Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan

Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

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Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan


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Update on Title IX: New Policies and Procedures

Karalyn Kolstad
One of the lesser-known options is the OASIS center which is located in room 110 in Gildemeister. The full name of OASIS is the OASIS Advocacy Center, and they are an on-campus extension of the Advocacy Center that is located in Winona.

Student and staff emails chime in synch, an email popping up from Winona State University. This email is just one of many the people on campus get from Winona State, but the subject of this email screams with importance. The “Title IX Updates” subject line flashes before phone screens turn off, but many people can’t help the way their hands itch to open the email with a subject line that holds the stories of sexual violence and discrimination survivors in its hand.

On March 13, 2024, Winona State students and staff received an email that detailed ways in which the Title IX office and process may be changing within the next year. There were not many details on specific policies that will be revised, but the knowledge that the process and office for Title IX may soon be changing is important information to give to the Winona State Community.

For many people, Title IX is just a law the covers students who are in athletics. However, this law is supposed to protect students from more than just discriminations within federally funded sports. Title IX is actually a significantly broader law than how many people view it.

The U.S Department of Education is the body in the federal government that establishes policies and helps ensure said policies are being followed within federally funded schools.

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“Some key issue areas in which recipients have Title IX obligations are: recruitment, admissions, and counseling; financial assistance; athletics; sex-based harassment, which encompasses sexual assault and other forms of sexual violence; treatment of pregnant and parenting students; treatment of LGBTQI+ students; discipline; single-sex education; and employment.”

This broad definition means that there are many instances that can fall under the jurisdiction of Title IX, and for quite a bit of time Winona State has only had one Title IX Coordinator. For a while now Lori Mikl has been the sole Title IX coordinator at Winona State; however, within this email from President Kenneth Janz it was announced that there would be Deputy Title IX Coordinators that will be taking up their positions in the fall to help the current Title IX Coordinator in response to sexual assault, intimate partner/relationship violence and more.

Lori Mikl is the Director of Affirmative Action/Equity and Legal Affairs. She also acts as the sole Title IX coordinator at Winona State, meaning that adding on at least three more Deputy Coordinators in the fall will have a huge impact on the work load that Mikl has to take on per-case.

“Having Deputy Title IXs has been something Administration has talked about for the last several years and I am extremely happy that this has finally happened. Having at least three more people on campus will allow me to assign investigations to the Deputies so we are collectively sharing the workload. This will also free up some of my time so I can focus on the other aspects of Title IX, such as ensuring the parties receive regular progress emails, making sure all new incoming reports are responded to in a timely fashion, prevention education, etc.” Mikl Said.

Along with this email revealing that Winona State would be implementing Deputy Title IX Coordinators, it also announced that the Department of Education is scheduled to release revised regulations regarding Title IX.

Without knowing for sure what will happen with these revisions to Title IX leaves room for people to question if they will help or harm students and survivors. However, In addition, the email announced that the Title IX Coordinator, Mikl, as well as student, Jessica Weis, will be a part of a Minnesota State system office workgroup that is meant to help prepare for this transition to the Title IX revisions, and help to revise the sexual violence policy and the procedures.

“I cannot answer this question with certainty as we don’t have the final regulations yet. But I’ve read the proposed regulations and I’m hopeful that the new regulations will allow campuses the autonomy to choose how their Title IX investigation is structured as long as they use the burden of proof required by the regulation and the process used protects the rights of all parties.” Mikl Said.

The email announcing that there will be changes to the Title IX policies and procedures also indicated that the revisions should be in effect in time for the Fall 2024 semester. Even though there is a level of uncertainty that always comes with policy revisions, Winona State has indicated that they are interested in providing and reaffirming their commitment to be a safe place for everyone on campus.

Jessica Weis is a 5th year public relations major as well as the Co-President of the Reproductive Justice club here at Winona State. She has often advocated for revisions to the Title IX process and more at Winona State.

“I think no matter the changes, there will still be cracks in the system. It’s not a perfect system but a step in the right direction… I think it is essential for survivors to know all their options, their autonomy has already been taken away once- we should ensure survivors have a variety of options for them to choose what is best for them.”

Many students who have experiences sexual assault at Winona State feel that their only option to move forward is through the Title IX office. This, however, is not the case. Winona State has many other options open to people who have survived sexual assault. Some options are more well known than others, but even the unknown options at Winona State are just as valid as going the Title IX process.

One of the lesser-known options is the OASIS center which is located in room 110 in Gildemeister. The full name of OASIS is the OASIS Advocacy Center, and they are an on-campus extension of the Advocacy Center that is located in Winona. According to the Winona State website, OASIS provides a variety of sources to people who have experienced sexual assault or for people who are seeking a safe and quiet place to reflect and ask for support.

Some of the resources that are available to students in the OASIS Advocacy Center are the ability to meet with a campus confidential advocate, get information on campus, and community services, get referrals for help and support for things like sexual violence, and even more. The OASIS center is open from 8:30 am-4:30 pm Monday through Thursday. Most days a confidential advocate is available during these hours. This confidential advocate can ensure that someone is fully informed of all their options in regard to how to continue with both their healing as well as if they choose to file a formal report with either the Title IX office or the police.

“I think everyone should utilize the OASIS; WSU is lucky to have a confidential advocate- as this is not the case on many campuses. Giving survivors options and having a supportive person in their corner is of the utmost importance. I think the university should prioritize letting every student know about this alternative and do more to advertise it.” Weis Said.

A perhaps even lesser advertised, and lesser-known avenue for someone to seek help through is the Integrated Wellness Complex (IWC). Everyone on campus knows that the IWC has nurses who are available most days to help students with their colds and coughs, but many students do not know that the IWC is another place a survivor of sexual assault can go for help.

The IWC students who have experienced a sexual assault within 5 days (120 hours) to get an examination from the SANE nurse on campus. SANE stands for Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner, which is an experienced nurse who goes through extensive training to provide specific care for someone who has been sexually assaulted. The care a SANE nurse provides is trauma-informed and patient-centered, so it is compassionate to survivors no matter what avenue of examination they chose to take.

A survivor of sexual assault can choose to do a full head-to-toe forensic examination with evidence collection, or they can do a minimum of getting medication to prevent pregnancy and infections that may result from an assault. The SANE nurse in the IWC will also be able to direct survivors to the resources that are available for them both on and off campus.

Holly Fratzke is the SANE trained nurse here at Winona State and has undergone extensive training to be able to provide the most effective care possible for students who have experiences sexual assault.

“Having SANE services available on a campus of our size is fairly uncommon so I am thankful administration has been very supportive of providing this service to our students. Having it available on campus makes it more convenient, it is in a familiar setting, and our staff is more familiar with campus resources. All of these things can make for as positive of an experience as possible when having to deal with a very traumatic event.” Fratzke Said.

SANE services are available during the normal operating hours of the IWC (Monday through Friday, 7:30 am- 4 pm). The SANE exam at Winona State is paid for by the state, so for a student the exam at health services in the IWC would be free. However, if a student needs SANE service outside of the IWC hours, then they can go to the local emergency room where there may be SANE nurses/services available.

It is important to note that if a student talks to someone in the health services, like a SANE nurse, it is confidential. Others on campus (people like RA’s and professors) are good people to go to for support, but they may not be confidential like a confidential advocate at the OASIS center, WSU Counseling Center, or the health services in the IWC, and they may be required to report the assault.

The true importance of giving out all the options for survivors beyond the Title IX office lies in the fact that not every survivor feels safe going through the same avenue. Some people may want to file a report, others may just want to be sure their health is intact and go on with trying to heal. Every survivor’s healing process is different, and no two people heal from their trauma in exactly the same way.  Winona State has many options for survivors of sexual assault that can help this healing process beyond just pressing charges, and students should know all of their options so they can determine their own course for healing.

List Of Resources/contact information that was provided by Winona State in the email detailing changes to Title IX that are upcoming:

On-campus resources:

  • Advocacy Center of Winona Advocate (located in Gildemeister 110): (507) 452-4453
  • WSU Health Services –general health exams, SANE exams, testing for STIs/pregnancy, etc. (507) 457-5160
  • WSU Title IX Office – investigates reports of sexual violence: (507) 457-2766
  • WSU Counseling Center -free, confidential counseling service: (507) 457-5330
  • WSU Security – General safety concerns, reporting assault, needing an escort to your vehicle/residence hall, etc.  (507) 457-5555

Off-campus resources:

  • Advocacy Center of Winona – (507) 452-4453 (24/7 confidential advocacy and support)
  • Winona Police Department – (507) 454-6302
  • Winona Health – 507-457-3650
  • SEMCAC Family Planning – (507) 452-4307






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About the Contributors
Alayna Majkrzak
Alayna Majkrzak, News Reporter
Alayna Majkrzak (she/they) is a first-year at Winona State University and is a news reporter here at The Winonan. Majkrzak is a CALT (Communication, Arts, and Literature Teaching) major and is minoring in theatre.   In their spare time, they enjoy crocheting, reading and writing. Though, all these activities are preferably done in a comfortable sweater while listening to their favorite playlist or watching Ghost Adventures. Back at home, Majkrzak was involved in their school newspaper for four years, and they are incredibly excited to continue their passion for honesty through journalism in college.  
Karalyn Kolstad
Karalyn Kolstad, Photographer
Karalyn Kolstad (she/her/hers) is a photographer for The Winonan. This is Karalyn's first semester with The Winonan. She is a third-year student at Winona State University majoring in Medical Laboratory Science. She is also the secretary of the Biology Club on campus. Outside of school, Karalyn enjoys hanging out with friends and family, watching movies and reading. 

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    Heather HuppertApr 3, 2024 at 4:09 pm

    Thank you for that knowledgeable article! The students (our children) attending Winona deserve to know their rights and be aware of all of the resources at their disposal when they, or one of their friends, is a victims of sexual assault. The need on campus from the Title IX office is greater than the office’s ability to handle all of the cases. Thank you for speaking to this important topic that all to often is hushed/ignored/ not talked about. Sexual assault is real, is common, and needs to be stopped.