Coe Policies

Coe Definitions

Sexual Misconduct is an umbrella term covering sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual violence (i.e., sexual assault, non-consensual sexual contact, non-consensual sexual intercourse and/or sexual exploitation), dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking. Sexual misconduct can occur when the victim and perpetrator are members of the same or opposite sex, and the College’s prohibition of sexual misconduct applies regardless of national origin, immigration status, or citizenship status.

Sex discrimination occurs when persons are excluded from participation in, or denied the benefits of, any College program or activity because of their sex. Sex discrimination can include adverse treatment based on one’s sex, 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, academic advancement, and/or athletic participation;
  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for employment or academic decisions affecting such individual, and/or;
  • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working, campus living, or academic experience.

Sexual Harassment may be disciplined when it takes the form of quid pro quo harassment, retaliatory harassment, and/or creates a hostile environment.

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 university’s educational and/or employment, social and/or residential programs.

Quid Pro Quo Harassment is 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. This constitutes sexual harassment when submission to such sexual conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of rating or evaluating an individual’s educational or employment progress, development, or performance. This includes when submission to such conduct would be a condition for access to receiving the benefits of any educational or employment program.

Some examples of sexual harassment include:

  • Pressure for a dating, romantic, or intimate relationship • 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
  • 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
  • Commenting on a person’s body, gender, sexual relationships, or sexual activities
  • Sexual violence (as defined below)

Sexual Violence is a particularly severe form of prohibited sexual harassment. Sexual violence includes physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent because of his or her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity, because he or she is below the minimum age of consent, or because of his or her incapacitation due to the use of drugs and/or alcohol. Other types of conduct may also constitute sexual violence. At Coe College, sexual violence can include sexual assault, non-consensual sexual contact, non-consensual sexual intercourse and/or sexual exploitation.

Non-Consensual Sexual Contact is any intentional sexual touching, however slight, with any object, by a person upon another person, that is without consent and/or by force. Sexual Contact includes intentional contact 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.

Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse is any sexual intercourse, however slight, with any object, by a person upon another person, that is without consent and/or by force. Intercourse 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.

Sexual Assault occurs when a person engages in sexual relations 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 is a violation of a person’s body and mind.

Sexual Exploitation occurs when a student takes non-consensual, unjust, or abusive sexual advantage of another; for his/her own advantage or benefit; or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited; and that behavior does not otherwise constitute non-consensual sexual conduct (sexual assault), non-consensual sexual intercourse, or sexual harassment.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Secret video or audio taping of sexual activity;
  • Going beyond the boundaries of consent such as letting your friends secretly watch you have consensual sex;
  • Engaging in voyeurism, which is defined as the practice of obtaining sexual gratification by looking at sexual activity, especially secretly watching;
  • Knowingly transmitting an STI, STD, or HIV to another;
  • Inducing physical and/or mental incapacitation with intent of engaging in sexual activity with another person.

Consent to sexual interactions cannot occur if coercion or force is used, or if an individual is incapacitated.

  • 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 she/he does not want to engage in sexual activity, that she/he wants it to stop, or that she/he does not want to go past a certain point of sexual interaction, continued pressure beyond that point is considered coercion.
  • 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.
  • Incapacitation is the inability, temporarily or permanently, to give consent, 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 is unable to and cannot give consent to sexual activity. A person can be physically active and in the case of alcohol or drug-induced blackouts.

Lack of consent is a critical factor in determining whether sexual violence has occurred. At Coe College, an affirmative consent standard is used.

  • 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 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 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 nonverbal communication can lead to misunderstandings. Consent cannot 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.
  • 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. 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.

Any attempts to commit sexual assault or rape are prohibited, as is aiding the commission of sexual misconduct as an accomplice.

Back to top

Policies at Coe

Student Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Policy
Coe College is committed to providing a learning environment that is free of all forms of abuse, assault, harassment, and coercive conduct, including sexual misconduct.  This sexual misconduct policy includes definitions of terms, prevention information, procedures, and resources available in the event of all forms of sexual harassment, sexual assault, or rape.  The full policy can be found on the Coe website.

Good Samaritan
The welfare of students in our community is of paramount importance. At times, students on and off-campus may need assistance. Coe encourages students to offer help and assistance to others in need. Students are hesitant to offer assistance to others, for fear that they may get themselves in trouble (for example, a student who has been drinking underage might hesitate to help take a sexual misconduct victim to Campus Security). Coe pursues a policy of limited immunity for students who offer help to others in need. While policy violations cannot be overlooked; in most circumstances, the college will provide educational options, rather than punishment, to those who offer their assistance to others in need.

Immunity for Victims
The college encourages the reporting of conduct code violation, especially sexual misconduct.  Sometimes, victims are hesitant to report to college officials because of fear that they themselves may be charged with policy violations (e.g., underage drinking at the time of the incident).  It is in the best interest of the Coe community that as many victims as possible choose to report to college officials.  To encourage reporting, the college pursues a policy of offering victims of sexual misconduct limited immunity from being charged with policy violations related to the sexual misconduct incident.  While violations cannot be completely overlooked, the college will provide educational options rather than punishment.

Victim Rights
You have rights as someone who has been victim to a crime at Coe College. These rights include but are not limited to the following:

  • The right to have any and all sexual assaults committed against you treated with seriousness;
  • The right to be free from any kind of pressure from campus personnel that you should (i) not report crimes committed against you to civil and criminal authorities, campus security and disciplinary officials; or (ii) report crimes as lesser offenses than the victims perceives them to be;
  • The right to be free from any kind of suggestion that campus sexual assault victims not report or underreport crime because (i) victims are somehow responsible for the commission of crime against them; (ii) victims were negligent or assumed the risk for being assaulted; or (iii) by reporting crimes they would incur unwanted personal publicity.
  • The right to investigation and appropriate resolution of all credible complaints of sexual misconduct made in good faith to college administrators;
  • The right to be treated with respect and dignity by college officials;
  • The right to have others present (in support or advisory roles) during a campus disciplinary hearing;
  • The right not to be discouraged by college officials from reporting an assault to both on-campus and off-campus authorities;
  • The right to be informed of the outcome and sanction of any disciplinary hearing involving sexual assault, usually within 24 hours of the end of the conduct hearing;
  • The right to be informed by college officials of options to notify proper civil and criminal authorities, including Campus Security and the Cedar Rapids Police Department, and the option to be assisted by campus administrators in notifying such authorities, if the student so chooses.This also includes the right not to report, if this is the victim’s desire;
  • The right to be notified of available counseling, mental health or student services for victims of sexual assault, both on campus and in the community;
  • The right to notification of and options for, and available assistance in, changing academic and living situations after an alleged sexual assault incident, if so requested by the victim and if such changes are reasonably available (no formal complaint, or investigation, campus or criminal, need occur before this option is available).
  • The right not to have irrelevant prior sexual history admitted as evidence in a campus hearing;
  • The right to make a victim-impact statement at the campus conduct proceeding and to have that statement considered by the board in determining its sanction;
  • The right to a campus “no contact” order against another student who has engaged in or threatens to engage in stalking, threatening, harassing or other improper behavior that presents a danger to the welfare of the complaining student or others;
  • The right to be made aware of, and assisted in exercising any options, as provided by the state and federal laws or regulations, with regard of mandatory testing of sexual assault suspects for communicable diseases and with regard to notification of victims of the results of such testing;
  • The right to have complaints of sexual misconduct responded to quickly and with sensitivity by campus staff;
  • The right to appeal the finding and sanction of the sexual misconduct board;
  • The right to review all documentary evidence available regarding the complaint, subject to the confidentiality limitations imposed by state and federal law, at least 48 hours prior to the hearing;
  • The right to be informed of the names of all witnesses who will be called to give testimony, at least 48 hours prior to the hearing, except in cases where a witness’ identity will not be revealed to the respondent for compelling safety reasons (this does not include the name of the alleged victim/complainant, which will always be revealed);
  • The right to preservation of confidentiality, to the extent possible and allowed by law;
  • The right to a hearing closed to the public;
  • The right to petition that any hearing officer be removed on the basis of demonstrated bias;
  • The right to bring a victim advocate or advisor to all phases of the investigation and campus conduct proceeding;
  • The right to give testimony in an investigation by means other than being in the same room with the respondent;
  • The right to present relevant witnesses to the campus investigation process, including expert witnesses;
  • The right to be fully informed of campus conduct rules and procedures as well as the nature and extent of all alleged violations contained within the complaint;
  • The right to have the college reasonably compel the presence of student, faculty and staff witnesses, and the right to ask questions, directly or indirectly, of witnesses (including the accused), and the right to challenge documentary evidence;
  • The right to review all testimony given and evidence presented before the investigation and hearing officer;
  • The right to have complaints heard by conduct officers who have received sexual misconduct adjudication training;
  • The right to a conduct panel comprised of representatives of both genders;
  • The right to have college policies and procedures followed without material deviation;
  • The right to be informed in advance of any public release of information regarding the complaint;
  • The right not to have released to the public any personal information about the complainant, without his or her consent; and
  • The right to full and prompt cooperation from campus personnel in obtaining and securing and maintaining evidence (including a medical examination) as may be necessary to the proof of criminal sexual assault in subsequent legal proceedings.
Back to top

Your Title IX Rights

Title IX is a federal law that protects students against sex discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual violence regardless of the student’s real or perceived sex, gender identity, and/or gender expression. If you have been subjected to sexual harassment or sexual violence you have an additional set of rights and protections under Title IX. (Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. §1681)

Your school must:

  • Have a clear published procedure for responding to reports of sex discrimination, sexual harassment, or sexual violence.
  • Have a Title IX Coordinator to handle complaints.  The Coordinator’s contact information should be readily available.
  • Inform you of your reporting options, including notifying you of your right to report to the police and supporting you through this process should you choose to do so.
  • Allow you to have an advisor you choose present throughout the process.
  • Allow you to present evidence against the perpetrator(s) and/or bring in witnesses.
  • Give you timely access to any information that will be used in a hearing.
  • Allow you to attend any pre-hearing meetings that would give you and the perpetrator(s) a chance to testify.
  • Provide you with any final decision made as the result of a hearing in writing at the same time as the perpetrator(s), and allow you to appeal that decision.
  • Use a “preponderance of the evidence” standard when determining the outcome of a complaint.  This means the perpetrator(s) should be found responsible if the investigation shows it is more likely than not that the violence occurred.
  • Conclude any investigation within a semester’s time of the report being filed.
  • Support you in obtaining a no-contact order that prevents the perpetrator from contacting or interacting with you, whether directly or indirectly.  Campus safety or police should enforce any no-contact order obtained.
  • Make any reasonable changes to your housing, class schedule, campus job, and/or extracurricular activity schedule to enable you to continue your education in a non-hostile environment.  These accommodations should be made at no cost to you and cannot overburden you or limit your educational opportunities.  The changes can be in place before, during, and after a complaint is filed, investigated, and adjudicated.
  • Provide you with tutoring, counseling, or other remedies at no cost to you if you need then to continue your education.
  • Protect you from retaliation or harassment of any kind due to your report.

Your school may not:

  • Force you to report to the police.
  • Discourage you from continuing to pursue your education.  This includes telling you to take a leave of absence or to drop a club or class.
  • Wait to conduct an investigation until the conclusion of an ongoing legal investigation.
  • Retaliate against you for filing a complaint.
  • Make you sign a nondisclosure agreement for the result of the hearing.
  • Encourage or allow mediation to take the place of a formal disciplinary process in cases of sexual violence. 

If you believe your Title IX rights have been or are being violated, you can contact your Title IX Coordinator and/or report to the Department of Education at [email protected].

Back to top