Several Events Raise Sexual Assault Awareness at MSU

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by ABIGAIL SKAALERUD, CSU Public Relations Intern

April is Sexual Assault Awareness month and the Women’s Center is hosting numerous events to show support for this serious cause.

On April 9, “It Happens to Us, Too,” addresses sexual abuse in LGBTQ relationships. The presentation will be n CSU 201 from 12-1:30 p.m.

An ultimate end to sexual violence is sought at the annual, “Take Back the Night” event on April 23 from 5-7p.m., on the Presca Lawn. The program includes a rally, march, a speak out as well as fundraiser for those who have been affected by sexual violence.

“Denim Day” will be on April 24. Wearing denim for the day raises awareness as a means of protest against rape myths and victim blaming. Participants will meet in front of the CSU Ballroom and walk over to Red Lips for a picture from 12-1p.m.

Continuing April 24 activities is “Healing and Learning: Dealing with Trauma in Communities of Color” which will in CSU 245 from 5-7 p.m. This will focus on dealing with trauma, the need to heal, race/consciousness/politics, and how toxic masculinity hurts everyone.

April is important time to acknowledge what goes on around us and those affected by sexual violcence. Take time this month to invest in one of these events and learn more about sexual assault and how it affects the world we live in.

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VARP Provides Options, Advice for Violence Survivors

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Are you a victim or survivor of partner violence, sexual assault, stalking, or sexual harassment? Wondering where your options are or where you can go for resources?

The Violence Awareness & Response Program (VARP) at Minnesota State University, Mankato dedicates their time to educating victims, survivors, friends, family and anyone on issues surrounding intimate issues.

VARP offer numerous services including:

  • Support services
  • Resources and referrals
  • Crisis intervention
  • Prevention and risk-reduction
  • Volunteer and internship opportunities
  • Training opportunities
  • Peer education

For more information on the services offered, stop by CSU 218 or call 507-389-5127. To learn more about VARP, visit their website

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Love Shouldn’t Hurt

by: BRETT MARSHALL, CSU Public Relations Assistant


Valentine’s Day is one of the most popular times of the year to cherish your significant other, but it can also be a good time to make sure if you’re in a relationship, it’s a healthy one.

According to The NO MORE Project, one in every three teens will experience an abusive or unhealthy relationship. Women between the ages of 16 and 24 are three times more likely than the rest of the population to experience and about one-third of the adolescent population America are victims to sexual, physical, verbal or emotional dating abuse.

Physical and emotional abuse in adolescent relationships can cause long-term effects such as increased chances of alcoholism, suicide, depression and other diseases, says Linda Chamberlain Ph.D. Heightened risks of STI’s and pregnancies can also be side effects of abusive relationships.

Unhealthy and abusive relationships happen across all types of relationships, including ones in the LGBT community. In fact, the Urban Institute found the rates of dating violence among LGBT youth is higher than non-LGBT youth. According to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), “transgender youth reported the highest rates of dating violence, with 88.9 percent reporting physical dating violence.”

“The reasons for the unusually higher rates of teen dating violence within the LGBTQ community need further research, but early indicators point toward the limited curricula around topics of teen dating violence, domestic and sexual violence prevention education and inclusive sex education,” said David Gardner, Acting Director of MSU’s Gender and Sexuality Programs.

Gardner also noted the HRC’s suggestion that non-inclusive sex education has led to myths like “men cannot be victims of intimate partner violence,” or “that women cannot be violent to their partners.”

The HRC also says these myths further marginalize LGBTQ survivors who may already be more reluctant to report their abuse or access counseling and other resources because they fear being discriminated against or outed as LGBTQ.

It’s not always clear if you or someone you know may be in an unhealthy or abusive relationship, but Liz Steinborn-Gourley, Director of the Women’s Center at MSU, says these eight items can be red flags and warning signs:

  1. Being pressured into unwanted sexual activity.
  2. Constantly monitoring where you are and who you are with.
  3. Vandalizing or ruining your stuff.
  4. Excessive jealousy or insecurity.
  5. Explosive temper.
  6. Invasion of your privacy.
  7. Falsely accusing you of things.
  8. Threatening or causing physical violence.

There are several options for students seeking help with abusive and unhealthy relationships including speaking with a confidential advocate in the Violence Awareness Response Program in CSU 218 or at 507-389-6146, or speaking with a counselor in the Counseling Center (507-389-1455). Additionally, if students need to report dating abuse, they can contact a University Security Officer at 507-389-2111 or the staff in the Office of Equal Opportunity and Title IX 507-389-2986. Committee Against Domestic Abuse (CADA) also operates a 24-hour crisis line, +1-800-477-0466, that students can call.

LGBT community members and allies are also encouraged to join the LGBT Center Tuesday, April 9, at noon in CSU 201 for a special presentation by OutFront MN called “It Happens to Us, Too,” which focuses on intimate partner violence within the LGBT community.

More information on teen dating violence and LGBT dating violence can be found by visiting or 


University Enforces Yes-Means-Yes Consent Policy

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by: MORGAN STOLPA, CSU Public Relations Intern

The Affirmative Consent Policy at Minnesota State University, Mankato is there to keep you


At Minnesota State University, Mankato the Equal Opportunity Office is dedicated to preventing sexual violence, discrimination, harassment and will respond to reports of sexual misconduct.

In February 2018, Mankato State University adopted its own Affirmative Consent policy which highlights the importance of having consent when engaging in sexual activity.

The system-wide Minnesota State Sexual Violence Policy adopted by Minnesota State Mankato states: “Consent is informed, freely given and mutually understood. If coercion, intimidation, threats and or physical force are used, there is no consent. If someone is mentally or physically incapacitated or impaired—including from drug or alcohol consumption—and doesn’t understand the situation, there is no consent. Silence does not necessarily constitute consent.”

‘Consent is informed, freely given and mutually understood….Silence does not necessarily constitute consent.’ 

The Affirmative Consent policy creates clarity. If both parties cannot meet the standards of the policy and confidently say, “Yes,” it is not considered consensual. Prior to this policy, a student would have to verbally say, “No” for the incident to be considered sexual assault.  To ensure students are aware of the policy and what is expected of them, Mankato State University provides educational training.

“Students are required to complete the Consent and Respect course. Our office does presentations and trainings on campus to students and employees. The Women’s Center and Violence Awareness and Response Program (VARP) collaborate with other campus offices to offer programming on topics related to sexual violence prevention and awareness. Our office participates in some of this programming,” said Quenter Ramogi, Equal Opportunity & Title IX Specialist, Deputy Title IX Coordinator.

If you or anyone you know has been the victim of sexual, dating or relationship violence, call University Security at 389-2111 immediately, or talk to someone you trust, like your Resident Advisor. To submit a complaint please contact the Office of Equal Opportunity & Title IX at 507-389-2986. You may also consider filing a report with local law enforcement. To report in the city of Mankato, please dial 911.

University Policies and Protocols

By CYDNEY COFFEY, CSU Communication Graduate Assistant

For incoming students keep in mind that there are various consequences for drug and alcohol offenses. The general consequences for students for drug and alcohol are as follows through Residential Life:

  • First offense:
    • Probation for up to a semester
    • Completing an online course that covers being under the influence of marijuana or alcohol depending on the students’ offense
  • Second offense:
    • Probation for up to a year
    • Completing an online course that covers risk reduction and involves talking with other students
  • Third offense:
    • The students housing contract is terminated

The more a student racks up offenses the longer their probation will be, the disciplinary sanctions will become more serious and the educational sanctions will become more expensive as well. Dr. Mary Dowd, Dean of Students and Director of Student Conduct stated “We try and make it an educational process.”

A couple of important things to keep in mind for incoming students:

  • The police provide the University with weekly lists of names of students who are cited for drug and alcohol uses off campus. This includes DUIs as well as students who were transported to detox.
  • Police are out in MASSES on campus during the first 8 weeks of school. Take into consideration that there have been situations where a student has been arrested 3 times in just one week!

Dr. Mary Dowd, stated “Bottom line, it’s all about safety.”

The University strives at having the student’s best interest at heart.



How the University Takes Disciplinary Action

By ALEJANDRO REYES VEGA, CSU Communications Student Assistant

Minnesota State University, Mankato has made many changes to its student disciplinary process. One of the major changes happened after the landmark case Dixon V. Alabama State Board of Education.

The 1961 case allowed the establishment of the rights of students to be given notice of the allegation and an opportunity to be heard prior to expulsion. Moreover, students are not entitled to the same degree of due process as afforded in criminal and civil actions meaning that students have a different protocol when their disciplinary action is being decided.

The University has adopted the philosophy of educational discipline that promotes personal growth and accountability. It strives for fair and consistent policies and practices. For parents this means that we want students to learn from a “teachable moment” to consider consequences of their actions before acting on impulse or acceding to peer pressure.

It is important for parents to know when and how to intervene. Intervention sends a message to your students that you don’t trust their ability to handle their own affairs. Helicopter parenting can hinder the development of independence, self-esteem, and self-confidence.

The college experience strives to provide opportunities for your students to grow in the following areas:

  • Developing an identity separate from parents
  • Developing interdependence and competency
  • Managing emotions
  • Strengthening integrity and personal accountability
  • Establishing meaningful friendships and connections

To access the school’s parents’ resources CLICK HERE.


Types of Drugs and their Consequences


The possession of Schedule Drugs has different consequences:

First Offense: Imprisonment of no more than 1 year and a minimum fine of $1000

1 previous drug/narcotic/chemical conviction will result in Imprisonment of 15 days-2 years, and a minimum fine of $2,500

2+ previous drug/narcotic/chemical conviction will result in imprisonment of 90 days-3 years, and a minimum fine of $5,000.


They are all illegal:

Drugs are illegal in the state of Minnesota. The only exception is medically prescribed marijuana; however, it is against University policy for students to possess any type pf drug including medically prescribed Marijuana.

The possession and use of Marijuana is a violation of federal law and since the University belongs to the State and accepts federal dollars for financial aid it must follow the Drug-Free Schools and Community Act.

There is no exception on the use of drugs and they are classified in five Schedules.


According to the DEA, these are the different schedules and drugs:

Schedule I.

These include drugs, substances, or chemicals are not currently accepted in any medical use and have a high potential for abuse.

Ex: Heroin, LSD, marijuana, ecstasy, methaqualone, and peyote.


Schedule II.

These include drugs, substances, or chemical that have a high potential for abuse potentially leading to severe psychological or physical dependence and are considered dangerous.

Ex: Vicodin, cocaine, methamphetamine, methadone, dilaudid, Demerol, oxycodone, fentanyl, Adderall, and Ritalin.


Schedule III.

These include drugs, substances, or chemicals with a moderate to low potential for physical and psychological dependence.

Ex: Tylenol with codeine, ketamine, anabolic steroids, testosterone.


Schedule IV.

These include drugs, substances, or chemicals with a low potential for abuse and low risk of dependence. Schedule III drugs have a higher risk of abuse.

Ex. Xanax, Soma, Darvon, Darvocet, Valium, Ativan, Ambien, Tramadol.


Schedule V.

These include drugs, substances, or chemicals with a lower potential for abuse than Schedule IV and consists of preparations containing limited quantities of certain narcotics. Schedule V drugs are generally used for antidiarrheal, antitussive, and analgesic purposes.

Ex. Lyrica, Parepectolin, Motofen, Lomotil.


The previously named drugs are just some examples, this is not by any means a full list of drugs that are considered illegal.




Alcohol and its Effects

by: Afure Adah

People often drink alcohol to celebrate, socialize or relax. But alcohol can often have strong effects. These effects vary from person to person and they depend on many different factors, including:

  • How much you drink
  • How often you drink
  • Age
  • Health status
  • Family history

The effects of alcohol can appear in about 10 minutes and as you continue to drink, your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level, increases. The higher your BAC, the more impaired you become. These effects include:

  • Slurred speech
  • Reduced inhibitions
  • Motor impairment
  • Confusion
  • Concentration problems
  • Breathing problems
  • Coma
  • Death

Some other risks can include:

  • Accidents and car crashes
  • Violent and risky behavior
  • Suicide and homicide

Long-term effects can include:

  • Alcohol use disorder
  • Health problems
  • Increased risk for certain cancers

REMEMBER: The legal minimum drinking age in the United States of America is age 21. In Minnesota, it is a misdemeanor violation punishable by up to a $1,000 fine and/or 90 days in jail.  The penalty typically starts out with a fine that is increased each time you get caught. Stay safe and make good choices!


MNSU Campus Security: Familiarize Yourself with Our Security Services


Afure Adah

by AFURE ADAH, CSU PR Student Assistant



Safety has always been an issue but in today’s day and age, things like, theft, assault and even human trafficking are becoming more prevalent. So here I will give you some info for staying safe on campus.
To stay safe on campus it is important to know the school’s security services. Here at MSU Mankato the security services that are specifically aimed to keep you safe and comfortable are:

Emergency phones
• Safe walk service
• Patrol & EMT

Emergency Phones
All over campus are emergency phones for easy communications with university security. They are bright blue and well lit, so they are easy to spot. If you would like to see a map of all their locations, I have one linked.

Safe Walk Services
Our safe walk services provide a walking escort 24/7, year-round, to and from any university building, parking lot, or residence community. To request a Safe Walk, call University Security at (507)-389-2111.

I live off campus, about a 15-minute walk, and sometimes I am on campus super late and my bus isn’t running anymore, so I have to walk home. Not everyone has to walk all the way home, but there are students that park their cars in the lots that are a bit of a walk from the school and are often in a similar position as me.
I haven’t used this service yet, but during summer classes when my friends are not on campus or in town to walk with me or pick me up, I’ll probably give it a try. Better to be safe than sorry!

Patrol & EMT

As a student here, I have always noticed Security patrolling in the evenings, checking classrooms, and locked doors, making sure no one is where they are not supposed to be.
But the University Security Patrol unit is available 24/7, 365 days a year to perform the following duties:

• Provide 24/7, 365, vehicle and foot patrols
• Investigate theft, vandalism, and other crimes
• Security for campus events
• Help faculty, staff, students, and visitors
• Compile info for MSU incident reports
• Act as a liaison with the Mankato Department of Public Safety

EMTs and First Responders are employed by the University Security to respond and provide care for injuries, or illnesses on campus. In addition, they work closely with Health Services, and Gold Cross Ambulance Service.

If You would like more information, Campus Security’s page will be linked below.

Renewed Responsibility in Sexual Encounters

by REED CARR, CSU Public Relations Intern

“Affirmative consent,” a policy adopted by Minnesota State College and Universities in February, helps spot the difference between a green light and a yellow light in a sexual encounter.

The Minnesota State Board of Trustees policy change was urged by college students and faculty in an attempt to halt sexual violence on campus.

Laura Schultz, Assistant Director of Violence Awareness & Response Program at Minnesota State, Mankato, explains that the new policy “places the responsibility of making sure that consent is present on the person instigating sex. So instead of someone having to say a verbal “No” for an incident to be considered sexual assault, this policy encourages folks to think about the way that a verbal, enthusiastic, ongoing “Yes” should be present for both parties to feel sure that this is fully consensual.”

Not only are college students required to engage in “Affirmitive Consent” before sex, but faculty and the Board of Trustees are holding themselves to the same standard in an attempt to show the importance of consent.

“This policy is meant to encourage everyone to fully understand how important it is to ensure consent,” Schultz said. “Hopefully policies like this one will make folks think more specifically about what actions they are taking to be sure that each partner is fully agreeing to each step of the way. Hopefully it will increase communication and make clear what’s expected of all who are engaging in any specific sex act.”

The National Sexual Violence Resource Center reported one in five women and one in 16 men are sexually assaulted while in college. This new consensual footing helps define the sometimes blurry lines in an intimate setting.