The College prohibits all forms of sexual harassment, sexual violence, sexual assault, intimate partner violence, relationship abuse, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, and retaliation. These are umbrella terms which encompass a broad range of behavior. In general, sexual violence refers to physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent due to incapacitation. Intimate partner violence refers to any act of violence or threatened act of violence, sexual or otherwise, against a person who is or has been involved in a sexual, dating, domestic, or other intimate relationship with that person.
Definitions regarding forms of prohibited conduct, consent and related concepts, and other terms are listed below (Source: Grinnell College Policy, Procedures, and Guide to Preventing, Reporting, and Responding to Sexual Misconduct and Other Forms of Interpersonal Violence ).
Adjudication: the process by which the College will resolve cases of sexual harassment and sexual misconduct.
Advocate: a trained confidential support person.
Amnesty: to encourage reporting, Grinnell College pursues a policy of offering Complainants, witnesses, and students who offer help to others in need a limited immunity from being charged for policy violations related to the incident. The College may, however, provide referrals to counseling and require educational options in such cases.
Bargaining Unit: includes the employees of the Department of Facilities Management who are represented by Teamsters Local 90, excluding the staff members.
Bias-Motivated Incident: an expression of hostility against a person, group, or property thereof because of such person’s (or group’s) identifying or perceived race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, gender, gender identity or expression, and/or sexual orientation. See also: Hate Crime.
Campus No-Contact Order: cover all areas of campus with the expectation that intentional off-campus contact is also prohibited. A map of included areas can be accessed here. Copies of No-Contact Orders are housed within the Division of Student Affairs and with the Office of Campus Safety and Security.
A No-Contact Order prohibits the issued party/ies from being in physical or verbal contact with another party/ies as follows:
- In person
- By phone (voice and text)
- Via third party
- Social media (Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Plans, or any other similar social media platform)
- By e-mail or internet messaging services or any other internet based communication
- Notes, letters, or other written communication
- Destruction or vandalism of the person’s property
- Use of threats of physical violence both on and off campus
- Other forms of contact as determined by the designated Senior Official
Additional requirements for proximity, duration and other details of the Order are written into the outline of the Order at issuance.
Child: a child is defined by Iowa Code, section 232.68 as any person under the age of 18 years.The victim of child abuse is a person under the age of 18 who has suffered one or more of the categories of child abuse as defined in Iowa law (physical abuse, mental injury, sexual abuse, denial of critical care, child prostitution, presence of illegal drugs, manufacturing or possession of a dangerous substance).
College employees who, in the scope of their employment responsibilities, examine, attend, counsel, or treat a child are obligated to report suspected physical or sexual abuse of a child. This includes most College employees, including, but not limited to, faculty, coaches, student employees, administrators and staff. Such College employees, regardless of statutorily-protected or -designated confidentiality, must report to both the Grinnell Police Department Dispatch Center (641-623-5679) and Campus Safety and Security (641-269-4600) within 24 hours of receiving a report of alleged child abuse. Both of these numbers are staffed 24 hours a day/7 days a week.
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 not 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. Coercive behavior differs from seductive behavior based on the type of pressure someone uses to get consent from another. A person’s words or conduct cannot amount to coercion unless they wrongfully impair the other’s freedom of will and ability to choose whether or not to engage in sexual activity. When someone makes it clear that he/she/zi does not want to engage in sexual activity, that he/she/zi wants to stop, or that he/she/zi does not want to go past a certain point of sexual interaction, continued pressure beyond that point can be coercive.
Complainant: the individual(s) who has experienced a possible instance of sexual harassment, sexual violence, sexual assault, intimate partner violence, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking, regardless of whether that individual makes a report or seeks formal conduct (corrective) action.
Complaint: a report of sexual harassment or sexual misconduct.
Confidentiality: Grinnell College community members who are bound by confidentiality include medical and counseling staff from Student Health and Counseling Services (SHACS), chaplains, Ombuds, and trained Campus Advocates (i.e., DVA/SAC advocates). See also: Statutorily-Protected or -Designated Confidentiality.
Consent: the Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Policy is based on affirmative consent. In the spring of 2012, the Grinnell College study body voted overwhelmingly to revise the Sexual Harassment and Misconduct policy to incorporate 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, and for each form of sexual contact. Consent is demonstrated through mutually understandable words and/or clear, unambiguous actions that indicate a willingness to engage freely in sexual activity. Consent is active, not passive.
- Each participant in a sexual encounter is expected to obtain and give consent to each act of sexual activity. Consent to one form of sexual activity does not constitute consent to engage in all forms of sexual activity.
- Consent consists of an outward demonstration indicating that an individual has freely chosen to engage in sexual activity. Relying on non-verbal communication can lead to misunderstandings. Consent may not be inferred from silence, passivity, lack of resistance or lack of an active response alone. A person who does not physically resist or verbally refuse sexual activity is not necessarily giving consent.
- If at any time it is reasonably apparent that either party is hesitant, confused or unsure, both parties should stop and obtain mutual verbal consent before continuing such activity.
- Consent may be withdrawn by either party at any time. Withdrawal of consent must 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.
- Consent is not affirmative if it results from the use or threat of physical force, intimidation, or coercion, or any other factor that would eliminate an individual’s ability to exercise his/her/hir or own free will to choose whether or not to have sexual contact.
- An individual who is physically incapacitated from alcohol and/or other drug consumption (voluntarily or involuntarily), or is unconscious, unaware or otherwise physically helpless is considered unable to give consent. For example, one who is asleep or passed out cannot give consent.
- In the State of Iowa, consent can never be given by minors under the age of 16. For those under the age of 16 the law has two distinctions: First, anybody 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 5 years of age apart from the teen.
Corrective Action: measures taken by the Senior Official (or designee) against a complainant making a false claim, or against a Respondent when a finding of discrimination or sexual harassment is accepted by the Senior Official.
Cyber-Stalking: a form of sexual harassment, cyber-stalking is the use of internet or other electronic devices to stalk someone. Cyber-stalkers may use e-mail, chat rooms, social networking sites (including Plans) and other tools to monitor, harass, embarrass or threaten their victims.
De Novo Review: a type of appellate review that starts from the beginning, or looks at the case anew. The appeals officer will not conduct a de novo review. Instead, the appeals officer shall consider the merits of an appeal only on the basis of the two grounds for appeal: a.) new evidence that was not available at the time of the adjudicationg meeting, and/or b.) procedural error that had material impact on the fundamental fairness of the meeting.
Discrimination: denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual because of his/her/hir/their race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, veteran status, pregnancy, childbirth, religion, disability, creed or any other protected class. Discrimination has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment, or living environment, or studying environment.
Educational Outcomes: rather than using the term “sanctions,” educational outcomes are used by College to reflect the educational and corrective aspirations of the student conduct program. Serious departures from acceptable conduct may lead to one or more of the following educational outcomes: restitution fines, deferred finding of responsibility, conduct warning, conduct probation, behavioral expectations (including a campus no-contact order), parental and guardian notification, College-owned residence suspension, College-owned residence dismissal, suspension, or dismissal from the College, withholding of registration or degree, or rehabilitative measures decided by a College conduct body.
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA): the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) as amended, also known as the "Buckley Amendment", provides that schools must follow certain procedures with regard to students' records. In sum, FERPA establishes three rights for students:
- the right to inspect and review education records maintained by the College;
- the right to seek to amend education records; and
- the right to have control over the disclosure of information from education records.
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.
Fundamental Fairness: as a private institution, Grinnell College is not obligated to provide “due process” to Respondents. Rather, the College incorporates similar principles of “fundamental fairness” that require notice and an opportunity to respond before action is taken against a Respondent.
Gender-Based Harassment: includes harassment based on gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, which may include acts of aggression, intimidation, or hostility, whether verbal or non-verbal, graphic, physical, or otherwise, even if the acts do not involve conduct of a sexual nature when one of the following conditions is present: submission to or rejection of such conduct is an explicit or implicit condition of an individual’s employment, evaluation of academic work, or participation in social, co- or extra-curricular activities (quid pro quo); or submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis for decisions affecting that individual (quid pro quo); or such conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that it unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work or academic performance by creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working, academic, or social environment under both an objective and subjective standard (hostile environment).
Harm to Others: includes physical, verbal, or psychological abuse, harassment, intimidation, or other harmful conduct that threatens, endangers, or has the potential to endanger the health, well-being, or safety of another individual. It can include but is not limited to threatening, intimidating, assaulting another person, and/or purposefully injuring another individual. This behavior is typically regarded as an alleged violation of our Community Standards. Acts which constitute harm to others that are a form of intimate partner violence, or behavior based on sex or gender, will be resolved under this policy.
Hate Crime: a criminal act that is committed against a person, group, or property thereof because of such person’s (or group’s) identifying or perceived race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, gender, gender identity or expression, and/or sexual orientation.
Incapacitation: the inability, temporarily or permanently, to give consent, because an individual is mentally and/or physically helpless, unconscious, or unaware that the sexual activity is occurring. Where alcohol and/or other drugs (including prescription drugs) are involved, incapacitation is a state beyond drunkenness or intoxication. See Amnesty.
Informal Resolution: is the term used to capture a variety of alternative actions that may be taken by the College to eliminate Prohibited Conduct, prevent its recurrence and address its effects. Informal Resolution does not involve conduct (corrective) action against a Respondent. Where the Title IX Coordinator concludes that Informal Resolution may be appropriate, the College will take immediate and corrective action through the imposition of individual and community remedies designed to maximize the Complainant’s access to the educational, extracurricular, employment and other activities at the College and to eliminate any hostile environment. There is no burden on the Complainant to affirmatively seek one form of resolution over another; to the contrary, it is always the College’s burden to determine the appropriate course of action in light of the known facts and circumstances. However, participation in Informal Resolution by a Complainant is voluntary, and a Complainant can request to end Informal Resolution and pursue an investigation or conduct (corrective) action at any time. In some instances, an Informal Resolution, by agreement of the Complainant, the Respondent and the College is meant to be a final resolution.
Informal Resolution is typically used when a Complainant requests anonymity, does not consent to participation in an investigation, or the alleged conduct, even if it does not rise to the level of a policy violation, suggests the need for remedial, educational or preventive action. Depending on the form of Informal Resolution used, it may be possible for a Complainant to maintain anonymity.
Examples of protective measures and accommodations are outlined in section XI. C, Interim Measures. The form of Informal Resolution may vary from case to case, and may include the following: (a) direct approach, (b) third party mediation, or (c) indirect action taken by the Senior Official. Other potential remedies include targeted or broadbased educational programming or training.
The Direct Approach by Complainant and Third-Party Mediation methods are not available in cases involving sexual assault, and a Complainant will never be required to participate in mediation or engage in direct confrontation or contact with a Respondent.
- Direct Approach by Complainant: After a discussion with the Title IX Coordinator, Senior Official or other official designated by the College, a Complainant who feels comfortable contacting the Respondent may, but is never required to, do so. The direct approach might include the Complainant writing a letter to the Respondent asking him/her/hir to change his/her/hir behavior. Another option might be telling the Respondent in person exactly what behavior is offensive and asking the Respondent to stop the behavior.
- Third Party Mediation: The Senior Official or another trained and experienced individual designated by the College may mediate between the Complainant and the Respondent, or informally bring the parties together to address the conduct. This type of intervention may result in an agreement between the parties, no-contact between the parties, referral for either or both parties to counseling programs, an agreement for corrective action, targeted training or educational programs, or the implementation of remedies for the Complainant. Where the College resolves the matter by third party intervention, the Senior Official will conduct periodic review and individually follow-up with the parties to assure that the resolution has been implemented effectively.
- Indirect Action Taken by the Senior Official: The Complainant may choose an indirect approach. This approach is intended to alter and stop the Respondent’s behavior without requiring the Complainant to participate in the resolution. The Complainant can request Indirect Action through the appropriate Senior Official. Indirect Action may include intervention with the Respondent without identifying the Complainant; implementing targeted or broad-based training or educational programs designed to address the conduct at issue; revising or publicizing College policies or procedures; providing increased monitoring, supervision, or security at locations or activities where the misconduct occurred; conducting climate assessments or surveys to evaluate similar concerns; and similar measures meant to eliminate the conduct, prevent its recurrence and address its effects.
Interim Measures: designed to eliminate the reported hostile environment and protect the parties involved. Interim measures may be both remedial (designed to address the Complainant’s well-being and continued access to educational and employment opportunities) or protective (involving action again a Respondent). Remedial measures are available regardless of whether the Complainant chooses to pursue any action under this policy. The Title IX Coordinator will maintain the privacy of any interim measures provided under this policy to the extent possible. The College will maintain consistent contact with the parties to ensure that all safety and emotional and physical well-being concerns are being addressed. Interim measures may be requested through the Title IX Coordinator or any Senior Official, including the Dean of Students, the Dean of the College or Associate Vice President of Human Resources. A Complainant or Respondent may request separation or other protection, or the College may choose to impose interim measures at its discretion to ensure the safety of all parties, the broader College community, and/or the integrity of the process. All individuals are encouraged to report concerns about failure of another individual to abide by any restrictions imposed by an interim measure. The College will take immediate and responsive action to enforce a previously implemented measure. Reasonably available interim measures will be implemented at the discretion of the Title IX Coordinator. See Potential Interim Measures.
Intimate partner violence, also referred to as relationship abuse, dating violence, domestic violence: includes any act of violence or threatened act of violence against a person who is or has been involved in a sexual, dating, domestic, or other intimate relationship by the other person in the relationship. It may involve one act or an ongoing pattern of behavior. Intimate partner violence, may take the form of threats, assault, property damage, violence or threat of violence to one’s self, one’s sexual or romantic partner, and/or to the family members or friends of the sexual or romantic partner. Intimate partner violence affects individuals of all genders, gender identities and expressions, sexual orientation, and racial, ethnic, social, and economic backgrounds. Intimate partner violence can encompass a broad range of behavior, including, but not limited to:
- Physical violence,
- Sexual violence,
- Emotional violence,
- Economic abuse,
- Harm to others,
- Property damage,
- Violence or threat of violence to one’s self,
- One’s sexual or romantic partner,
- And/or to the family members or friends of the sexual or romantic partner.
Potential Interim Measures: actions the College may take to support the complainant(s) to help them feel safer. These remedies and measures will be implemented at the discretion of the College and may be applied to the complainant(s) and/or the Respondent (s). Potential remedies may include but are not limited to:
- Access to counseling services and assistance in setting up initial appointment, both on and off campus;
- Imposition of a Campus No-Contact Order;
- Rescheduling of exams and assignments;
- Providing alternative course completion options;
- A change in class schedule or transferring sections, including the ability to drop a course without penalty;
- A change in work schedule or job assignment;
- A change in student’s College-owned residence;
- Assistance from College staff in completing residence relocation;
- Limiting an individual or organization’s access to certain College facilities or activities pending resolution of the matter;
- A voluntary leave of absence;
- Providing an escort to ensure safe movement between classes and activities;
- Providing medical services;
- Providing academic support services, such as tutoring;
- An interim suspension pending the outcome of a conduct process;
- Any other remedy which can be tailored to the involved individuals to achieve the goals of this policy; and/or
- A change of office space.
Privacy: information related to a report of alleged misconduct will be shared only with those College employees who “need to know” in order to assist the complainant(s) and/or aid in the investigation or resolution of the complaint.
Prohibited Conduct: the College prohibits all forms of sexual and gender-based harassment, sexual misconduct, intimate partner violence and other forms of interpersonal violence. These are umbrella terms which encompass a broad range of behavior. Grinnell College community members are fully supported in using the words that they feel express and/or represent their experience - including words like rape, abuse, attack, or fondling - even when the College policy uses these other, more overarching terms when adjudicating and classifying allegations. Within these broad categories, the College specifically prohibits sexual or gender-based harassment, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, harm to others, intimate partner violence/relationship abuse, stalking, and retaliation. Examples of Prohibited Conduct can be found on the College’s Sexual Respect website. An individual who is uncertain about whether their experience meets one of the definitions below should consult with the Title IX Coordinator. In all instances, the College encourages reporting of conduct that is unwelcome or harassing, regardless of whether it appears to meet one of the stated definitions below. The Title IX Coordinator can assist an individual in identifying available courses of action based on the conduct at issue.
Report: information provided to the College that an alleged incident of sexual harassment or misconduct has occurred, regardless of whether individuals have been identified.
Respondent: the individual(s) alleged to have committed sexual harassment, sexual violence, sexual assault, intimate partner violence, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking, regardless of whether or not formal conduct (corrective) action is taken.
Retaliation: means any adverse action taken against a person for making a good faith report of Prohibited Conduct or participating in any proceeding under this policy. Retaliation includes threatening, intimidating, harassing, coercing or any other conduct that would discourage a reasonable person from engaging in activity protected under this policy. Retaliation may be present even where there is a finding of “no responsibility” on the allegations of Prohibited Conduct. Retaliation can be committed by any individual or group of individuals, not just by a Respondent or Complainant. Retaliation does not include good faith actions lawfully pursued in response to a report of Prohibited Conduct.
Senior Official: Generally speaking, the initial assessment and subsequent grievance procedures against a Respondent are overseen by an administrator designated as the Senior Official:
- For reports against a student, the Senior Official is the Dean of Students.
- For reports against a staff member, the Senior Official is the Associate Vice President of Human Resources.
- For reports against a faculty member, the Senior Official is the Dean of the College.
Sex-Stereotyping: a form of sex discrimination, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits sex-stereotyping. Sex stereotype discrimination is where an employer takes an “employment action” against someone based on that person's non-conformance with a gender stereotype. Sex-stereotyping applies equally to people of all genders.
Sexual Assault: having or attempting to have sexual intercourse or sexual contact with another individual without consent. This includes sexual intercourse or sexual contact achieved by the use or threat of force or coercion, where an individual does not consent to the sexual act, or where an individual is incapacitated. Sexual assault includes the following acts:
Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse: Having or attempting to have sexual intercourse with another individual without consent. Sexual intercourse includes vaginal or anal penetration, however slight, with a body part or object, or oral copulation by mouth-to-genital contact.
Non-Consensual Sexual Contact: Having or attempting to have sexual contact with another individual without consent. Sexual contact includes kissing, touching the intimate parts of another, causing the other to touch one's intimate parts, or disrobing or exposure of another without permission. Intimate parts may include the breasts, genitals, buttocks, mouth or any other part of the body that is touched in a sexual manner. Non-consensual Sexual Contact can occur whether individuals are clothed or unclothed.
Sexual Exploitation: is knowingly committing non-consensual abuse or exploitation of another person’s sexuality for the purpose of sexual gratification, financial gain, personal benefit or advantage, or any other non-legitimate purpose. Examples include, but are not limited to:
- Observing, recording or photographing another individual’s nudity or sexual activity or allowing another to observe, record or photograph consensual sexual activity without the knowledge and consent of all parties involved in a place where the individual would have a reasonable expectation of privacy;
- Streaming or distribution of private images, photography, video or audio recording of sexual activity or nudity without the knowledge and consent of all parties involved;
- Prostituting another individual;
- Exposing one’s genitals in non-consensual circumstances;
- Exposing another individual to a sexually transmitted infection or virus without his/her/hir knowledge; and
- Knowingly exposing another individual to a sexually transmitted disease or virus without his/her/hir knowledge; and/or
- Inducing incapacitation for the purpose of making another person vulnerable to non-consensual sexual activity.
Sexual Harassment: unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. It includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature.
Sexual Violence: any physical sexual act perpetuated against a person’s will or where the person is incapable of giving consent due to that person’s use of drugs or alcohol. Sexual violence includes, but is not limited to, rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, and sexual coercion.
Stalking: is a course (more than once) of unwelcome conduct directed toward another person that could be reasonably regarded as likely to alarm, harass, and/or cause reasonable fear of harm or injury to that person, or to a third party, such as a roommate or friend. The feared harm or injury may be physical, emotional, or psychological, to the personal safety, property, education, or employment of that individual. Stalking includes 16 the concept of cyber-stalking, a particular form of stalking in which electronic media such as the internet, social networks, blogs, cell phones, texts, or other similar devices or forms of contact are used. Stalking can look like:
- Unwelcome and repeated visual or physical proximity to a person;
- Repeated oral or written threats;
- Extortion of money or valuables;
- Implicitly threatening physical conduct or any combination of these behaviors directed toward an individual person.
- Unwelcome/unsolicited emails, instant messages, and messages on on-line bulletin boards;
- Unwelcome/unsolicited communications about a person, their family, friends, or co-workers; and/or sending/posting unwelcome/unsolicited messages with another username.
Statutorily-Protected or -Designated Confidentiality: trained professionals who are prohibited from breaking confidentiality unless there is an imminent threat of harm to self or others, or if there are allegations of child abuse.
Support Person: Complainants and Respondents have the opportunity to consult with and be accompanied by the support person (advisor) of their choice to any related meeting or proceeding under these procedures. The support person (advisor) may be any individual, including an attorney, who is not a witness or otherwise involved in the procedures under this policy. The support person (advisor) is a nonparticipating supporter at any meeting or hearing under this policy and procedures. The support person (advisor) may advise the Complainant or Respondent on the procedural or any other aspects of the matter or assist with the party’s review of documents and appeal process in a manner consistent with this policy. The support person (advisor) may not contact the other party or contact potential witnesses without express authority from the Title IX Coordinator or designee. A party may change their support person (advisor) at any point during the process. The College reserves the right to dismiss a support 38 person (advisor) who is disruptive to College proceedings or does not abide by the restrictions set forth in this policy. The Dean of Students (or designee) maintains a list of trained individuals who can guide a student through the process, though a party is not required to choose a support person (advisor) from this list. The chosen support person (advisor) must meet with the Dean of Students (or designee) in advance of any participation in any meeting or proceedings to understand the expectations of the role, privacy, and appropriate decorum.
Timely Notice: for the purposes of this policy, "timely notice" generally means within 72 hours after an incident has been brought to the attention of a "campus security authority" as defined in the Clery Act.
Title VII: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin.
Title IX: Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities which receive Federal financial assistance. Title IX states that:
No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.
Title IX Team: generally consists of the Title IX Coordinator, Title IX Deputy Coordinators, Dean of Students, Director of Campus Safety and Security and others as applicable, such as the Dean of the College or Associate Vice President of Human Resources.