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University of Minnesota gets tougher on sexual misconduct

December 15, 2017

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The University of Minnesota adopted a policy on Friday that will require all employees to report incidents of sexual harassment or sexual assault against students.

The mandate approved by the Board of Regents will go into effect next month, the Star Tribune reported. Incidents of stalking or “relationship violence” must also be reported to the campus Title IX office, which handles these types of investigations.

Past university policy required only supervisors and employees in advisory roles to report incidents of sexual misconduct.

Tina Marisam, director of the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, said the goal is to provide resources to victims of sexual misconduct. She said the university will train employees to give them the tools to respond.

Some faculty members and graduate students have said the new rules might discourage students from coming forward and confiding in them if they know an incident will be reported.

But Marisam said: “When we get that information at the Title IX office, we keep that confidential. We provide them with all their options and then allow them to decide whether they want to initiate an investigation.”

The policy also requires supervisors and human resources representatives to report sexual harassment of employees to the campus Title IX office. Other employees are encouraged to report such misconduct to the campus Title IX office, human resources or a supervisor.

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Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com

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