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, stalking, dating violence, domestic violence, sexual exploitation, and retaliation are inconsistent with our educational mission.
For more detailed information, please see the Student Sexual Misconduct Policies and Procedures.
Sexual harassment refers to unwelcome sexual or gender-based conduct. When sexual harassment becomes so severe or pervasive as to interfere with an individual’s ability to work, learn or participate in the College’s programs, it is called a sexual or gender-based “hostile environment”. Harassing conduct can occur in various forms.
A determination as to whether a hostile environment has been created depends on the totality of the circumstances, such as the severity of a particular incident, the context in which it occurred, whether the conduct was repeated, whether the conduct was verbal or physical, and whether it was threatening or merely annoying. Luther College reserves the right to discipline offensive conduct that is inconsistent with community standards even if it does not rise to the level of a hostile environment as defined by applicable law. Further, the College encourages students and others to report incidents that concern them even if the incidents are not particularly egregious, as early reporting assists the College to address and correct situations before they become so severe or pervasive as to create a hostile environment.
Luther College also prohibits “quid pro quo” harassment. “Quid pro quo” (or “this for that”) harassment occurs when a person in a position of authority or control links the receipt of some benefit (such as a grade, or the ability to join a group or participate in a program) to another’s submission to unwelcome sexual advances or sexual conduct or requires the other to perform or submit to demeaning or degrading sex or sexually-charged acts. “Quid pro quo” harassment can be expressly stated, but it also can be implied by words, actions or the surrounding circumstances.
Identifying Harassment in the Community
Luther College is a vibrant academic environment that encourages discussion of competing ideas both inside and outside the classroom and in both formal and informal settings. Some topics may make a person uncomfortable or take a student outside his or her comfort zone. This policy is not intended to ban debate over socially controversial ideas or issues. Rather, it is intended to protect individuals from being subjected to offensive, humiliating or intimidating sexual or gender-based conduct that has no merit in or relevance to the academic setting.
Non-consensual sexual contact refers to any intentional sexual touching, however slight, with any object or body part by a person upon another person without consent. Sexual touching includes any bodily contact with the breasts, groin, genitals, mouth, or other bodily orifice of another individual, or any other bodily contact in a sexual manner. Non-consensual sexual contact also includes any disrobing of another or unwelcome exposure from one person to another without consent.
Non-consensual sexual intercourse refers to any sexual penetration or intercourse (anal, oral or vaginal), however slight, with any object or body part, by a person upon another person without consent. Sexual penetration includes vaginal or anal penetration by a penis, tongue, finger, or object, or oral copulation by mouth to genital contact or genital to mouth contact.
Stalking is engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety or the safety of others; or suffer substantial emotional distress. Stalking includes, but is not limited to, repeatedly engaging in contact, face-to-face communication, via social media, telephone calls or messages, text messages, emails, letters, the giving of unwanted gifts, threatening or obscene gestures, surveillance, following, trespassing or vandalism.
Dating violence refers to 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 where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of factors that include the length of the relationship, the type of relationship and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. This violence can occur in opposite-sex or same-sex relationships.
Dating violence may manifest as one act or an ongoing pattern of behavior. It can encompass a broad range of coercive, abusive, threatening, and/or violent behaviors, including threats, assault, property damage, economic abuse, 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.
Domestic violence refers to physical violence between spouses or former spouses, cohabitating romantic partners or individuals who were formerly cohabitating romantic partners, individuals who share a child in common, or others in a family relationship.
Domestic violence may manifest as one act or an ongoing pattern of behavior. It can encompass a broad range of coercive, abusive, threatening, and/or violent behaviors, including threats, assault, property damage, economic abuse, 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.
Sexual Exploitation refers to a situation in which a person takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another, and situations in which the conduct does not fall within the definitions of Non-consensual Sexual Contact or Non-consensual Sexual Intercourse. Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to:
To remove barriers to reporting, the College will not pursue potential policy violations of the complainant that may have occurred in the context of an alleged violation of this policy (for example, Policy on Alcohol and Other Drugs). Conversely, the use of alcohol or other drugs will never function as a defense to a violation of this policy.
Students have the right to report violations of this policy and participate as a witness in an investigation or hearing without fear of retaliation. Retaliation includes threats, intimidation, or reprisals. Luther College strictly prohibits retaliation by any student against a person who makes a report, assists someone with a report, or participates in any aspect of the investigation or resolution of a report.