How do I file a complaint?
A person who has experienced sexual harassment may file a complaint by contacting the Title IX Coordinator at 701-224-5638.
What should I do if I or a friend may have been sexually assaulted at BSC?
You should consider seeking medical care as soon as possible. Call BSC’s Title IX Coordinator at 701-224-5638 so they can connect you or your friend with medical care. You may consider calling the BSC Counseling and Advising Center for confidential counseling at 701-224-2449. If you need counseling assistance after hours, the Abused Adult Resource Center (701-222-8370) and West Central Human Services Center (701-321-8888) provide confidential crisis counseling to 24/7.
If you wish to pursue a complaint against the alleged perpetrator, or if you wish to discuss your options, you should consult BSC’s Title IX Coordinator at 701-224-5638.
What should I do about preserving evidence of a sexual assault?
Physical evidence of a sexual assault must be collected from the alleged victim’s person within 72 hours, though evidence can often be obtained from towels, sheets, clothes, etc. for longer periods of time. If you believe you have been a victim of a sexual assault, you should go to the nearest emergency room (see Resources tab), before washing yourself or your clothing. Collecting evidence can assist in pursuing criminal charges, should you decide later to exercise it. If you have changed clothing since the assault, bring the clothing you had on at the time of the assault with you to the hospital in a clean, sanitary container such as a clean paper grocery bag or wrapped in a clean sheet (plastic containers do not breathe, and may render evidence useless). If you have not changed clothes, bring a change of clothes with you to the hospital, if possible, as they will likely keep the clothes you are wearing as evidence.
What should I do if I am uncertain about a sexual encounter I experienced?
If you have questions or uncertainty regarding a sexual encounter, you should contact the Campus Counseling Center
, the Abused Adult Resource Center
or BSC’s Title IX Coordinator (701-224-5638) who can help advise you of your options.
Does the complaint remain confidential?
BSC will make every attempt to safeguard the privacy of the complainant; however, BSC cannot ensure confidentiality in all cases. BSC must weigh the request for confidentiality against its obligation to protect the safety and security of the entire campus. Depending on the circumstances of the offense (the severity of the offense, the number of victims involved, involvement of a minor, etc.), BSC may be required to respond to an incident, even if confidentiality has been requested. Where privacy is not strictly kept, it will be controlled on a need-to-know basis. BSC will observe state and federal privacy laws.
BSC documents sexual harassment statistics consistent with the Clery Act, however no personally identifiable information is reported for the purpose of maintaining these statistics. Identities and specific facts remain anonymous.
Can I make a report anonymously?
Anonymous reports are accepted, however BSC's ability to investigate and resolve anonymous complaints may limited if the information contained in the anonymous complaint cannot be verified by independent facts.
Do I have to name my assailant?
Yes, if you are seeking formal disciplinary action to be taken. No, if you choose to informally report and do not file a formal complaint. Not identifying the assailant may limit BSC’s ability to comprehensively investigate or respond.
Will the accused individual know my identity?
Yes, if you file a formal complaint and identify the assailant. The accused individual has the right to know the identity of the complainant. If no specific name or identity is provided, the data is recorded, but no formal investigation can be conducted.
If I report, I am afraid of retaliation from the assailant or their acquaintances. What kinds of protection can BSC provide?
It is a violation of BSC policy to retaliate in any way because an individual or group of individuals reports an allegation of sexual harassment. Any acts of alleged retaliation should be reported immediately to the Title IX Coordinator for prompt investigation. BSC will take appropriate steps to protect individuals who fear or who have been subjected to retaliation.
What if I have a relationship with the person who assaulted me?
It is never okay to force, threaten or coerce someone into a sexual act, even if they are in a relationship. An intimate relationship does not mean automatic consent is given for any or future sexual acts.
Will my parents be told?
Whether you are the complainant or the respondent, BSC’s primary relationship is to the student and not the parent. BSC officials may directly inform parents when requested to do so by a student, or in certain instances where a health or safety emergency exist.
What do I do if I am accused of sexual harassment?
Do not contact the individual(s) bringing forth the allegations, contact BSC’s Title IX Coordinator who can explain BSC’s procedures for addressing sexual harassment complaints, explain the rights and responsibilities of the complainant and respondent, explain the prohibition against retaliation, and explain the investigation process.
My assailant lives in my residence hall or attends one of my classes. I am also having difficulty concentrating on my coursework. How can I change my residence hall and receive help with my courses?
When warranted by the circumstances surrounding a sexual harassment report, BSC may implement supportive measures. Potential supportive measures may include: counseling, extensions of deadlines or other course-related adjustments, modifications of work or class schedules, campus escort services, mutual restrictions on contact between the parties, changes in on-campus work or housing locations, leaves of absence, increased security or monitoring of certain areas of campus, and law enforcement resource assistance.
Will an individual be punished when reporting sexual harassment if they have illegally used alcohol and/or drugs?
No. Bismarck State College's primary concern is the health and safety of its students. BSC’s focus will address the sexual harassment and not lesser policy violations that may be discovered or disclosed. BSC may, however, provide referrals to counseling or other educational options.
Will the use of alcohol or other drugs affect the outcome of a sexual harassment complaint?
The use of alcohol or drugs by either party will not diminish the responsibility of the accused. However, alcohol or other drugs can affect memories and may affect the outcome of a case.
Will either party's prior use of drugs and/or alcohol be a factor when reporting sexual misconduct?
Not unless there is a compelling reason to believe that prior use or abuse is relevant to the present complaint.
If I engage in a sexual activity with someone who has been drinking or using drugs, can I be accused of sexual assault?
Yes. It is against BSC’s policy to engage in any sexual activity with someone who is mentally or physically incapacitated, and therefore incapable of giving consent. Alcohol or drugs may cause such a state of incapacitation. It is unwise to engage in sexual activity while intoxicated.
Can I file a complaint with BSC and also with the police? Can I do one and not the other?
Yes. You may take action through both the campus disciplinary system and the criminal justice system. BSC will assist a complainant in making a criminal report and will cooperate with law enforcement agencies if a complainant decides to pursue the criminal process to the extent permitted by law. However, a complainant may also choose not to pursue criminal action, and under most circumstances, the Bismarck Police Department will not force a complainant to pursue charges if he/she is not willing to do so.
What is the role of the Title IX Investigator?
Designated by the Title IX Coordinator, the Title IX Investigator will conduct a thorough, impartial and fair investigation. The Investigator will coordinate the gathering of information from the complainant, respondent, and other individuals or entities with relevant information regarding the complaint using any of the following processes. The Investigator will prepare an Investigative Report summarizing and analyzing the relevant facts, but will not make a determination as to whether a violation occurred, reserving that decision for the Title IX Adjudicator.
Who will determine sanctions?
The Title IX Adjudicator will determine the sanctions.
What is the time frame for resolution?
BSC offers both informal and formal resolution of sexual harassment complaints. BSC will conduct an impartial, fair, and prompt investigation into the allegations, and ensure that actions will be taken to prevent similar actions in the future. Typically, investigation/resolution of the complaint will occur within 60 calendar days from the time the case is assigned to investigators. If it is anticipated that the investigation/resolution process will take longer than 60 calendar days, parties will be notified in writing indicating the reason(s).
What should I do if I or a friend experiences sexual harassment on another campus?
If you experience sexual harassment on another college campus, and don’t know how to report the incident to their campus, BSC's Title IX Coordinator can assist you with understanding your options and resources.