Filing a Complaint

A complaint is an official written statement, given by the victim of sexual assault that is used as the basis for initiating and supporting an investigation by the Macalester College Harassment Committee (MCHC). In most cases, complaints are only pursued upon the request of the victim. The College reserves the right to pursue a complaint if information is given that suggests there is a risk to members of the community.

For some people, going through the complaint process is an important part of their healing, but for others recounting these events is more painful than restorative. Victims are encouraged to talk through this decision with any member of the Sexual Assault Support Team, a trusted friend, or counselor.

What is the difference between filing a complaint with the College vs. the Police?

There is a difference between Macalester’s complaint process and an external legal process. The College process is overseen by Title IX Coordinator for the College, Karla Benson Rutten.  The Title IX Coordinator ensures that the College is compliant with the federal law Title IX of the education amendment of 1972 that prohibits sex discrimination in education.

Any complaints of sex discrimination, harassment or sexual violence are investigated by the Macalester College Harassment Committee (MCHC). MCHC facilitates an internal complaint process, created for the Macalester community to address College policy violations of sexual violence and harassment. Both complainants and respondents are provided support and assistance through the process. MCHC members conduct an internal investigation and make a recommendation to an appropriate College decision-maker regarding appropriate next steps.

The criminal and civil processes are outside the control and authority of the college. Crime victims are encouraged to take steps to file a criminal complaint with the local authorities—whether the violence took place on or off campus. Those considering filing a civil action against an alleged perpetrator or someone accused of a crime may want to consider retaining an attorney to guide them through the process.

Information for participants in MCHC investigations