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Operations Manual The University of Iowa



(President 12/08; amended 4/09; 8/10; 8/13; 10/1/14)

Effective 1 October 2014, this policy has been revised. If you wish to see individual changes, a redlined version will be available soon.

Students Who May Be Victims of Sexual Misconduct:

If you or someone you know may be a victim of sexual assault, sexual harassment, stalking, or any other behaviors prohibited under this policy, you are strongly encouraged to seek assistance and support. Assistance is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from:

  • Rape Victim Advocacy Program (RVAP) -- confidential, certified victim advocacy services, 319-335-6000
  • Emergency Treatment Center, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics -- confidential medical services, 319-356-2233
  • University of Iowa Department of Public Safety -- law enforcement services, 319-335-5022, or 911 from any campus phone
During business hours, you may also seek assistance from the University of Iowa Office of the Sexual Misconduct Response Coordinator, 319-335-6200.

2.1 Introduction
2.2 General Statement of Policy
2.3 Definitions and Examples of Sexual Misconduct
2.4 Resources and Support for Students
2.5 Confidentiality
2.6 Making a Complaint of Sexual Misconduct
2.7 Scope of Policy: On Campus and Off Campus
2.8 Resources and Support for Students Who Are Accused of Sexual Misconduct

The University of Iowa strives to create a respectful, safe, and nonthreatening environment for its students, faculty, staff, and lawful visitors. This sexual misconduct policy sets forth resources available to students, describes prohibited conduct, and establishes procedures for responding to sexual misconduct incidents (including sexual assault, sexual harassment, stalking, and other unwelcome sexual behavior).

A student who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of a sexual misconduct incident should not be reluctant to seek assistance for that reason. The Dean of Students will not pursue disciplinary violations against a student (or against a witness) for his or her improper use of alcohol or drugs (e.g., underage drinking) if the student is making a good faith report of sexual misconduct. In addition, the law enforcement authorities in Johnson County have a policy of not pursuing charges for improper use of alcohol against a victim of sexual assault.

Assistance in reporting any form of sexual misconduct to the proper law enforcement authorities is available to any student upon request from a certified victim advocate at the Rape Victim Advocacy Program (RVAP) or from the Office of the Sexual Misconduct Response Coordinator.

The University of Iowa prohibits sexual misconduct in any form, including sexual assault or sexual abuse, sexual harassment, and any form of nonconsensual sexual conduct. Students should be able to live, study, and work in an environment free from all forms of sexual misconduct.

Sexual misconduct is a broad term encompassing any unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature that is committed without consent or by force, intimidation, threats, coercion, or manipulation. The term includes sexual assault, sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, and sexual intimidation. Sexual misconduct can be committed by a person of any gender, and it can occur between people of the same or different gender.

Any act that falls within the definition of sexual misconduct constitutes a violation of University policy. The University is committed to fostering a campus environment that both promotes and expedites prompt reporting of sexual misconduct and timely and fair adjudication of sexual misconduct cases. The University's procedures are designed to protect the rights, needs, and privacy of the student making a University complaint, as well as those of students accused of sexual misconduct. The University also adheres to all federal, state, and local requirements for intervention, crime reporting, and privacy provisions related to sexual misconduct.

The University will make this policy and educational opportunities readily available to all students and other members of the University community. Creating a respectful, safe, and nonthreatening environment is the responsibility of all members of the University community.

The University of Iowa will make every effort to safeguard the identities of students who seek help and/or report sexual misconduct. However, the University may be held to federal guidelines that mandate the University's action. While steps are taken to protect the privacy of victims, the University may need to investigate an incident and take action once an allegation is known, whether or not the student chooses to pursue a complaint.

Reports of sexual misconduct involving University students, faculty, staff, or any third party should be made to the Office of the Sexual Misconduct Response Coordinator (319-335-6200). An academic or administrative officer, as defined in the University's Sexual Harassment policy (see II-4.1b(3)) must report any known sexual misconduct report to the Office of the Sexual Misconduct Response Coordinator. No employee is authorized to investigate or resolve student complaints without the involvement of the Office of the Sexual Misconduct Response Coordinator.

In addition to violating University policy, sexual misconduct might also constitute criminal activity. Students are strongly encouraged to inform law enforcement authorities about instances of sexual misconduct. The chances of a successful criminal investigation are greatly enhanced if evidence is collected and maintained immediately by law enforcement officers. Students may inform law enforcement authorities about sexual misconduct and discuss the matter with a law enforcement officer without making a criminal complaint.


g. "Sexual exploitation" definition. Sexual exploitation involves taking nonconsensual, unjust, or abusive sexual advantage of another person. Examples can include, but are not limited to the following behaviors:

h. "Sexual intimidation" definition. Sexual intimidation involves:

Persons who experience unwelcome sexual behavior may respond to the experience in many different ways, including feeling confused, vulnerable, out of control, embarrassed, angry, distrustful, stressed, or depressed. The University provides a variety of resources to assist students who have experienced unwelcome sexual behavior with their healing and recovery and to help students determine whether and how to make a complaint about the incident.


Students who would like to discuss their situations in a private environment, and share or seek information about a sexual misconduct issue without making a complaint have a number of options. At various offices on campus and off campus, students can speak to individuals who have professional or legal obligations to keep communications with the student confidential. When seeking advice and support, students who are concerned about confidentiality should always discuss that concern with the person to whom they are speaking, and should inquire about any limits on that confidentiality.

Generally, under Iowa law, confidentiality applies when a student seeks services from the following persons:

In addition, the staff at the Office of the Ombudsperson (319-335-3608) have a professional obligation to keep their communications with clients confidential and will not disclose those communications unless required to do so by court order or to avoid imminent physical harm.

The University takes all incidents of sexual misconduct very seriously. There are two options for students to make a complaint of sexual misconduct. A student may pursue either or both of these options.

A student may seek and receive support services from the Office of the Sexual Misconduct Response Coordinator and of the UI Department of Public Safety without making a complaint. Except in cases where there is a threat of harm to other members of the campus community, neither the University nor Public Safety will pursue charges against an accused student without the authorization of the student making a complaint.

This policy covers both on-campus and off-campus conduct, as described below.


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Page last updated September 2014 by Office of the Senior Vice President for Finance and Operations