Prohibited Sexual Harassment

Luther College is committed to creating and maintaining a safe and healthy environment where all members of the community—students, faculty, staff, and visitors—are treated with respect and dignity. Therefore, the college will not tolerate sexual misconduct in any form. Sexual misconduct is not only an act against an individual; it is also an act that affects the entire college community. Acts of Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence,Stalking, and Retaliation are inconsistent with our educational mission and values.

Sexual Harassment Defined

Acts of sexual harassment may be committed by any person upon any other person, regardless of the sex, sexual orientation, and/or gender identity of those involved.

Sexual Harassment, as an umbrella category, includes the offenses below:

Quid Pro Quo

  • an employee of the College
  • conditions the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of the College,
  • on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct; and/or

Hostile Environment

  • unwelcome conduct,
  • determined to be so severe, and
  • pervasive, and,
  • objectively offensive,
  • that it effectively denies a person equal access to the College’s educational program or activity.

Unwelcomeness is subjective and determined by the Complainant (except when the Complainant is below the age of consent). Severity, pervasiveness, and objective offensiveness are evaluated based on the totality of the circumstances from the perspective of a reasonable person in the same or similar circumstances, including the context in which the alleged incident occurred and any similar, previous patterns that may be evidenced.

Sexual assault, defined as


  • Penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person,
  • without the consent of the Complainant, including instances in which the Complainant is incapable of giving consent, whether due to incapacity or due to being below the statutory age of consent.


  • The touching of the private body parts of another person (buttocks, groin, breasts),
  • for the purpose of sexual gratification,
  • without the consent of the Complainant, including instances in which the Complainant is incapable of giving consent.


  • Sexual intercourse,
  • between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law.

Dating Violence

Violence committed by a person who has been in a romantic or intimate relationship with another. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the Complainant’s statement and with consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. Violence can occur in relationships regardless of gender.

Domestic Violence

Felony or misdemeanor crime of violence committed by:

  • A current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim;
  • A person with whom the victim shares a child in common;
  • A person who is cohabitating with, or has cohabitated with, the victim as a spouse or intimate partner;
  • A person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the laws of the State of Iowa or the jurisdiction in which the incident reported occurred; and
  • Any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s act under the laws of the State of Iowa.

Stalking, defined as

  • engaging in a course of conduct,
  • towards another person, that would cause a reasonable person to
  • fear bodily injury to themselves or another; or
  • Suffer substantial emotional distress.For the purposes of this definition—
  • A course of conduct means two or more acts,
  • Reasonable person means a reasonable person under similar circumstances, and
  • Substantial emotional distress means significant mental suffering or anguish that may but does not necessarily require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.


Retaliation occurs when an individual harasses or intimidates another person because that other person filed a complaint, participated in the resolution process of a violation of this Policy, supported a Complainant or Respondent, and/or acted in good faith to oppose conduct that constitutes a violation of this Policy. Harassment or intimidation includes but is not limited to threats or actual violence against the person or the person’s property, adverse educational or employment consequences, ridicule, taunting, bullying, or ostracism. Retaliation is prohibited under this Policy and is expressly prohibited by Title VII, Title IX and other state and federal laws.

Charging an individual with a code of conduct violation for making a materially false statement in bad faith in the course of a resolution proceeding under this policy and procedure does not constitute retaliation, provided that a determination regarding responsibility, alone, is not sufficient to conclude that any party has made a materially false statement in bad faith.

Acts of alleged retaliation should be reported immediately to the Title IX Coordinator and will be promptly investigated. Luther College is prepared to take appropriate steps to protect individuals who fear that they may be subjected to retaliation.


If a formal complaint is filed which alleges sexual harassment which falls outside the scope and definitions of this Policy and is dismissed, the Title IX Coordinator will refer the complaint as appropriate for adjudication under another policy or process.