Here is a quick overview of the key regulations related to student health and safety abroad.
Note: The first two regulations are not specific to St Olaf education abroad, but the college does implement these regulations for programs abroad as they do in the U.S.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (“Title IX”), 20 U.S.C. §1681 et seq., is a Federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs and activities. All public and private elementary and secondary schools, school districts, colleges, and universities (hereinafter “schools”) receiving any Federal funds must comply with Title IX. Under Title IX, discrimination on the basis of sex can include sexual harassment or sexual violence, such as rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, and sexual coercion.
St. Olaf College is committed to a respectful, safe, and healthy environment and does not tolerate sex discrimination, sexual harassment, or sexual misconduct in any form. Prohibited behaviors include, but are not limited to, unwelcome sexual conduct or communication, rape and other forms of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. These behaviors are not only violations of an individual’s rights and dignity, but are also attacks on our college community and violations of college policy. In addition, some forms of these behaviors are crimes.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.
Please note, in case of a health and safety issue — An educational agency or institution must make this determination on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the totality of the circumstances pertaining to a threat to the health or safety of a student or others. If the school determines that there is an articulable and significant threat to the health or safety of a student or other individuals and that a third party needs PII from education records to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals, it may disclose that information to appropriate parties without consent.
In rare cases, St Olaf may allow disclosure of specific student information in a health and safety emergency to the students’ emergency contacts or otherwise as necessary for a students’ immediate health and safety.
The “Minnesota Study Abroad Law” (August 2014) requires higher education institutions in Minnesota to report student hospitalization and deaths abroad as well as ensure its student abroad programs comply with health and safety standards set by the Forum on Education Abroad. The Minnesota Office of Higher Education will then post the reported information in aggregate on its website annually, which institution will provide a link to on its program information.