Coe College is committed to providing a learning environment that is free of all forms of sexual misconduct. This document contains Coe College’s policies and procedures for preventing, reporting, and responding to sexual misconduct and other forms of interpersonal violence. This guide also contains information about resources and remedies for all students, staff, faculty, and other members of the Coe College community who have experienced or been affected by prohibited conduct.
All Coe College community members have a responsibility to adhere to Coe College's policies, local, state, and federal law.
Types of Sexual Misconduct
Sex discrimination occurs when persons are excluded from participation in, or denied the benefits of, employment, or any college program or activity because of their sex. Sex discrimination can include adverse treatment based on one’s sex, as well as the other prohibited conduct outlined below. Sex discrimination includes discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, gender identity, and failure to conform to stereotypical notions of femininity and masculinity.
Sexual Harassment is unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, physical, graphic, or written conduct of a sexual nature when at least one of the following conditions is met:
- Submission to such conduct is made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of an individual’s employment or educational opportunities (i.e. quid pro quo harassment);
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for employment or educational opportunities affecting such individual, and/or;
- Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or educational opportunities.
A Hostile Environment is created when sexual harassment is:
- sufficiently severe, or
- persistent or pervasive, and
- objectively offensive that it unreasonably interferes with, denies or limits someone’s ability to participate in or benefit from the college’s educational and/or employment, social and/or residential program
Some examples of sexual harassment include but are not limited to:
- Unwelcome touching, kissing, hugging, rubbing, or massaging
- Pressure for sexual activity
- Unnecessary references to parts of the body
- Sexual innuendos, jokes, humor, or gestures
- Displaying sexual graffiti, pictures, videos, or posters
- Using sexually explicit profanity
- Asking about, or telling about, sexual fantasies, sexual preferences, or sexual activities
- Social media use that violates this policy
- Leering or staring at someone in a sexual way, such as staring at a person’s breasts or groin
- Sending sexually explicit emails or text messages
- Commenting on a person’s dress in a sexual manner
- Giving unwelcome personal gifts such as flowers, chocolates, or lingerie that suggest the desire for a romantic relationship
- Exposure of genitals without consent
- Commenting on a person’s body, gender, sexual relationships, or sexual activities
Sexual Assault (including rape) is actual or attempted sexual contact with another person without the person’s affirmative consent. Sexual assault includes the sexual conduct commonly known as rape, whether forcible or non-forcible. Either males or females can be aggressors in sexual assault, and sexual assault can occur in same-sex relationships. Sexual assault includes but is not limited to:
- Intentional touching of another person’s intimate parts without that person’s consent; or
- Other intentional sexual contact with another person without that person’s consent; or
- Coercing, forcing, or attempting to coerce or force a person to touch another person’s intimate parts without that person’s consent; or
- Rape, which this policy defines as penetration, no matter how slight, of (1) the vagina or anus of a person by any body part of another person or by an object, or (2) the mouth of a person by a sex organ of another person, without that person’s consent.
Sexual Exploitation occurs when a person takes sexual advantage of another person for the benefit of anyone other than that person without that person’s consent. Examples of behaviors that could rise to the level of sexual exploitation includes but is not limited to:
- Prostituting another person;
- Recording images (e.g., video, photograph) or audio of another person’s sexual activity, intimate body parts, or nakedness without that person’s consent;
- Distributing images (e.g., video, photograph) or audio of another person’s sexual activity, intimate body parts, or nakedness, if the individual distributing the images or audio knows or should have known that the person depicted in the images or audio did not consent to such disclosure and objects to such disclosure;
- Viewing another person’s sexual activity, intimate body parts, or nakedness in a place where that person would have a reasonable expectation of privacy, without that person’s consent, and for the purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire.
Relationship (Dating and Domestic) Violence is abuse, violence, or intentionally controlling behavior between partners or former partners involving one or more of the following elements: (1) battering that causes bodily injury; (2) purposely or knowingly causing reasonable apprehension of bodily injury; (3) emotional abuse creating apprehension of bodily injury or property damage; (4) repeated telephonic, electronic, or other forms of communication — anonymously or directly — made with the intent to intimidate, terrify, harass, or threaten. Relationship violence can occur in all type of relationships (e.g., heterosexual, same sex, or any other type of relationship).
Stalking means engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to (1) fear for his or her safety or the safety of others or (2) suffer substantial emotional distress. Stalking may take the form of harassing telephone calls, computer communications, letter-writing, etc. Stalking includes the activities generally associated with cyber stalking, a particular form of stalking in which electronic and social media, including social networks, blogs, cells phones, texts or other similar electronic communication is used.
A violation of this policy occurs when a person engages in any of the above behaviors through force, coercion, incapacitation, and/or without affirmative consent. Note that some behaviors may violate other general college policies as well as the sexual misconduct policy. In such cases, the sexual misconduct policy will take precedence and the college will follow the sexual misconduct procedure.
Other Important Concepts and Definitions
Force is the use or threat of physical violence or intimidation to overcome an individual’s freedom to choose whether or not to participate in sexual activity.
Coercion is direct or implied threat of force, violence, danger, hardship or retribution sufficient to persuade a reasonable person of ordinary susceptibility to perform an act which otherwise would have been performed or acquiesce in an act to which one would not have submitted. Coercion can include unreasonable and sustained pressure for sexual activity. When someone makes it clear that they do not want to engage in sexual activity, that they want it to stop, or that they do not want to go past a certain point of sexual interaction, continued pressure beyond that point is considered coercion.
Incapacitation is the inability, temporarily or permanently, to give consent (affirmative or otherwise), because that individual is mentally and/or physically helpless, asleep, unconscious, or unaware that the sexual activity is occurring. An incapacitated individual lacks the ability to make informed, rational judgments about whether or not to engage in sexual activity. A person who is incapacitated in unable to and cannot give consent to sexual activity. Incapacitation means that a person lacks the ability to make informed, rational judgments about whether to engage in sexual activity. Incapacitation may result from ingestion of a legal or illegal drug or alcohol. Coe College prohibits the possession, use, and or distribution of drugs that are intended to incapacitate an individual, including Rohypnol, Zolpidem, Ketamine, GHB, Burundanga, etc.
This policy is based on affirmative consent. Consent to engage in sexual activity must be given knowingly, voluntarily, and affirmatively. Consent to engage in sexual activity must exist from the beginning to end of each instance of sexual activity, for each form of sexual contact, and by each participant in a sexual encounter. Consent to one form of sexual activity does not constitute consent to engage in all forms of sexual activity. Consent must be demonstrated through mutually understandable words and/or clear, unambiguous actions that indicate a willingness to engage freely in sexual activity. A person who is incapacitated cannot give affirmative consent.
Consent is active, not passive. Consent cannot be inferred from silence, passivity, lack of resistance, nonverbal cues, or lack of an active response alone. A person who does not physically resist or verbally refuse sexual activity is not necessarily giving consent. Relying on non-verbal communication can lead to misunderstandings or potential policy violations.
Consent can be withdrawn by either party at any time. Withdrawal of consent can also be outwardly demonstrated by mutually understandable words and/or clear, unambiguous actions that indicate a desire to end sexual activity. Once withdrawal of consent has been expressed, sexual activity must cease.
Individuals with a previous or current intimate relationship do not automatically give initial or continued consent to sexual activity. Even in the context of a relationship, there must be mutually understandable communication that clearly and unambiguously indicates a willingness to engage in sexual activity. In the State of Iowa, consent can never be given by minors under the age of 16, with two provisions: First, a person 13 years of age or younger is considered to be a “child” under Iowa Code, section 702.5 and thus, incapable of consent. Second, for the ages of 14 and 15, the consenting partner must be less than five years of age apart from the teen.
The person, persons, or group making the allegations of sexual misconduct.
The person, persons, or group against whom a complaint of sexual misconduct has been made.