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Policy Title: Sexual and Interpersonal Misconduct Policy

Summary: Ensure that University's policies and procedures related to Sexual and Interpersonal Misconduct are interpreted and applied consistently with Title VII, IX, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), the Clery Act, and other applicable law.

Policy Category: Administration & Operations
Policy Owner: Administration & Operations
Review Period: Annually
Policy Status: Approved. Originally Effective November 1, 2011; Revised August 24, 2015; Revised Effective July 1, 2019.
Effective Date: July 1, 2019

Sexual and Interpersonal Misconduct Policy

Policy Summary

Identifying prohibited behavior and establishing a prompt and equitable University response to instances of sexual and interpersonal misconduct.

Purpose

To set forth Drake University’s policies related to sexual assault, sexual exploitation, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking as those terms are defined by the University.  The University has also adopted the Sexual and Interpersonal Misconduct Guidelines and Contacts (“Guidelines”), which discuss processes and identify contact information to locate resources and University employees responsible for administering the Policy.  In addition, this Policy is intended to ensure that the University's policies and procedures related to sexual and interpersonal misconduct are interpreted and applied consistently with Title VII, Title IX, the Clery Act, Iowa law, and any other applicable law or regulation.  

Scope

This Policy governs the conduct of all persons who are Drake University students and employees and third parties whose actions impact the University’s educational and working environment.  This Policy applies to all students and employees regardless of the gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression of the individuals involved.  Student organizations are also subject to this Policy.

This policy covers on-campus conduct or conduct that occurs at any university event or through any university program regardless of location.  This policy may also cover off-campus conduct, including online or virtual conduct, if it is determined that the conduct could reasonably create a hostile environment for any student or employee.

“Students” include admitted students as well as students who may not be on campus but are nonetheless considered an active or enrolled student at the University.  “Employees” include full-time and part-time faculty and staff employed on campus or through a University program, activity, or event, as well as adjunct professors, distinguished lecturers, or visiting scholars, faculty, and instructors teaching or interacting with University students and personnel. 

Policy

Drake University is committed to providing a learning and working environment where its students and employees are valued as individuals, can feel safe, and are treated respectfully.  Certain conduct is inconsistent with these standards and values, violates University policy, and, in some instances, state and federal law. 

Accordingly, consistent with the University’s Non-Discrimination Statement, the University prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in its educational programs and in employment. This includes, but is not limited to, discrimination in the form of sexual assault, sexual exploitation, and sexual harassment (collectively referred to as “Sexual Misconduct”).  The University also prohibits dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking (collectively referred to as “Interpersonal Misconduct”). Retaliation against anyone for resisting or reporting misconduct, seeking guidance, filing a complaint, or participating in an investigation into sexual or interpersonal misconduct is strictly prohibited.  Assisting another person in the commission of sexual or interpersonal misconduct is also prohibited.

Each of these forms of misconduct are defined in this Policy, often with examples and additional discussions of common terms.  The University recognizes, and is committed to, its obligation to provide a prompt, fair, and equitable response when it learns of sexual or interpersonal misconduct involving a student, employee, or program within its control.  Individuals who alone, or with others, are found to have participated or attempted to participate in sexual or interpersonal misconduct will be subject to disciplinary action by the University, up to and including separation from the University, notwithstanding whether any other action is taken through civil or criminal processes.

The University is committed to the principles of free inquiry and expression and, therefore, this Policy will respect the University’s defined principles of academic freedom or freedom of thought and expression.  These principles recognize the importance of free and open exchange of ideas in discussion or work in the classroom, in research, or intellectual discourse when the speech in question is germane to the subject matter or is recognized as having a pedagogical purpose.

 

I.  Resources and Reporting

A.     Resources, Support, and Information

The University offers resources, support, and information for any student, faculty, or staff who has questions or concerns regarding sexual and interpersonal misconduct.  This information can be found in this Policy, in the Guidelines, or on the University’s Title IX webpage at www.drake.edu/titleix, and can also be requested from the Title IX Coordinator, the Dean of Students, Human Resources, or other identified University employees or offices.  In addition, the University also provides required notifications to the campus community or to those involved in complaints of sexual and interpersonal misconduct.  Individuals with questions or concerns, or those needing support and assistance, can contact any of the resources listed in the Policy, Guidelines, or Title IX webpage. 

B. Reporting Sexual and Interpersonal Misconduct  

Drake strongly encourages students, faculty, staff, or anyone with knowledge to report incidents of sexual or interpersonal misconduct.  Options for a Reporting Party[1] or Complainant[2] to disclose or report sexual and interpersonal misconduct are set out in this Policy and can also be found in the Guidelines and on the Title IX webpage.  There are several different options for students, faculty, or staff to report misconduct or seek assistance within or outside the University.

1.   Understanding Confidentiality and Privacy

To fully understand the following reporting options, it is important to distinguish privacy and confidentiality and the role they play when reporting sexual or interpersonal misconduct.  Drake University is committed to creating an environment that encourages individuals to come forward if they have experienced or witnessed any form of sexual or interpersonal misconduct. The University will work to safeguard the privacy of the individuals who seek help, who report violations of this Policy, or who otherwise participate in an investigation as a Respondent[3] or any other role. To further protect their privacy, students may also request that directory information on file be removed from public sources through the Student Records Office (515-271-2025).

“Privacy” means keeping information private within the University among those individuals with a specific need-to-know in order to protect the safety and welfare of campus, who are involved in providing interim or protective measures, or who are responsible for carrying forward the investigation or adjudication of a complaint.  Any protective measures or assistance provided to anyone by the University will also be kept private to the extent reasonably practicable and to the extent it does not impair the University’s ability to provide the protective measures or assistance. 

Under Iowa law, communications with some individuals are legally confidential, or privileged.  This means that absent specific exceptions, these individuals cannot be forced to divulge or share any information about the identity of the individual or the specific facts of the situation.  Because individuals have different obligations with regard to confidentiality depending on their positions or affiliations, one should always confirm whether legal confidentiality applies to the communication. Any other University employee not included below is not confidential and must share known or suspected sexual or interpersonal misconduct with the Title IX Coordinator. Generally, legal confidentiality applies when a person seeks services from the following individuals:

Confidential Resources Under Iowa Law

Health care provider (including medical professionals at Drake University’s Student Health Center)

Personal attorney

Psychological counselor (including counselors at Drake University’s Student Counseling Center)

Religious/spiritual counselor (including Drake University’s Spiritual Counselor)

Victim Advocate (including through Violence Intervention Partners, Polk County Crisis and Advocacy Services, or similar crime victim center recognized under Iowa Code §915.20A)

 

2.  Confidential Disclosures

As explained above, there are some individuals on campus and in the community who can provide legally confidential communications and services.  These individuals are not required to disclose names or details to the Title IX Coordinator or other university offices.  The Guidelines and the Title IX webpage at www.drake.edu/titleix include a list of campus and community confidential resources who are not required to notify the University, including the following campus resources:

Confidential Campus Resources

Student Counseling Center

515-271-3864

Violence Intervention Partner (VIP)

515-512-2972

Student Health Center

515-271-3731

Spiritual Counselor

515-274-3133

 

3.   Law Enforcement Reporting (private but not confidential)

Although the University strongly encourages all members of its community to report sexual and interpersonal misconduct that constitutes a crime to law enforcement, it is the individual’s choice whether or not to make such a report.  Individuals have the right to decline involvement by the police.  Reporting to the University does not mean the individual must also file a report with the police nor does the University automatically notify the police unless requested to do so or otherwise required by law to do so (i.e., physical or sexual abuse or exploitation of a minor).  If an individual desires to contact law enforcement, they may do so directly or with assistance from the University.  For assistance, an individual may contact the following offices and individuals:

Law Enforcement or Public Safety Reporting Options

Des Moines Police

Emergency

911

Non-emergency

515-283-4864 or

515-283-4811

25 East 1st Street

Des Moines, IA 50309

Public Safety Director

Scott Law

515-271-2222

scott.law@drake.edu 

Title IX Coordinator

Kathryn Overberg

515-271-2982

Titleix@drake.edu 

 

Additional information about the Des Moines Police department may be found online at: https://www.dmgov.org/departments/police/Pages/default.aspx.  Criminal acts may subject an individual to criminal and civil penalties under federal and/or state law.  In some situations, law enforcement may be able to offer additional assistance beyond the abilities or jurisdiction of Drake Public Safety, such as if a Complainant lives or works off campus or if a Respondent is not affiliated with the University, for example. 

4.     University Reporting (private but not confidential)

The University strongly encourages students, faculty, or staff to report incidents of sexual or interpersonal misconduct they have experienced; however, reporting to the University does not mean the individual must also file a formal complaint or participate in a complaint resolution or investigation process as described below.

4.1  Reporting Options

To report an incident involving sexual or interpersonal misconduct, a Reporting Party or Complainant may contact any of the employees and departments listed in the Guidelines, including:

University Reporting Options

Title IX Coordinator

515-271-2982

 

titleix@drake.edu

 

www.drake.edu/titleix 

Dean of Students

515-271-2835

Public Safety

515-271-2222

Human Resources

515-271-3133

Anonymous online report

www.drake.edu/ethicspoint 

 

Reports to Dean of Students, Drake Public Safety, Human Resources, or other non-confidential University employees or offices will automatically be referred to the Title IX Coordinator.  For anonymous reports, the University respects a person’s choice to proceed anonymously and can support an individual through that process; however, doing so may limit the University’s ability to fully investigate or address the incident, impose discipline, or assist the individual through many of the protective measures.  The anonymous reporting process is explained in more detail in the Guidelines.

4.2  Time Frame for Reporting

The University encourages individuals to come forward as soon as possible to share concerns of misconduct so that a timely and effective review and response can occur.  There is no time limit for a Reporting Party or Complainant to report or file complaints under this Policy; however the University’s ability to investigate and respond fully may be limited with the passage of time.  If at the time of the report a Respondent is no longer affiliated with the University (e.g., a report is made after a student has left or graduated or an employee no longer works for the University), the University can still provide reasonably available remedial measures, assist the Complainant in identifying external reporting options, and may take other appropriate action depending on the circumstances presented.

4.3  Right to an Advisor

Both a Complainant and a Respondent are given the opportunity to have support or advice through the reporting and if applicable, investigative and disciplinary process.  Either the Complainant or the Respondent may have up to two individuals accompany them at their own expense to any meetings, interviews, or hearings related to the matter – these individuals are often called Advisors, Personal Representatives, or Support Persons (collectively referred to as “Advisors” in this document and in the Guidelines).  The individual may be a friend, victim advocate, lawyer, employee, family member, or other person chosen by the Complainant or Respondent.  The University can assist in contacting an advisor if requested or appropriate.  The roles and expectations of a person serving as an Advisor are explained in the Guidelines.

4.4  Title IX Coordinator and Deputy Title IX Coordinators

The Title IX Coordinator oversees the University’s centralized review, response, and resolution procedures for reports of sexual and interpersonal misconduct.  Any individual (e.g., Complainant, Respondent, witness, or third party) may contact the Title IX Coordinator to report concerns of sexual or interpersonal misconduct or to ask questions about the policy and procedure.  The Title IX Coordinator can also provide information related to campus and community resources and describe the options available to address concerns related to sexual or interpersonal misconduct.  The Title IX Coordinator can be contacted in a variety of ways:

Title IX Coordinator, Kathryn Overberg 
In Person  208 Old Main
Email  titleix@drake.edu 
Phone  515-271-2982
Online www.drake.edu/titleix 

The duties of the Title IX Coordinator also include training, education, climate review, and oversight of procedures that are designed to promptly and equitably eliminate sexual or interpersonal misconduct, prevent its recurrence, and address any effects on persons or on campus.  To accomplish these duties, the University also has additional employees whose roles on campus can provide information and support to individuals, including the Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Athletics, Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Campus Climate, Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Human Resources, and Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Prevention.  Contact information for these employees can be found on the Title IX webpage at www.drake.edu/titleix and in the Guidelines.

4.5  Responsible Employees Required to Share Instances of Sexual or Interpersonal Misconduct

Responsible Employees who become aware of sexual or interpersonal misconduct must bring the information to the Title IX Coordinator – this includes sharing details that the Responsible Employee learned about the situation, such as location and parties involved.  Informing the Title IX Coordinator is necessary so that appropriate resources and information are provided regarding support and reporting options, but also to make sure parties are treated equitably and that systemic patterns or risks on campus are not overlooked.

A Responsible Employee is any University employee who is not protected by legal confidentiality and includes faculty or staff, academic advisors, coaches, and managers of student employees, for example. Questions about who is a responsible employee can be addressed to the Title IX Coordinator.  Responsible Employees can contact the Title IX Coordinator by phone, e-mail, in-person or may submit an online report through the Title IX webpage.

At Drake University, student employees typically do not carry with them the authority to report or address misconduct of other students and, as a result, are not considered Responsible Employees who are required to notify the Title IX Coordinator.  Reporting by these student employees is, therefore, optional.  Exceptions to this rule include student employees who, as part of their duties, are given authority to report and address misconduct or might be perceived to have this authority, such as the following roles: Resident Advisors (RA’s), Assistant Resident Hall Coordinators (ARHC’s), Orientation Leaders (during orientation sessions) or students with managerial responsibility over other student-employees – these student employees are required to notify the University about instances of sexual or interpersonal misconduct.

4.6  Interim and Protective Measures

University Interim and Protective Measures

The University will work cooperatively with individuals involved in matters of sexual and interpersonal misconduct to promote their health, well-being and physical safety, and to make available assistance within the individual’s educational and/or work environment.  This is true regardless of whether the individuals are involved in a formal complaint process, an informal resolution process, or have otherwise requested the University not take action. For example, University no-contact or trespass orders or changes to academic, living, transportation, and working situations may be requested and will be arranged if reasonably available and appropriate. In addition, if requested, counseling, health services, disability services, financial aid, immigration services, and assistance in notifying appropriate local law enforcement will also be provided. 

When putting interim or protective measures in place, the University will consider individually each situation and the circumstances presented.  Any protective measures or accommodations provided by the University will also be kept confidential to the extent reasonably practicable, and to the extent the confidentiality does not impair the University’s ability to provide the protective measures or accommodations.  Interim and protective measures are not disciplinary sanctions themselves, but an individual’s failure to comply with the restrictions imposed by interim or protective measures may be a violation of this Policy and serve as a basis for disciplinary action.  The Guidelines identify individuals and offices that can receive and coordinate requests for interim or protective measures, including the Title IX Coordinator, Dean of Students, Deputy Title IX Coordinators, Public Safety, or Human Resources.

Court Orders of Protection

There are different types of protection orders available through the court system.  In compliance with Iowa law, the University recognizes both criminal no-contact orders and civil protective orders.  The University cannot enforce a violation of a court order, but can assist an individual in contacting law enforcement to report a violation.  If any terms of a court order are unclear in their application to the campus environment, it is up to the parties to seek clarification through the court – the University cannot render a legal opinion or give advice other than to develop a plan to reasonably prevent violations of the order.  The Guidelines identify how an individual may seek a court protective order.

4.7  Amnesty Regarding Student Discipline for Use of Alcohol or Drugs

Students are strongly encouraged to report incidents of, or share information about, sexual or interpersonal misconduct as soon as possible. This is true even if a student may have concern about their own alcohol or drug use. Accordingly, consistent with the Code of Student Conduct the University will not pursue student disciplinary action for improper personal use of alcohol or other drugs against a person who reports or makes a complaint in good faith concerning an incident of sexual or interpersonal misconduct, or who participates in good faith as a witness or Respondent in an investigation of sexual or interpersonal misconduct.  The University may, on its own, determine that amnesty applies to a situation based on the facts that are presented by the parties or witnesses.  Parties or witnesses may inquire with the Title IX Coordinator, Dean of Students, or Associate Dean of Students regarding amnesty.

4.8  Federal Crimes Statistics Reporting and Timely Warning Notifications

Certain campus officials, known as Campus Security Authorities (or CSA’s), also have a duty to report sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking (among other crimes) for federal statistical reporting purposes in compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (“Clery Act”). All University CSA’s must report crimes to Drake Public Safety.

All personally identifiable information is kept confidential, but statistical information must be reported to Drake Public Safety regarding the type of incident and its general location (e.g., on or off-campus, but no addresses are given or reported) for publication in the University’s Annual Security and Fire Safety Report. This report helps to provide the community with a clear picture of the extent and nature of campus crimes to ensure greater community safety.  The University does not publish the names in the Daily Crime Log or online. The University will also keep personally identifiable information out of public recordkeeping, including the College’s Annual Security Report of Crime Statistics under the Clery Act.

Finally, under the Clery Act University officials must issue timely warning notifications for incidents reported to them that pose a serious or ongoing threat to students and employees in a prescribed geographic area.  The University will not identify the individuals involved unless providing the identity of the Respondent is necessary for safety reasons, but will provide enough information to inform the public of any ongoing or unresolved risk.

II.  Informal or Formal Complaint Resolution

When an individual reports sexual or interpersonal misconduct to the University, both informal and formal complaint resolutions may be available to address the reported behavior. Based on the information shared, the University will take steps that are aimed at stopping the behavior and preventing a recurrence.

Although the Title IX Coordinator will oversee the complaint resolution process, the following offices will generally handle the process:

Complaints are handled by the Dean of Students

When the Respondent is a Drake student, or

When the Complainant is a Drake student and the Respondent is a third party

Complaints are handled by Human Resources

When the Respondent is a Drake employee, or

When the Complainant is a Drake employee and the Respondent is a third party

A.     Informal Resolution

The University has an obligation to eliminate misconduct and also to reasonably prevent a recurrence; even so, in many cases there can be different ways to satisfy that obligation, which may not always include a formal disciplinary process.  If a Complainant would like to request an informal resolution or otherwise request the University not take formal action, the Title IX Coordinator, Director of HR Partner Services, and/or Dean of Students can balance that request with the obligation to provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment for all students and employees.  Informal resolutions may include education, structured communication, or other corrective action aimed at preventing a recurrence of the behavior.  Formal sanctions or discipline may not be available through these informal resolution processes.

In considering a request for an informal resolution, the University will weigh the individual’s request and preferences against factors such as how much detail has been shared about the conduct;   the severity of the conduct whether there have been other complaints against the same Respondent that increase the risk of the campus community or whether this is  a first-time complaint; whether the reported incident involved threatened future violence or use of force or a weapon; whether an incident involved multiple people reported to have engaged in the misconduct; whether an incident involved alcohol, drugs, or any date rape drug; FERPA privacy consideration; or whether the University has other methods for obtaining relevant evidence or satisfactory outcomes. Based on this assessment, the University will decide whether it can honor the individual’s request or whether it must move forward with some action to investigate and/or adjudicate a violation of the Sexual and Interpersonal Misconduct Policy. 

If the University determines that it can proceed with some type of informal resolution, the University will take all reasonable steps to end the misconduct that can be taken consistent with such request. The University would not require a Complainant to participate in an informal resolution in lieu of a formal complaint resolution if the formal process is their preference.  Finally, because there may not be formal disciplinary action as part of the informal process, it may be possible for an individual to later choose to file a formal complaint after attempting an informal resolution. 

There may be times when the University is not able to honor an individual’s request for an informal resolution and still provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment for all students and employees.  If the University decides that some formal action is required, the University will notify the Complainant regarding the actions to be taken.

As in any complaint, an individual may request support services such as counseling, disability services, a change in living or academic/work arrangements, and increased monitoring, supervision or security at locations and activities where the misconduct or violence occurred.

B.     Formal Resolution

1.     University Investigation and Adjudication Process

If a Complainant decides to bring a formal complaint, or if the University otherwise becomes aware of misconduct requiring a formal response, the University will begin the adjudication process.  Pursuing a complaint through one of the University disciplinary processes is separate from pursuing criminal charges through local law enforcement – an individual may pursue either, neither, or both processes.  Generally, when an individual reports a concern that they experienced sexual or interpersonal misconduct under this Policy, that person will become the “Complainant” with the rights of a party to the investigation and adjudication process.  When a person is reported to have engaged in misconduct under this Policy, that person will become the “Respondent” who also has the rights of a party to the investigation and adjudication process.  Those rights and other information can be found on the Title IX webpage at www.drake.edu/titleix .

The formal resolution process for complaints against students or employees is described in the Guidelines and will generally include an investigation, a decision of whether the investigation establishes a violation, whether disciplinary action will be recommended and, if so, the manner in which such disciplinary action will be imposed under the applicable University policy. The parties will have coequal rights to participate in the investigation and resolution process and will receive simultaneous notification in writing of the outcome of the complaint.  If appeals are offered, both parties have equal appeal rights.  When considering complaints of sexual and interpersonal misconduct, the University will base its decision on the preponderance of the evidence standard – whether the decision maker can determine it is more likely than not that a policy violation can be established.

The University investigation and formal adjudication will include a prompt, fair, and impartial investigation and resolution process.  The University strives to complete any formal complaint resolution process in a thorough, timely, and responsible manner.  While the circumstances of each case may differ, the University endeavors to complete the investigatory process within sixty (60) calendar days when possible.  Reasonable extensions may be necessary due to the complexity of the allegations, the number of witnesses involved, the availability of the parties or witnesses, the effect of a concurrent criminal investigation, any intervening school break or vacation, or other circumstances.  The University will update both parties on the progress of the process. 

Investigators and adjudicators are trained annually on the issues related to sexual and interpersonal misconduct and taught how to conduct an investigation and hearing process that protects the rights, well-being, and safety of the parties, provides an equitable process for all parties involved, and promotes accountability. If a complaint alleges misconduct outside the scope of this Policy, the University may refer the complaint to the appropriate office or may incorporate the misconduct into the pending process.  Similarly, the Dean of Students or Human Resources will coordinate with other offices as necessary such as the Title IX Coordinator, Public Safety, or the Provost.

In the event a student or employee withdraws, resigns, or otherwise leaves the University, the University may decide to continue the investigation and adjudication process to the extent it is able – whenever reasonably possible, the student or employee will be invited to participate even though they are no longer part of the University.  If a student-Respondent is expected to graduate while the investigation and adjudication process is ongoing, the University may withhold a degree until the completion and outcome of the investigation and disciplinary process.

2.     Sanctions, Discipline, and Protective Measures

University sanctions or discipline may be imposed upon those determined to have engaged in Sexual or Interpersonal Misconduct. If an investigation reveals that sexual or interpersonal misconduct has occurred, the University will take actions reasonably calculated to end the misconduct, eliminate any hostile environment, prevent reoccurrence, and remedy any effects of the behavior.  Sanctions or discipline issued will depend on the circumstances of each case and the weight of the evidence, will be proportionate to the behavior involved, and are in the discretion of the decision maker.

For complaints against students, the Code of Student Conduct identifies the sanctions that are available, which include expulsion, suspension, non-academic probation, removal from University owned housing, mandatory counseling, revocation of privileges, restitution, fines, educational or work assignments, or University reprimand.

For complaints against employees, discipline could range from counseling and reprimands to suspension or termination from employment, consistent with the governing employment manual or handbook if applicable.

For complaints involving third parties, the University may not have authority to impose discipline, but the University can take steps aimed at stopping the behavior and preventing its recurrence on campus or through University programs or activities.

Regardless of whether discipline is issued in a particular case, the University may continue or impose non-disciplinary protective measures to promote the health, well-being, and physical safety of either or both party if requested.  An individual’s failure to comply with restrictions imposed by interim or protective measures or through sanctions is a separate act of misconduct which may be a basis for disciplinary action, up to and including separation from the University.

III.  Prevention and Awareness

As part of its commitment to the prevention of sexual and interpersonal misconduct, the University offers education and awareness programs. Incoming students and new faculty and staff receive prevention and awareness programming.  The University makes continued education and related programs available on an ongoing basis for all students and faculty and staff.  For an overview of the University’s prevention and awareness programs, see the Title IX Prevention and Education webpage at http://www.drake.edu/titleix/education/.  For specific programs and initiatives taking place on campus including bystander intervention, see the University’s Violence Prevention and Programming website at http://www.drake.edu/violence-prevention/.   

IV.  Definitions

Below are the definitions the University will use in cases involving sexual and interpersonal misconduct and if available, discussion or examples of those terms.  While consistent with state and federal law, the definitions may not be identical to Iowa Code or Clery Act definitions, which can be located on the Title IX webpage.

A.     General Terms

1.   Accessory to Commission of Misconduct:  Aiding or abetting or otherwise acting as an accomplice to the commission of sexual or interpersonal misconduct.  

Discussion or Examples:   For students, the full Code of Student Conduct section is called "Accessory to Commission of Non-Academic Misconduct."  

2. Adjudication: The process of investigating and resolving formal complaints of sexual or interpersonal misconduct.

3.  Complainant: An individual reported to have experienced sexual or interpersonal misconduct.

4.  Complaint: A formal report of sexual and interpersonal misconduct to the University, which will be investigated and adjudicated through the applicable policy and procedure.

Discussion or Examples: Please note an individual can make a report and seek assistance from the University without filing a formal complaint.  Reporting sexual or interpersonal misconduct is not the same as initiating a formal complaint or investigation.

5.  Disciplinary (or Formal) Hearing: A formal process in which the University considers the charges of misconduct through a hearing officer (Code of Student Conduct) or other individual or group (Faculty Manual).

Discussion or Examples: The Complainant and Respondent may attend the hearing and bring an advisor with them.  

6.  Provision of Alcohol and/or Other Drugs for Purposes of sexual or interpersonal misconduct: Providing alcohol and/or other drugs to an individual for the purpose of committing or facilitating sexual or interpersonal misconduct. An individual does not have to engage in sexual activity with another person to be found responsible for the prohibited provision of alcohol and/or other drugs.

Discussion or Examples: Such behavior may include provision of a drink or food which contains alcohol and/or other drugs without the knowledge of the individual to whom it is being provided or other actions taken with the intention of impairing the senses, judgment, and/or physical and mental ability of another person in order to engage in sexual or interpersonal misconduct.

7.  Report: Notification to the University that sexual or interpersonal misconduct has occurred.

Discussion or Examples: Please note an individual can make a report and seek assistance from the University without filing a formal complaint.  Reporting sexual or interpersonal misconduct is not the same as initiating a formal complaint or investigation.

8.  Reporting Party: The person who notifies the University that sexual or interpersonal misconduct has occurred, either to themselves or to another individual(s).

9.  Respondent: The individual or group reported to have engaged in sexual or interpersonal misconduct. 

B.     Sexual Misconduct

1.  Sexual Misconduct: a broad category of behavior including sexual assault, sexual exploitation, and sexual harassment.

2.   Coercion: Verbal and/or physical conduct, including manipulation, intimidation, unwanted contact, and express or implied threats of physical, emotional, or other harm, that would reasonably place an individual in fear of immediate or future harm and that is employed to compel someone to engage in sexual activity.

3.   Consent: The term “consent,” in the context of sexual activity, means informed, freely and actively given, unambiguous words or actions that demonstrate a willingness to participate in mutually agreed-upon sexual activity.

Discussion or Examples: When looking at whether consent is present, it is important to understand that persons who seek to engage in the sexual activity are responsible for obtaining consent – it should be never be assumed.  For instance, a current/prior relationship or current/previous sexual activity alone is not sufficient to demonstrate consent, nor does consent to engage in sexual activity with one person imply consent to engage in sexual activity with another person.  Similarly, lack of protest or resistance does not constitute consent, nor does silence mean consent has been given. 

To constitute consensual sexual activity, consent must be present throughout the sexual activity – at any time, a participant may communicate (verbally or physically) that they no longer consent to continuing the activity.  If there is confusion as to whether anyone has consented or continues to consent to sexual activity, it is essential that the participants stop the activity until the confusion can be clearly resolved.  The assessment is based on objectively and reasonably apparent indications of consent available to the person seeking to engage in sexual activity, when viewed from the perspective of a reasonable person under the circumstances.

Consent is not present if a sexual act is committed through coercion or force.  Furthermore, an individual is unable to give consent if they are incapacitated or a minor under age 16.

4.  Force: The use or threat of physical violence or intimidation to overcome an individual’s freedom of will to choose whether or not to participate in sexual activity.

5.  Incapacitation: Incapacitation is the inability, temporarily or permanently, to give consent because an individual is mentally and/or physically helpless, asleep, unconscious, or unaware that sexual activity is occurring, including due to the influence of drugs, alcohol, medication, or mental or physical disability.  An individual who is incapacitated lacks the ability to make informed judgments and cannot consent to sexual contact or activity.

Discussion or Examples: Where alcohol or other drugs are involved, incapacitation is a state beyond impairment or intoxication wherein the individual is unaware of their actions or surroundings. Where alcohol or other drugs are involved, evaluating incapacitation requires an assessment of how the consumption of alcohol and/or drugs affects a person’s decision-making ability; awareness of consequences; ability to make informed, rational judgments; capacity to appreciate the nature and quality of the act; or level of consciousness. The assessment is based on objectively and reasonably apparent indications of incapacitation available to the person seeking to engage in sexual activity, when viewed from the perspective of a reasonable person under the circumstances.

6.  Sexual Assault: Sexual assault is having or attempting to have sexual contact or sexual penetration with another individual without consent.  This may include coercion or force that compels individuals to engage in sexual activity against their will.  Sexual assault may include, but not be limited to, the following acts when consent is not present:

  • Sexual intercourse (anal, oral, or vaginal), including but not limited to penetration with a body part or an object, or requiring another to penetrate themselves with a body part or an object, however slight;
  • Sexual contact, including, but not limited to, intentional touching, fondling, or contact with the breasts, buttocks, groin, genitals, or other intimate part of an individual’s body; intentional touching of another with these body parts; intentionally making another touch you or themselves with or on any of these body parts;
  • Engaging in sexual activity with a person who is unable to provide consent due to incapacitation by drugs, alcohol, or other condition.

7.  Sexual Exploitation: Sexual exploitation involves one person violating the sexual privacy of another or taking non-consensual sexual advantage of another person, even though the behavior might not constitute one of the other sexual misconduct offenses.

Discussion of Examples:  Examples can include, but are not limited to, the following behaviors:

  • Distribution or publication of sexual or intimate information about another person without consent
  • Electronic recording, photographing, or transmitting sexual or intimate utterances, sounds, or images without knowledge and consent of all parties
  • Engaging in indecent exposure, including exposing one’s genitals or inducing another to expose their genitals in non-consensual circumstances
  • Sexual intimidation - Sexual intimidation is an implied or actual threat to commit a sex act against another person, or behavior used to coerce participation in a sex act 
  • Intentional ejaculation on another person without consent
  • Voyeurism, including observing another’s nudity, state of undress, or sexual activity without consent
  • Intentionally misrepresenting the presence or use of a condom, prophylactic or other birth control to induce a person to consent to sexual activity, or intentionally removing a condom, prophylactic, or other birth control during or before sexual contact without a partner’s consent
  • Intentionally exposing another person to a sexually transmitted disease/infection without the person’s knowledge
  • Prostituting or trafficking another person for commercial sexual activity, including purchasing or attempting to purchase services involving commercial sexual activity from a trafficking-victim or another person engaged in human trafficking.

8.  Sexual Harassment: Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature or that is directed at someone because of their sex when: 

  • Submission to, or rejection of, such conduct is made explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s education, employment or status in a course, program or activity;
  • Submission to, or rejection of, such conduct is used as a basis for an employment or educational decision affecting an individual, or their participation in a course, program or activity; or
  • Such conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with or limiting an individual’s work or education so as to create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for work or learning or participating in a University program or activity.

Discussion or Examples:

“Unwelcome” means the person did not solicit or invite the behavior and regarded it as undesirable or offensive, even if at first the behavior was tolerated. 

A “hostile environment” is defined as an environment that, through harassing conduct based on a person’s sex, becomes sufficiently severe, pervasive, or persistent so as to unreasonably interfere with a person’s work or learning or limit the ability of a person to participate in or benefit from a university program or activity.  Consideration of sexual harassment must take in the totality of the circumstances to determine whether a “hostile environment” exists, including the context, nature, scope, frequency, duration and location of incidents, as well as the identity, number, and relationships of the persons involved.  In some cases, a single incident may be so severe as to create a hostile environment.  In other instances, the behavior at issue may not be sufficiently severe, pervasive, or persistent as to constitute a hostile work or learning environment. In such cases, the University can generally take action to stop the offending behavior in an effort to promote a respectful environment and avoid the possibility that a hostile environment will develop.

The University determines whether the person at whom the conduct was directed found it harassing and whether a “reasonable person” would find the conduct harassing, using both a subjective and objective assessment of whether the conduct was unwelcome and would constitute a hostile environment. 

Drake University does not tolerate sexual harassment of its employees or students by others regardless of their University status and also protects students and employees against third-party harassment within the employment and educational setting. Sexual harassment is especially serious when it threatens relations by unfairly exploiting the power differential between the parties in an educational or professional relationship such as between instructor/advisor/coach and student or supervisor and subordinate, as explained in the Consensual Relationships Policy.

Sexual harassment occurs in a variety of circumstances. Sexual harassment can involve relationships of unequal power and contain elements of coercion as when compliance with requests for sexual favors becomes a condition of employment, work, education, study, or benefits. Sexual harassment may also involve unwelcome relationships or behavior among equals, as when repeated sexual advances or demeaning/offensive verbal or physical behavior have a harmful effect on a person’s ability to study, work, or participate at the University. 

Examples of sexual harassment include, but are not limited to, the following behaviors when unwelcome:

  • Physical behavior, such as:
    • intentional touching or deliberate interference with or restriction of movement
  • Communication (verbal, written, symbolic expression, online) such as:
    • explicit or implicit propositions to engage in sexual activity;
    • gratuitous comments, jokes, questions, anecdotes, or remarks of a sexual nature, including communications about clothing, appearance, or bodies of a person;
    • gratuitous remarks about sexual activities or speculation about sexual experiences;
    • gratuitous remarks about how a person should dress, act, or behave based on sex or gender stereotypes;
    • sexual or romantic attention or subtle or overt pressure for sexual favors;
    • exposure to sexually suggestive visual displays such as photographs, drawings, posters, videos or other materials;
    • deliberate humiliation or intimidation based on sex or gender.

C.  Interpersonal Misconduct

1.  Interpersonal Misconduct: A broad category of behavior including dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking.  

2.  Dating Violence: Violence or threat of violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic, sexual, or intimate nature with the individual. 

Discussion or Examples: Examples of dating violence include, but are not limited to, the following based on the totality of the circumstances: physical violence or assault; non-consensual sexual activity (which could constitute both sexual assault and dating violence); or threats of such violence.  “Intimate” means a significant romantic involvement that need not include sexual involvement. An intimate relationship does not include casual social relationships or associations in a business or professional capacity. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the reporting individual’s statement and with consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.

A person commits an assault when, without justification, the person does any of the following:

  • Any act which is intended to cause pain or injury to, or which is intended to result in physical contact which will be insulting or offensive to another, coupled with the apparent ability to execute the act; or
  • Any act which is intended to place another in fear of immediate physical contact which will be painful, injurious, insulting, or offensive, coupled with the apparent ability to execute the act.

3.  Domestic Violence:  Violence or threat of violence committed between family or household members who resided together at the time of the violence; between separated spouses or persons divorced from each other and not residing together at the time of the violence; parents of the same minor child, regardless of whether they have been married or have lived together at any time; or between persons who have been family or household members residing together within the past year and are not residing together at the time of the violence.  

Discussion or Examples: Examples of domestic violence include, but are not limited to, the following based on the totality of the circumstances: physical violence or assault; non-consensual sexual activity (which could constitute both sexual assault and domestic violence); or threats of such violence.

A person commits an assault when, without justification, the person does any of the following:

  • Any act which is intended to cause pain or injury to, or which is intended to result in physical contact which will be insulting or offensive to another, coupled with the apparent ability to execute the act; or
  • Any act which is intended to place another in fear of immediate physical contact which will be painful, injurious, insulting, or offensive, coupled with the apparent ability to execute the act.

4.  Stalking: Stalking occurs when a person engages in a course of conduct toward another person under circumstances that would reasonably cause a person to fear bodily injury to themselves or others or to experience substantial emotional distress.

Discussion or Examples: “Course of conduct” can be defined as a pattern of behavior composed of two or more instances over a period of time, however short, including but not limited to unwelcome acts in which the person directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person, or interferes with a person’s property. A course of conduct may exist even if the Complainant makes only a single report to the University, if the behaviors reported included two or more instances.  “Substantial emotional distress” means significant mental suffering or anguish. A “reasonable person” standard asks if a reasonable person in similar circumstances would be made afraid or experience substantial emotional distress by the behavior.  Stalking includes the concept of cyber-stalking, a particular form of stalking in which electronic media such as the internet, social networks, blogs, cell phones, texts, GPS, spyware, or other similar devices or forms of contact or surveillance are used.  It is not required that any form of prior relationship exist in order for behavior to constitute stalking.

Stalking behaviors can be characterized as persistent and frequent unwanted in-person contact, surveillance, and unwanted telephone and other electronic contact. Some stalking behaviors, in isolation, may not appear problematic unless part of a course of conduct examined in the totality of the circumstances. Examples of stalking include, but are not limited to:

  • Non-consensual or unwelcome communication including in-person communication, telephone calls, voice messages, text messages, email messages, social networking site postings, instant messages, postings of pictures or information on Web sites, written letters, gifts, or any other communications that are undesired and/or place another person in fear or cause substantial emotional distress;
  • Following, pursuing, waiting, or showing up uninvited at a workplace, place of residence, classroom, or other locations frequented by a person;
  • Surveillance and other types of observation, whether by physical proximity or electronic means;
  • Trespassing;
  • Vandalism;
  • Non-consensual touching;
  • Direct physical and/or verbal threats against a person or their friends/ loved ones;
  • Gathering of information about a person from family, friends, co-workers, and/or classmates.

D.  Retaliation

1.  Retaliation is a materially adverse action taken against a person because of the person’s report of sexual and interpersonal misconduct, participation in the investigation of a report of misconduct, or objecting to or resisting such misconduct.

Discussion or Examples:

The following actions could constitute retaliation if they are taken against an individual because they have resisted or reported sexual or interpersonal misconduct, sought guidance, filed a complaint or participated in an investigation into sexual or interpersonal misconduct:

  • Retaliation can include any action that has an adverse impact on the individual’s employment, compensation or work assignments, or, in the case of students, grades, class selection or any other matter pertaining to the student’s participation at the University.
  • Retaliation might also include, but is not limited to, harassment, intimidation, coercion, discrimination, or other misconduct directed at an individual because they have resisted or reported sexual or interpersonal misconduct, sought guidance, filed a complaint or participated in an investigation into sexual or interpersonal misconduct.

Retaliation is a separate form of misconduct that could be investigated and justify additional protective measures and/or sanctions against any person involved in the retaliatory acts, including third-parties, friends, or other persons acting on behalf of or in cooperation with the Complainant or Respondent.



[1] A “Reporting Party” is the person who notifies the University that Sexual or Interpersonal Misconduct has occurred, either to themselves or to another individual(s).  (Definitions, Section IV)

[2] A “Complainant” is an individual reported to have experienced Sexual or Interpersonal Misconduct. (Definitions, Section IV)

[3] A “Respondent” is the individual or group reported to have engaged in Sexual or Interpersonal Misconduct. (Definitions, Section IV)

 

Applicable Resources:

Code of Student Conduct

Consensual Relationships

Sexual and Interpersonal Misconduct Guidelines and Contacts