and resolution of a sexual misconduct complaint. The College 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. The standard of evidence used by Augsburg College is the preponderance of evidence (more likely than not) in its investigation and conduct hearing process. Mediation of a sexual misconduct complaint is not appropriate and will not be considered.

Both the complainant and the respondent will be given the same support, information, and opportunities throughout the process. This includes notice of a hearing, the opportunity to present witnesses, and to provide evidence. Once a resolution is determined, the College will notify both/all parties of the outcome and the appeal process.

All sanctions outlined in the College conduct process are available to the hearing officers which include anything from a letter of warning to expulsion.

To provide a fair and supportive process, the following will be used for alleged violations of the Sexual Misconduct Policy.

1. The Dean of Students (Dean) and Director of Public Safety (Director), or their designees meet with the complainant and/or 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 respondent will meet with the Investigator.

3. The Investigator will conduct other interviews as necessary.

4. The Investigator will determine if a violation has occurred and determine if sanctions will be rendered. The Investigator will share the decision with the complainant and the respondent individually.

4. The complainant and/or the respondent may appeal the decision. The appeal will be heard by the Vice President of Student Affairs who may uphold, overturn, or amend the decision.

5. As required by federal law, the College will disclose to the complainant and respondent the final results of a disciplinary hearing.

COLLEGE REPORTING REQUIREMENTS

All reports are confidential to the extent allowed by law. Officials of Augsburg College will do their best to maintain the confidentiality of complainants. The disclosure of information is regulated by the Clery Act, the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), and other applicable laws.

The College is obligated to investigate a complaint, to correct its effects on the complainant, and take steps to prevent the recurrence. If an incident involves a life-threatening injury or immediate threat to the community at large, the College may need to contact law enforcement. It may also need to issue a timely notice of conduct to the Augsburg community but the notice will not provide names. The College will share information to the extent required by law only on a need to know basis. In those instances, complete confidentiality may not be possible. If an individual is unsure about reporting and wishes to learn more about the process, the person may contact the Dean of Students (for students), the Title IX Coordinator (for employees), or a confidential resource in the Center for Counseling and Health Promotion or Campus Ministry.

Law Enforcement and Augsburg College
Individuals always have the option to notify law enforcement. Augsburg College will assist in contacting the Minneapolis Police if requested. Filing a police report is not required in order for Augsburg College to pursue a report on campus. Criminal action is separate from action that occurs through the College. An individual may report an incident with Augsburg and not with law enforcement and vice versa. Both processes and ultimate determination are independent of each other.

Augsburg College Annual Crime Report and Statistics
The College is required by federal law (The Clery Act) to publicly report specific crimes and incidents including certain forms of sexual misconduct. The College tallies the total number of known incidents each year and provides the composite number in the annual Augsburg College crime report (see LINK). No names are associated with the tally or in the crime report. No specific information is provided in relation to any incident. The sexual misconduct incidents the College must provide in the report are: dating violence, domestic violence, sex-based discrimination, sexual assault, sexual harassment, sexual violence, and stalking.