Effective: March 30, 2009
Updated/Revised: June 14, 2011
Contact: Dean of Students Office - Division of Student Affairs
Students Who May Be Victims of Sexual Misconduct
START HERE: Go to the Sexual Misconduct & Sexual Assault website for information and resources regarding sexual misconduct or assault.
If you or someone you know may be a victim of sexual misconduct or assault, you are strongly encouraged to seek immediate assistance.
Assistance can be obtained 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from:
Iowa State University strives to create a respectful, safe, and non-threatening environment for its students. This policy sets forth the resources available to students, describes prohibited conduct, and establishes procedures for responding to sexual misconduct incidents that include sexual assault, sexual harassment and other unwelcome behaviors as explained below. While grounded in Iowa criminal law and consistent with the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, "Sexual Misconduct Guiding Principles," this policy governs criminal behavior, as well as other behavior which, although not a crime, is unacceptable and not tolerated in an educational environment.
The university prohibits sexual misconduct in any form, including sexual assault or sexual abuse, sexual harassment, and other forms of nonconsensual sexual conduct, all of which can be forms of sexual discrimination. Students should be able to live, study, and work in an environment free from sexual misconduct.
It is the position of the university that sexual misconduct in any form will not be excused or tolerated. Criminal, civil, and university disciplinary processes will be available to a student with a complaint and enforced against a person found to have engaged in the behavior. The university is committed to fair and prompt procedures to investigate and adjudicate reports of sexual misconduct and to the education of the university community about the importance of responding to all forms of sexual misconduct. Special emphasis is placed on the rights, needs, and privacy of the student with a complaint, as well as the rights of the accused. At the same time, the university adheres to all federal, state and local requirements for intervention and crime reporting related to sexual misconduct.
This policy identifies prohibited behavior for two important reasons: first, so that victims of prohibited behavior can easily recognize what happened to them as misconduct and comfortably seek assistance; and second, so that all students are aware of these expectations and can make appropriate decisions, knowing there will be consequences for violating this policy.
The university will make this policy and educational opportunities readily available to all students and other members of the university community. Specifically, the university provides periodic education to students regarding sexual misconduct. The ISU Division of Student Affairs, ISU Police, the Office of Equal Opportunity, and community agencies offer sexual misconduct education and information upon request. The university encourages students and student organizations to take advantage of those educational opportunities and to learn about this policy. Creating a respectful, safe and non-threatening environment is the responsibility of all members of the university community.
This policy covers all Iowa State University students, and in particular students who:
As provided by the Student Disciplinary Regulations, section 4.1.8, the term "student" includes undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, as well as student organizations and persons who have been admitted, though not yet in attendance. Employees, including employees who may be taking classes, are persons whose primary relationship with the university is for employment and are, therefore, not covered by this policy, although are covered by other university policies and resources concerning employee misconduct.
According to the university Student Disciplinary Regulations, sections 4.1.2 and 4.1.3, this policy shall cover both on-campus and off-campus conduct, as those terms are described below.
On-Campus Violations: The campus includes the geographic confines of the university, including its land, institutional roads and buildings, its leased premises, common areas at leased premises, the property, facilities and leased premises of organizations affiliated with the university, such as the Memorial Union, university housing, and university-recognized housing. University housing includes all types of university residence housing such as halls and apartments. University-recognized housing includes fraternity and sorority chapter dwellings.
Off-Campus Violations: Students should be aware that off campus violations that affect a clear and distinct interest of the university are subject to disciplinary sanctions. As examples, sexual misconduct and harassment are within the university's interests when the behavior:
Iowa State University is committed to creating an environment that encourages students to come forward if they have experienced any form of sexual misconduct. The university will work to safeguard the identities and privacy of the students who seek help or who report sexual misconduct. However, it is important that students understand the limits on confidentiality of individuals whom they may contact for such assistance. Different people, depending on their positions, have different obligations with regard to confidentiality.
Under Iowa law, communications with some individuals are confidential. Students should always confirm whether confidentiality applies to the communication. Generally, confidentiality applies when a student seeks services from the following persons:
Any other university employee cannot guarantee complete confidentiality. Information is disclosed only to select officials who have an essential need to know in order to carry out their university responsibilities. As is the case with any educational institution, the university must balance the needs of the individual student with its obligation to protect the safety and well being of the community at large. Therefore, depending on the seriousness of the alleged incident, further action may be necessary, including a campus security alert. The alert, however, would never contain any information identifying the student who brought the complaint.
Sexual misconduct is a broad term encompassing any non-consensual behavior of a sexual nature that is committed by force or intimidation, or that is otherwise unwelcome. The term includes sexual assault, sexual exploitation, sexual intimidation, and sexual harassment as those behaviors are described later in this section.
Sexual intimacy requires that all participants consent to the activity. Consent between two or more people is defined as an affirmative agreement--through clear actions or words--to engage in sexual activity. The person giving the consent must act freely, voluntarily, and with an understanding of his or her actions when giving the consent. Lack of protest or resistance does not constitute consent, nor does silence mean consent has been given. Relying solely on non-verbal communication can lead to misunderstanding. Persons who want to engage in the sexual activity are responsible for obtaining consent--it should never be assumed. A prior relationship or prior sexual activity is not sufficient to demonstrate consent.
Consent must be present throughout the sexual activity--at any time, a participant can communicate that he or she no longer consents to continuing the activity. If there is confusion as to whether anyone has consented or continues to consent to sexual activity, it is essential that the participants stop the activity until the confusion can be clearly resolved.
In addition, under Iowa law the following people are unable to give consent:
Sexual misconduct may vary in its severity and consists of a range of behavior or attempted behavior. It can occur between strangers or acquaintances, including people involved in an intimate or sexual relationship. Sexual misconduct can occur between members of the same or different sex and can also occur while individuals are fully clothed. Sexual misconduct includes, but is not limited to, the following examples of prohibited conduct:
Sexual assault is an extreme form of sexual misconduct and represents a continuum of conduct from forcible rape to nonphysical forms of pressure that compel individuals to engage in sexual activity against their will. In Iowa, the terms "rape" and "sexual assault" fall under the legal definition of "sexual abuse," which includes any sex act done by force or against the will of another. Examples of sexual assault under this policy include, but are not limited to the following behaviors when consent is not present:
Sexual exploitation involves taking non-consensual sexual advantage of another person, even though the behavior might not constitute one of the other sexual misconduct offenses. Examples can include, but are not limited to the following behaviors:
Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination, as defined in the university Discrimination and Harassment policy. Sexual harassment can include unwelcome behavior (verbal, written, physical) that is directed at someone because of that person's sex or gender, and that meets either of the following criteria:
Determination as to whether the alleged conduct constitutes sexual harassment should take into consideration all of the circumstances, including the context in which the alleged incidents occurred.
In addition to supporting individual students affected by sexual misconduct, the university takes all incidents seriously and has a responsibility to address misconduct. When sexual misconduct involves criminal behavior, students are strongly encouraged to report the situation to law enforcement. The Dean of Students Office will assist the student in notifying ISU Police or local law enforcement if the student so requests. An incident can be reported even if the student has not decided whether to take legal action. Nonetheless, students are always free to report and are encouraged to share instances of such behavior with the Dean of Students Office (contact information below) regardless of whether or not they choose to press formal criminal charges with law enforcement.
Students are strongly encouraged to report incidents of, or share information about, sexual misconduct as soon as possible. This is true even if the student with a complaint or a witness may have concern that his or her own alcohol or drug use, or other prohibited activity were involved. The Office of Judicial Affairs will not pursue disciplinary violations against a student with a complaint or a witness for his or her improper use of alcohol or drugs if the student is making a good faith report of sexual misconduct.
The university can take action only if the university is made aware of the behavior. If a university administrator becomes aware of a complaint or other violation of this policy, the administrator should bring the information to the Dean of Students Office so that concerns are heard and services can be offered to the affected students.
The university strongly encourages prompt reporting of complaints and information rather than risking any student's well being. Although there is no time limit on the reporting of formal charges with the university, the university may ultimately be unable to adequately investigate if too much time has passed or if the accused student has graduated. Factors that could negatively affect the university's ability to investigate include the loss of physical evidence (e.g., prompt medical examinations are critical to preserving the physical evidence of sexual assault), the potential departure of witnesses, or loss of memory.
In all cases, the Dean of Students strives to respond promptly and effectively by investigating the allegations and addressing the effects of the conduct. Typically investigations can take approximately sixty calendar days following receipt of the complaint. Factors that could impair the timing of the investigation include the complexity and severity of the conduct, the number and availability of witnesses, or the need to identify and acquire physical or other evidence.
The university strongly encourages students to report concerns to either or both of the following offices:
The Dean of Students Office and ISU Police may take immediate interim actions to protect the safety of the university community, to enable students with complaints and witnesses to continue studies, and to ensure the integrity of an investigation. These actions may include:
There are campus and community services available to students even if university or criminal reports are not made. The university strongly encourages students to seek assistance to care for themselves emotionally and physically through confidential crisis intervention, health care, and counseling. As students tend to their health, they should keep in mind that medical examinations are time-sensitive, and are critical in preserving evidence of sexual assault so that options can be considered at a later time.
ACCESS (Assault Care Center Extending Shelter and Support): An ACCESS advocate is trained to assist victims of sexual misconduct and can speak with students confidentially as they consider their options. Any communication with an ACCESS advocate is legally protected under Iowa Code Section 915.20, which allows for confidential communications that cannot be disclosed without the student's permission. Although the advocate is not a university employee, the advocate may accompany the student through any university investigation or adjudication process.
Contact information: http://www.assaultcarecenter.org/
Trained advocate: 515-292-5378 (29-ALERT)
Trained advocate 24 hours/day: 800-203-3488
General information: 515-292-0500
SART (Story County Sexual Assault Response Team): SART consists of specially trained professionals who provide a community coordinated response to sexual assaults. Members of SART represent the fields of law enforcement, health care, advocacy/counseling, and prosecution. SART identifies the barriers that keep sexual assault victims/survivors from coming forward and works to overcome those barriers through its sensitive, survivor-centered approach. In individual cases, a three-person team consisting of a police officer, sexual assault nurse examiner, and advocate respond to sexual assault reports, offering their services but leaving all decisions to the victim/survivor. SART strives to provide the first response to all sexual assaults in Story County to ensure a consistent, compassionate, and professional initial contact for victims.
Contact information: http://www.police.iastate.edu/sart to file an online report with SART
515-292-5378 (or 29-ALERT) to discuss more options
ISU Student Counseling Services (SCS): Students can meet with a confidential mental health counselor.
Contact information: http://www.public.iastate.edu/~stdtcouns/
3rd Floor, Student Services Building
515-294-5056 - Let the receptionist know you are requesting a same-day crisis appointment.
If a student would like to talk with someone after hours or on a weekend/holiday when Student Counseling Services is not open, the student may call the Richmond Center (community mental health services) at 515-232-5811 (during business hours) or 800-830-7009 (24 hours/day).
ISU Thielen Student Health Center: Students can meet with a confidential health care provider.
Contact information: http://www.health.iastate.edu/about/contact/
Corner of Union Drive and Sheldon Avenue on the ISU campus
Dean of Students Office: The office staff can assist a student in filing formal complaints or, if the student is not ready to file a formal complaint, the staff can work with him or her to address concerns over housing, class assignments or schedules, leaves of absence, withdrawal or other academic concerns. The office staff can also assist the student in notifying ISU Police or local law enforcement, if the student so requests, or referring the student to resources such as counseling or a confidential advocate.
Contact information: www.dso.iastate.edu/
1010 Student Services Building
Office of Equal Opportunity: EO staff can discuss concerns over sexual harassment and options for students.
Title IX Coordinator: The university has designated Robinette Kelley, director of Equal Opportunity, as the Title IX Coordinator to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination and harassment policies and complaints. Questions or concerns may be directed to 515-294-7612, or in person at 3350 Beardshear Hall, Ames, IA 50011.
Deputy Title IX Coordinators are:
- Dawn Bratsch-Prince, Associate Provost, 515-294-6410
- Sara Kellogg, Dean of Students office, 515-294-1023
- Calli Sanders, Athletics Department, 515-294-3706
Margaret Sloss Women's Center (MSWC): The MSWC provides support and information through educational outreach, appropriate referral services, and a safe space.
Contact information: http://www.dso.iastate.edu/wc/
Sloss House on the ISU campus
ISU Police Division: Contacting ISU Police does not mean a student must pursue criminal charges. ISU Police can advise students of their options, help preserve evidence while they consider options, and assist students in safety planning.
Contact information: http://www.police.iastate.edu/
Room 55 Armory
Emergency phone: 911
Non-emergency phone: 515-294-4428
Safety Escort: 515-294-4444
Planned Parenthood of Ames
Contact information: http://www.plannedparenthood.org/health-center/centerDetails.asp?f=2385
2530 Chamberlain St.
Ames Police Department
Contact information: http://www.cityofames.org/index.aspx?page=156
515 Clark Avenue, Ames, IA 50010 (entrance on 6th Street)
Emergency phone: 911
Non-emergency phone: 515-239-5133
Story County Sheriff's Office
Contact information: http://www.storycountyiowa.gov/index.aspx?NID=112
1315 South B Avenue, Nevada, IA 50201
If outsides the Ames area, call local law enforcement or sheriff.
Story County Attorney's Office
Contact information: http://www.storycountyiowa.gov/index.aspx?NID=90
Main Office: 1315 South B Avenue, Nevada, IA 50201; phone 515-382-7255
Ames Office: 126 S. Kellogg, Ste 203; phone 515-232-4185
See also the Story County Attorney's Office Victim Witness Assistance Program, which can offer information on the criminal process and also help locate financial assistance for crime victims. http://www.storycountyiowa.gov/index.aspx?NID=325
The university prohibits retaliation against an individual for making a complaint of sexual misconduct (including sexual assault and sexual harassment), for resisting such behavior, or for otherwise using or participating in the complaint resolution process. Prohibited behavior includes any form of intimidation, threats, or harassment by the individual accused of misconduct or friends, family or other persons acting in support of or on behalf of that individual. Acts of retaliation are, by themselves, cause for disciplinary action. Concerns of retaliation can be communicated to the Dean of Students Office or the Judicial Affairs staff directly (1010 Student Services Building, 515-294-1020, firstname.lastname@example.org).
The university also prohibits an individual from knowingly filing a false complaint or making misrepresentations of sexual misconduct (including sexual assault and sexual harassment). However, a complaint made in good faith is not considered false merely because the evidence does not ultimately support the allegation of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment. Acts of knowingly filing false complaints are, by themselves, cause for disciplinary action.
Sexual Misconduct & Sexual Assault Website
Discrimination and Harassment Policy-ISU
Violence-Free Campus Policy - ISU
Non-Retaliation Against Persons Reporting Misconduct Policy - ISU
"Safety & You" Report - ISU (includes Crime Statistics)
Training Information Contact
Student Disciplinary Regulations
Sexual Misconduct Guiding Principles - Board of Regents, State of Iowa [PDF]
Faculty Conduct Policy - Faculty Handbook, Chapter 7
Personal Safety Guidance - ISU Department of Residence
Dean of Students Office
Margaret Sloss Women's Center
Office of Equal Opportunity
Senior Vice President and Provost
Student Counseling Service
Discrimination and Harassment Assistors
Thielen Student Health Center
ACCESS (Assault Care Center Extending Shelter and Support)
SART (Story County Sexual Assault Team)
Mary Greeley Medical Center
Planned Parenthood of Ames
Ames Police Department
Story County Attorney
Story County Sheriff
Story County Victim Witness Assistance Program
Iowa Code Section 708.7, Harassment
Iowa Code Section 708.11, Stalking
Iowa Code Chapter 709, Sexual Abuse
Iowa Code Section 709.1A, Incapacitation
Iowa Code Section 709.4, Sexual Abuse in the Third Degree
Iowa Code Chapter 729A, Violation of Individual Rights - Hate Crimes
Iowa Code Chapter 915, Victim Rights