Ohio Wesleyan University (OWU) is committed to a safe and healthy educational environment. For the purpose of this policy, sexual misconduct includes behavior based on sex, sexual assault (non-consensual touching, non-consensual penetration), dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking that is not within the scope of Title IX.



Sexual Misconduct and Scope of Title IX

The University prohibits all forms of sex and gender-based discrimination, harassment, sexual/gender-based violence, sexual exploitation, stalking, hazing, intimate partner violence (including domestic violence and dating violence), bullying/cyberbullying, and the use of physical harm/intimidation.

In circumstances that a complaint is not applicable under the University’s Title IX and Sexual Harassment Policy, but sexual misconduct is alleged to have occurred and creates a discriminatory and/or hostile environment that significantly affects a person’s access to education, University benefits, and/or University activities, the following policy and procedures will apply.

Scope of Title IX and Sexual Harassment Policy​

The Title IX and Sexual Harassment policy applies to allegations of sexual harassment that create a discriminatory and/or hostile environment that significantly affect another person’s access to education, University benefits, and/or University activities. The allegations must be/have occurred on Ohio Wesleyan University property or through University sponsored programs, including locations, events, or circumstances over which the University exercises substantial control over both the Respondent and the context in which the sexual harassment occurs, and also includes any building owned or controlled by a student organization that is officially recognized by OWU.

The University must dismiss complaints under Title IX policy if:

  • The persons were not in the United States when the incident(s) occurred.
  • The incident(s) occurred at/on a property or at an event not affiliated with Ohio Wesleyan University.
  • If the complaint does not reach the definitions of sexual harassment under Title IX.
  • If the Complainant is not attempting to access and/or participate in an educational program or activity.

Scope of Non Title IX, Sexual Misconduct Policy

Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures apply to allegations of sexual misconduct that create a discriminatory and/or hostile environment that significantly affect another person’s access to education, University benefits, and/or University activities that occur outside of the scope of Title IX jurisdiction. It applies in face-to-face encounters, social media, and other forms of electronic and non-electronic communication.

This policy applies to all persons. Complainants (those who accuse) and Respondents (those who are accused) can be of any identity.

Determining Jurisdiction and Reporting Resources

It is important for Complainants to understand that, with limited exceptions, all University employees (faculty, staff, administrators) are expected to immediately report actual or suspected sexual misconduct, including sexual harassment, discrimination, and violence to appropriate University officials. In order to make informed choices, Complainants should be aware of confidential resources and mandatory reporting requirements of non-confidential resources when considering their reporting options.

On-campus, some resources may maintain confidentiality. These resources are not required to report actual or suspected sexual misconduct to appropriate University officials thereby offering options and advice without any obligation to inform an internal or external agency or individual unless a survivor has requested information to be shared.

Employees designated as confidential support resources can only exercise that confidentiality when acting within the scope of that confidential role. Other resources exist for an individual to report crimes and policy violations and these resources will take action when an incident is reported to them.

All complaints will be initially reviewed by Title IX Administrators to determine whether an allegation is under the Title IX and Sexual Harassment Policy or the Sexual Misconduct policy. Complainants unsure of which policy is applicable to their complaint should contact any of the designated Title IX Administrators below via mail, email, phone or in person:

Title IX Coordinator
Dwayne Todd
dktodd@owu.edu
HWCC 210
(740) 368-3138
Deputy Title IX Coordinator
Jess Ettell Irvine
jlettell@owu.edu
HWCC 225
(740) 368-3175
Deputy Title IX Coordinator
Doug Koyle
dmkoyle@owu.edu
HWCC 206
(740) 368-3139

Upon meeting with a Title IX Administrator, Complainants will receive information about resolution options, health services, mental health services and other services available, both within the institution and in the community. The Title IX administrator will also assess the complaint to determine the policy and procedure in which the complaint will be processed.

Additional Reporting Options

OWU Public Safety
(740) 368-2222 (2222 from a campus phone)

OWU Public Safety can also offer assistance by taking the reporting person to the hospital.

Office of Human Resources
003 University Hall
Scott Simon, Assistant Vice President for Human Resources
slsimon@owu.edu, (740) 368-3394

Office of the Provost
107 University Hall
Karlyn Crowley, Provost
kacrowley@owu.edu, (740) 368-3101

Reporting to Law Enforcement

Complainants may file reports with the University and local law enforcement. The University will not require an individual to speak with law enforcement officials, but strongly recommends that all Complainants who have experienced a criminal offense report to local law enforcement agencies.

The filing and process for addressing complaints with a law enforcement entity is a separate process than the University’s process. In most cases, the University will not wait for a conclusion from local law enforcement for any criminal investigation or impending court proceedings, except in cases where the University temporarily delays its investigation while criminal investigators gather evidence. Law enforcement’s determination of whether or not to initiate prosecution will hold no weight on the University’s decision to charge a Respondent through the University’s resolution process.

A Complainant always has the right to seek a restraining order or similar no-contact/protective order from the police. The University will make reasonable efforts to enforce all protective and restraining orders regardless of who issues them. Enforcement of these orders by the University will begin upon notification and receipt of documentation of their existence.

Should either party wish to cooperate with local law enforcement in a criminal investigation pertaining to a matter of sexual harassment, they may do so under the guidance of the appropriate legal authority(ies) without fear of penalty by Ohio Wesleyan University for violating a no contact order issued by the University.

Confidential Resources

On-campus Options

These reporting options will maintain confidentiality unless required by law to break confidentiality. Any parties involved in a complaint may speak with:

On-campus Options for Students

  • Counseling Services: (740) 368-3145 (or 3145 from a campus phone)
  • Office of the Chaplain: (740) 368-3083 (or 3083 from a campus phone)
  • Student Health Services: (740) 368-3160 (or 3160 from a campus phone)

On-campus Options for Employees

  • Office of the Chaplain: (740) 368-3083 (or 3083 from a campus phone)
  • Employee Assistance Program
    Call Your ComPsych® GuidanceResources program anytime for confidential assistance.
    Call: (855) 387-9727 // TDD: (800) 697-0353
    Go online: guidanceresources.com // Your company Web ID: ONEAMERICA3

Risk of Harm to Self or Others

Mental health professionals are required to disclose information where there is an imminent threat of the person harming themselves or others.

Off-campus Confidential Options

Confidential sexual assault hotline can provide support as well as information on medical, reporting and legal options.

  • SARN (local)- 1-800-684-2324 or 740-369-3316

  • RAINN (national) 1-800-656-HOPE

Off- Campus Non-Confidential Resources

Delaware Police (911)
1 S. Sandusky St.
Delaware, OH 43015
740-368-1911 non-life threatening emergencies

The Delaware Police can also offer assistance by taking a person to the hospital.

Emergency Services

The closest hospital to campus is
Grady Memorial Hospital, Address: 561 W Central Ave, Delaware, OH 43015
Phone: (740) 615-1000

Individuals can obtain this confidential, no cost, collection of medical evidence exam, through OhioHealth Grady Memorial Hospital’s Emergency Room. Call (740) 615-1165 for more information. Directions to hospital. Public Safety can provide transportation to Grady Hospital and the caller does not need to disclose the medical condition for which they are seeking care.

Request for Anonymity

If a Complainant does not wish for their name to be shared, does not wish for an investigation to take place, or does not want a formal resolution to be pursued, the Complainant may make such a request. If the case has been referred out of the scope of the Title IX and Sexual Harassment Policy, the responding administrator will, in consultation with other trained staff, evaluate that request in light of the University’s duty to ensure the safety of the campus. In cases indicating pattern, predation, threat, weapons and/or violence, the University will likely be unable to honor a request for anonymity.

In cases where the Complainant requests anonymity and the circumstances allow the University to honor that request, the University will offer interim support and remedies to the Complainant and the community to the extent possible based on the Complainant’s limitations for privacy, but may not otherwise pursue formal action.

The University will take all reasonable and good faith steps to protect the privacy of individuals involved in a sexual misconduct matter, though privacy cannot be guaranteed. Only a small group of officials who need to know will be told as appropriate to address the matter and offer support measures.

Amnesty for Participants for Minor Policy Violations

Ohio Wesleyan University does not charge Complainants with non-violent violations related to a sexual misconduct incident, such as unauthorized use of alcoholic beverages or drugs. It is in the best interests of the community that Complainants choose to report to University officials, and that witnesses come forward to share what they know.

Participants may be hesitant to offer assistance to others or provide witness statements for fear that they may find themselves in violation of University policy (for example, a student who has been drinking underage might hesitate to help take a person who has experienced sexual misconduct to Public Safety). The University upholds a policy of amnesty for participants who offer help to others in need or have relevant information to share in conduct proceedings. While policy violations cannot be overlooked, the University will provide educational interventions and support to those who offer their assistance to others in need.

Consent

A person cannot obtain consent unless it is clear, knowing, voluntary words or actions that give permission for specific sexual activity. Consent is active, not passive. Silence, in and of itself, cannot be interpreted as consent. Consent can be given by words or actions, as long as those words or actions create mutually understandable permission regarding willingness to engage in (and the conditions of) sexual activity.

Consent to any one form of sexual activity cannot automatically imply consent to any other forms of sexual activity. Previous relationships or prior consent cannot imply consent to future sexual acts. Consent can be withdrawn once given, as long as that withdrawal is clearly communicated. In order to give consent, one must be of legal age.

Coercion

Consent may not be given if there is coercion. Coercion is unreasonable and persistent pressure to compel another individual to initiate or continue sexual activity against an individual’s will. Examples of coercion include using words or actions that stigmatize, threaten, or cause a person an articulable and reasonable fear for safety. This can include compelling someone to act in a way that they would not typically engage in due to fear for physical safety of self or another person. Examples of this may include, but are not limited to, threatening physical, emotional, financial, or reputational harm to self or another person should an individual not comply with demands.

Force

Consent cannot be obtained through force, defined as: use or threat of physical violence or intimidation to overcome an individual’s freedom to choose whether or not they will participate in a sexual activity.

Substantial Impairment

A person cannot obtain consent from someone who is substantially impaired, defined as the inability of an individual to make rational, reasonable decisions because the individual lacks the capacity to give knowing consent (e.g., to understand the "who, what, when, where, why or how" of their sexual interaction).

Sexual activity with someone you know to be or should know to be substantially impaired constitutes a violation of this policy. Impairment can occur mentally or physically, from developmental disability, and by alcohol or other drug use.. The question of what the Respondent should have known is objectively based on what a reasonable person in the place of the Respondent, sober and exercising good judgment, would have known about the condition of the Complainant.

This policy also applies to a person whose incapacity results from mental disability, sleep, unconsciousness, involuntary physical restraint, or from the taking of drugs. Possession, use and/or distribution of any of these substances, including Rohypnol, Ketomine, GHB, Burundanga, etc. is prohibited, and administering one of these drugs to another person is a violation of this policy.

Definitions of Misconduct

Dating Violence

Defined under the Violence Against Women Act ("VAWA") as:

  1. Violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim/survivor; and
  2. Where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on consideration of the following factors:
    1. the length of the relationship;
    2. the type of relationship; and
    3. the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
  3. For the purposes of this definition, dating violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual, psychological, or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse.

Violence may take the form of threats, assault, property damage, violence or threat of violence to oneself, one’s sexual or romantic partner, or to the family members or friends of the sexual or romantic partner.

Domestic violence

Defined under VAWA as:

  1. Felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed:
    1. by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim/survivor;
    2. by a person with whom the victim/survivor shares a child in common;
    3. by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim/survivor as a spouse or intimate partner;
    4. by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim/survivor;
    5. by any other person against an adult or youth victim/survivor who is protected from that person’s acts under the state’s domestic or family violence laws.
  2. To categorize an incident as Domestic violence, the relationship between the respondent and the complainant must be more than just two people living together as roommates. The people cohabitating must be current or former spouses or have an intimate relationship.

Violence may take the form of threats, assault, property damage, violence or threat of violence to oneself, one’s sexual or romantic partner, or to the family members or friends of the sexual or romantic partner.

Exploitation

When one person takes non-consensual or abusive advantage of another for their own advantage or benefit, or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited.

Examples of exploitation include, but are not limited to:

  • Taking advantage of another’s sexuality;
  • Threatening to disclose an individual’s sexual orientation or gender;
  • Prostituting another person;
  • Non-consensual digital, video or audio recording of nudity or sexual activity;
  • Unauthorized sharing or distribution of digital, video or audio recording of nudity or sexual activity;
  • Sexual voyeurism (such as watching a person undressing, using the bathroom, or engaging in sexual acts without the consent of the person(s) observed);
  • Going beyond the boundaries of consent (such as letting someone hide in the closet to watch parties having consensual sex, removing or misrepresenting one’s contraceptive and/or protective practices);
  • Causing the incapacitation of another person (through alcohol, drugs, or any other means) for the purpose of compromising that person’s ability to give or deny consent to sexual activity;
  • Knowingly exposing someone to or transmitting an STI, STD or HIV to another person;
  • Intentionally or recklessly exposing one’s genitals in non-consensual circumstances;
  • Inducing another to expose their genitals;
  • Encouraging or permitting another person to engage in non-consensual sexual activity.

Sexual Harassment, Non Title IX

Words, nonverbal symbols or actions that are a) directed toward another individual because of that individual’s sex, pregnancy, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation; b) unwanted; c) severe or pervasive enough to substantially interfere with a person’s learning, living and working experience at OWU and thereby create a discriminatory and/or hostile environment; and d) outside the realm of appropriate academic study or practice.

Quid Pro Quo Harassment

Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature by a person having power or authority over another constitutes sexual harassment when submission to such sexual conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly as a term or condition of rating or evaluating an individual’s educational (or employment) progress, development, or performance.

A discriminatory and/or hostile environment can be created by a series of events or a single event. When considering whether a discriminatory and/or hostile environment exists, both objective and subjective standards will be considered.

Stalking

A course of conduct, including electronic, verbal, or physical action, that is repetitive and menacing directed at a specific person that is unwelcome, and would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress.

Substantial Emotional Distress

Under VAWA regulations, substantial emotional distress is defined as significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.

Non consensual touching

Any intentional touching, however slight, with any body part or object by a person upon another person that is without consent and/or by force.

Contact includes:

  • Intentional contact on or under clothing with the breasts, buttock, groin, or genitals, or touching another with any of these body parts, or making another touch you or themselves with or on any of these body parts; or
  • Any other intentional bodily contact in a sexual manner (e.g. unwelcome kissing, unwelcome shoulder rubbing or other touching perceived by the recipient as sexually based).

Non consensual penetration

Any penetration, however slight, with any body part or object by a person upon another person that is without consent and/or by force.

Penetration Includes: Vaginal or anal penetration by a penis, object, tongue or finger, and oral copulation (mouth to genital contact), no matter how slight the penetration or contact.

Attempted Violations

In most circumstances, the University will treat attempts to commit any of the violations listed in this policy as if those attempts had been completed.

Sufficiently Severe Misconduct

Quid pro quo harassment, Clery Act offenses, and VAWA offenses are not evaluated for severity, pervasiveness, offensiveness, or denial of equal educational access, because such misconduct is sufficiently serious to deprive a person of equal access.

False Reports

The University will not tolerate intentional false reporting of incidents. It is a violation of University policies to make an intentionally false report of any policy violation, and it may also violate state criminal statutes and civil defamation laws.

Participation of Advisors

All parties are entitled to an advisor of their choosing to guide and accompany them throughout the campus resolution process. The advisor may be a University advisor, a friend, mentor, family member, attorney or any other supporter a party chooses to advise them. People who will be called as witnesses may not serve as advisors. Advisors may not be Trustees of OWU, members of the Senior Leadership Team.

The parties are entitled to be accompanied by their advisor in all meetings, interviews, and resolution meetings at which the party is entitled to be present. In some circumstances, the University may need to meet with a party before they may have established an advisor; this is typically in cases when a party is being put on notice that a complaint has been made. The staff person meeting with the party will not require the party to answer questions and/or give a statement unless they choose to do so.

All advisors are subject to the same campus policies and procedures. An advisor is not permitted to engage in the grievance process on a party’s behalf or participate directly in any related meeting or proceeding. Advisors may quietly consult with their advisees during a related meeting or proceeding in a manner that does not disrupt or interfere with the meeting or proceeding. Advisors should request or wait for a break in the proceeding if they want to have a longer or more involved discussion with their advisee or wish to interact with campus administrators.

All parties are expected to be the main source of communication with University administrators facilitating the resolution process. Advisors may not initiate communication with University administrators on behalf of their advisee in person or via technology (i.e.: phone and/or email). University administrators will not be expected to communicate to the advisor whenever a communication is made to the party, and expect each party to take responsibility to share communications with their advisor as appropriate.

Advisors should help their advisees prepare for each meeting, and are expected to advise ethically, with integrity, and in good faith. The University cannot guarantee equal advisory rights, meaning that if one party selects an advisor who is an attorney, but the other party does not, or cannot afford an attorney, the University is not obligated to provide one.

Advisors are expected to refrain from interference with the University investigation and resolution. Any advisor who steps out of their role in any meeting under the campus resolution process will be warned once and only once. If the advisor continues to disrupt or otherwise fails to respect the limits of the advisor role, the advisor will be asked to leave the meeting. When an advisor is removed from a meeting, that meeting will typically end unless the party agrees to participate without their advisor present. Subsequently, the Process Advisor, or designee, will determine whether the advisor may be reinstated or will need to be replaced by a different advisor.

Advisors are expected to maintain the privacy of the records shared with them by the University. These records may not be shared with third parties, disclosed publicly, or used for purposes not explicitly authorized by the University. The University may seek to restrict the role of any advisor who does not respect the sensitive nature of the process or who fails to abide by the University’s privacy expectations.

The University expects an advisor to adjust their schedule to allow them to attend University meetings when scheduled. The University does not typically change scheduled meetings to accommodate an advisor’s inability to attend. The University will, however, make provisions to allow an advisor who cannot attend in person to attend a meeting by telephone, video and/or virtual meeting technologies as may be convenient and available.

A party may elect to change advisors during the process, and is not locked into using the same advisor throughout. The parties must advise the University of the identity of their advisor at least two (2) business days before the date of their first meeting. If the party has not identified an advisor by this time, the University will appoint an advisor for the party, at no cost to them, to allow time for the advisor to prepare. The parties must provide subsequent timely notice to the University if they change advisors at any time.

Recording and/or Filming

No audio or video recording of any kind other than as required by institutional procedure is permitted during meetings with campus officials. Additionally, when parties or their advisors are reviewing any documents or recordings in a case file, they may only make handwritten notes. No photographs, dictations, scans, or other reproductions of materials in a case file are permitted without the authorization.

Retaliation

Retaliation occurs when an individual is harassed, intimidated, bullied, or discriminated against because they have chosen to make a complaint under this policy, participate in the investigation/adjudication of a complaint under this policy, or make a complaint to the Office of Civil Rights (OCR).

For an act to be considered retaliation, it must have a discriminatory impact that limits or denies an individual’s rights to their education, or participation in campus activities or other benefits. While the University cannot control all expression, and reserves the right to assess the impact on an individual, retaliation is prohibited and is a serious violation of University policy.