Minnesota Statute §135A.15 requires postsecondary institutions to have an agreement called a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that defines the responsibilities of campus officials and law enforcement. Components of the MOU must include:
- How investigations proceed when there is a criminal and campus investigation
- How parties are informed of and communicated with about each investigation process
- How law enforcement and campus officials share information about specific crimes, with the permission of the victim;
- The process of sharing crime-related information that may impact the safety of the campus community;
Institutions must share the MOU with their employees who work on the campus location the MOU is affiliated. If an institution and law enforcement agency participate in a sexual assault protocol team, such as a county or regional sexual assault response team (SART), the institution does not need to follow this provision.
- Minnesota Statute 135A.15: Postsecondary Education Sexual Harassment and Violence Policy
- Sexual Assault data report on campus sexual assault
Who is responsible for complying with statute?
- Minnesota State System
- Private postsecondary institutions who participate in Federal Pell Grant assistance or State Financial Aid under statute 136A.103 and have 100 students or more enrolled in the institution
Who is requested to comply with statute?
University of Minnesota System
Key Elements of MN Statute 135A.15
- Includes both employees and students
- Includes victim rights, like allowing victims to decide if they want to report to law enforcement
- Requires campus authorities to treat victims with dignity
- Requires campus authorities to offer fair and respectful mental and physical health care options
- Requires an online reporting system to receive reports; must allow anonymous reporting
- Includes employees’ obligations and duties to report and respond
- Includes required training components for employees and students
- Applies to criminal incidents by a student or employee that occurs on property owned or leased by the institution, or by a fraternity or sorority
- Sexual assault definition is the same as the Clery definition, CFR title 34 part 668 appendix A, as amended
- Requires amnesty for victims and witnesses who may have violated code of conduct by using alcohol or drugs
- Student Health Services must screen for sexual violence and sexual harassment, and offer resources on and off campus
- Requires a designated confidential resource
Institutions must offer a clear and understandable written policy and procedure to address sexual harassment and sexual violence. The policy must include victims’ rights under the Crime Victims bill of rights such as assistance from the Crime Victims Reparations Board and the Commissioner of Public Safety. The policy must also include how to report incidents of sexual violence and the disciplinary process to resolve such reports.
Institutions must coordinate with local law enforcement to create and administer a Memorandum of Understanding or participation in a Coordinated Community Response team. The MOU must be updated every two (2) years and delivered electronically to campus community.
Institutions must maintain an online reporting system that informs reporters of sexual violence about access to the information being reported and access to on- and off-campus resources that support victims of sexual violence.
Institutions must participate in the Office of Higher Education Sexual Assault Data Report. Data collection on incidents, resolutions, and disciplinary actions, including previous incidents that were not resolved by October 1 of each year. Data collected in a given year is data from the previous calendar year.
Institutions must ensure privacy of data. Incidents of sexual assault are private data under section 13.02 subdivision 12. Information can be shared with Campus Security officials and campus officials tasked with the investigation and adjudication, but otherwise limit access unless authorized by the student involved in the report.
Comprehensive training for employees involved in the intervention and response to reports of sexual violence. Specific training requirements for campus security officers, campus administrators who investigate or adjudicate cases, employees who respond to victims of sexual violence, and student health service professionals.
Institutions must provide comprehensive training to students defined by statute 136A.103. Topics that must be covered include the definition of consent, preventing and reducing the prevalence of sexual violence, procedures to report a sexual assault, and on and off campus resources to support victims of sexual assault
- Student training must be completed no later than ten (10) business days after the start of a student’s first semester of classes.
Institutions must distribute its sexual misconduct policy at student course registration.