Miami University is committed to maintaining a healthy and safe learning, living, and working environment and to creating an environment that promotes responsibility, dignity, and respect in matters of sexual conduct. Sex-based offenses are strictly prohibited and will not be tolerated. This applies to on-campus and off-campus conduct, academic, educational, co-curricular, athletic, study abroad, and other University programs. Sex-based offenses include criminal offenses such as rape and sexual assault, domestic/dating violence and stalking as well as violations of the Sexual Misconduct section of Miami's Code of Student Conduct.
The University, by providing resources for prevention, education, support, investigation, and a fair disciplinary process, seeks to eliminate all sex-based offenses. The University is dedicated to preventing sex-based offenses by providing the following:
Miami's Protocol is designed to comply with applicable state and federal laws. Miami University reserves the right to modify or deviate from the Protocol when, in the sole judgment of the University, circumstances warrant, in order to protect the rights of the involved parties, or to comply with the law.
This Protocol describes how the University typically responds to reports of sex-based offenses involving students. It also does the following:
Ms. Rebecca Getson is the University's Deputy Title IX Coordinator (Coordinator) for matters related to student sex-based offenses. Ms. Getson may be reached at 104 Health Services Center, 421 S. Campus Avenue, Oxford, Ohio 45056, 513-529-1870 or email@example.com. Ms. Getson will help students do the following:
Miami University urges students who have been the victim of sex-based offenses to pursue criminal charges against the person or persons they believe to have committed the crime. A criminal charge and a disciplinary complaint may be pursued at the same time. Students may file a disciplinary complaint without pursuing criminal charges. Victim support and resources are available even if a student elects not to pursue criminal charges or University disciplinary action. Retaliation against a person who reports a crime, brings a disciplinary complaint, pursues legal action, or who participates in an investigation or is a witness in any investigation or proceeding is strictly prohibited and will not be tolerated. Students who retaliate will face University disciplinary action.
Miami University will preserve student confidentiality to the extent possible and allowed by law. A person may speak confidentially with certain persons in legally protected roles at Miami University including counselors at Student Counseling Service and medical staff at the Student Health Center and off-campus with clergy, counselors, physicians, and Women Helping Women at 513-381-5610 or toll-free at 877-889-5610. In addition, the University sponsors several awareness campaigns throughout the academic year including Take Back the Night; The Clothesline Project, and Walk a Mile in her Shoes. These events offer an opportunity for victims to share experiences in a private setting and will not be treated as reports.
The degree to which confidentiality can be protected when a report is made to someone other than those identified above depends upon whether or not the individual to whom the sex-based offense is reported is legally required to report this information to law enforcement. Ohio law and University policy require those with knowledge of a felony to report it to law enforcement. Miami employees including Resident Assistants and professional residence life staff are required by Ohio law to report sex-based offenses to the Miami University Police who will, in turn, report it to the Coordinator. Reporting to the Miami University Police or other law enforcement does not require the victim to file criminal charges.
Police reports are open for inspection and copying under Ohio's Public Records Act. The extent to which Miami University can protect the identity of victims of sex-based offenses contained in police reports is not absolute; however the University uses its best efforts to protect the identity of the victim and the intimate details of the report. The identity of an uncharged suspect may be withheld.
In addition, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) protects students' educational records, including reports made to the Coordinator and disciplinary complaints made to the Office of Ethics and Student Conflict Resolution. FERPA prohibits the University from releasing these records to persons outside the institution without the student's consent except in response to a lawful subpoena or as otherwise required by law. However, if the student-offender is found responsible for violating the Code of Student Conduct-Sexual Misconduct, the University may release the following information to anyone:
If a report of a sex-based offense reveals there is an immediate threat to the health or safety of students or employees on campus or that an on-going serious or continuing threat to the campus community exists, an Emergency Notification or a Campus Crime Alert will be issued. The purpose of a Campus Crime Alert is to enable persons to protect themselves, and to heighten safety awareness as well as to seek information that will lead to an arrest and conviction of the perpetrator. The victim's name and other personally identifying information will NOT be included in any Emergency Notification or Crime Alert.
For more information on the Clery Act, Campus Crime Alerts and Emergency Notifications access the Annual Report. Reports of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking are included in the Annual Security and Fire Safety Report/Crime Statistics at Crime Statistics.
Miami University provides a number of resources and support services to students who have been the victims of sex-based offenses. Students are encouraged to seek support and obtain medical attention.
A person who has been the victim of sex-based offense is urged to seek appropriate medical evaluation immediately, ideally within 96 hours of the incident.
For life-threatening conditions, call 911 (9-911 from a campus phone) or go to the nearest hospital emergency department. McCullough Hyde Memorial Hospital has a trained Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) who can help.
A person who has experienced sexual assault (particularly forcible rape, sodomy, sexual assault with an object, forcible fondling) or sexual misconduct is encouraged to request collection of medical-legal evidence. Prompt collection of physical evidence is essential should a person later decide to pursue criminal prosecution and/or a civil action. Collection of evidence may involve interaction with police and a police report.
If the sexual assault or sexual misconduct occurred within 96 hours, a free and confidential exam can be administered at local hospitals. The sooner sexual assault or sexual misconduct is reported, the more likely evidence will still be present. "Date rape" drugs, including rohypnol and GHB, may still be present in the victim's system and should be tested for if the victim believes he or she may have been drugged. To help preserve evidence, the victim is encouraged to put any soiled clothes in a paper (not plastic) bag, and to refrain from the following:
Questions about evidence collection can be directed to Women Helping Women at 513-381-5610 or 877-889-5610 or the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) at McCullough Hyde Memorial Hospital.
Counselors at a variety of agencies both on and off campus can help a person decide what steps to take, such as seeking medical attention, preserving evidence, obtaining counseling, and reporting to authorities. Information, support, and advice are available for anyone who wishes to discuss issues related to sex-based offenses, whether or not a sex-based offense has actually occurred, whether or not the person seeking information has been a victim of a sex-based offense, has been accused of a sex-based offense or is a third party.
* Professional staff members who are legally obligated to maintain confidentiality work at these offices. Meeting with one of these staff members does not start the protocol process.
In addition, the University's "Take Back the Night" event offers an opportunity for victims to share their experiences in a private setting.
Crisis intervention is available to victims 24 hours a day by calling the independent Women Helping Women at 513-381-5610 or toll-free at 877-889-5610.
Miami University provides a number of academic and residential support services to students who have been victims of sex-based offenses. Students may obtain support services such as changing academic and living circumstances from the Coordinator. No police report, disciplinary charge or investigation need occur before this option is available. Support services include the following:
To access academic and residential support services, contact Miami Coordinator, Ms. Rebecca Getson, at 104 Health Services Center, 421 S. Campus Avenue, Oxford, Ohio 45056, 513-529-1870 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The Coordinator is available during regular business hours throughout the year to meet with students who need guidance about the sex-based offenses. Students will become aware of support, medical services, and reporting options.
Students who have been the victims of a sex-based offense are urged to promptly report the incident. If the victim is incapacitated for any reason, a report should be made on behalf of the victim. Miami University strongly encourages victims and others to immediately report sex-based offenses to the police. The Miami University Police will promptly inform Ms. Rebecca Getson, Sexual Assault Response Coordinator, at 104 Health Services Center, 421 S. Campus Avenue, Oxford, Ohio 45056, 513-529-1870 or email@example.com.
While the University does not condone underage drinking or violation of other University policies, it considers reporting sex-based offenses to be of paramount importance. To encourage reporting and adjudication of sex-based offenses, Miami University extends limited amnesty to students who have been victims of a sex-based offense. The University will generally not seek to hold the student responsible for his/her own violations of the law (e.g., underage drinking) or the Code of Student Conduct in which he or she may have been involved during the period immediately surrounding the sex-based offense or sexual misconduct.
For a sex-based offense that occurred on campus, students should contact the Miami University Police Department directly at 911 (or 9-911 from a campus phone) or 513-529-2222 (non-emergency) to file a police report. Miami Police officers will respond quickly and with sensitivity and compassion (See Promises to Victims of Crime at http://www.miamioh.edu/police/services-offered/victim-services). Students who are victims of an off-campus sexual assault who want to file a police report should call 911 (emergency). Upon request, the Miami University Police will assist victims in obtaining protection or restraining orders.
Upon request, the Miami University Police, the Office of Ethics and Student Conflict Resolution or Rebecca Getson, the Coordinator, will assist students in notifying the Oxford Police or other appropriate police department of an off-campus sexual assault.
In general, non-consensual sexual conduct may constitute a crime. While Ohio law does not define consent for sexual conduct, Ohio law indicates the following are not consent*:
* This is a non-exhaustive list and is not intended to provide legal advice. Persons should consult with law enforcement and prosecutors for advice.
Sex-based offenses reported to the Miami University Police are shared with Rebecca Getson, the Coordinator and sex-based offenses reported to Ms. Getson will be reported to the Miami University Police if the alleged offense occurred on campus and to the appropriate law enforcement unit if the offense occurred off campus. The Miami University Police, the Coordinator and the Oxford Police Department share information about sex-based offenses under an Information Sharing Agreement that may be found at http://www.units.miamioh.edu/police/sites/edu.police/files/mutualaid/OPDMUPDSharingAgreement.pdf (102 KB).
Please note, a delay in reporting to police could weaken or result in a loss of evidence used to determine whether an individual is responsible for a sex-based offense. Individuals may have up to 20 years to file a sexual assault report with the police.
Students may elect to report the sex-based offense directly to Ms. Rebecca Getson, Sexual Assault Response Coordinator, at 104 Health Services Center, 421 S. Campus Avenue, Oxford, Ohio 45056, 513-529-1870 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The Coordinator will do the following:
If the accused is a Miami student, students are urged to file a disciplinary complaint with the Office of Ethics and Student Conflict Resolution (OESCR), (513-529-1417). Criminal investigations/prosecutions do not determine whether a violation of the Sexual Misconduct section of the Code of Student Conduct has occurred. Disciplinary action generally cannot begin without a written, signed complaint and without disclosing the victim’s identity. The University reserves the right to pursue disciplinary action even if there is no written, signed complaint if the University believes there is sufficient information to proceed without the cooperation of the victim.
Students can file a disciplinary complaint with OESCR without pursuing criminal charges or an investigation with the Office of Equity and Equal Opportunity. The purpose of these disciplinary proceedings is to provide a prompt, fair and impartial investigation and resolution of the charges. Disciplinary complaints may be filed with the Office of Ethics and Student Conflict Resolution at any time the accused is a student at Miami University based on the written complaint of the accuser.
Summary Suspensions—An accused student may be summarily suspended from campus pending the final outcome of the disciplinary proceedings. Summary suspension hearings are typically held within the first 48 hours of the filing of a disciplinary complaint. Summary suspensions may prohibit the student from all or part of university property and activities or permit the student to remain only under specified conditions (e.g., no-contact orders). A student may also be summarily suspended pending felony criminal charges.
Disciplinary Hearings—Disciplinary complaints may be heard by either Administrative Hearing Officers or Disciplinary Boards made up of faculty and students. The hearings are designed to provide a prompt, fair and impartial investigation and resolution of the complaint. The hearings are conducted by people who receive annual training on issues related to sex-based offenses and on conducting a hearing process that protects the safety of students and promotes accountability.
Both the accuser and the accused are entitled to the same opportunity for access to information that will be used at the hearing, to present relevant witnesses and other evidence and to have others present during the hearing and to appeal. Confidential medical/counseling records and information regarding the victim’s sexual history will not be provided to the accused and is not admissible at any disciplinary proceeding.
Consent—Sexual conduct requires consent. Under the Code of Student Conduct consent must be voluntary. A person cannot consent if he or she is substantially impaired by any drug or intoxicant; has been compelled by force or threat of force or deception; is unaware the act is being committed; is impaired because of a physical or mental condition; or is otherwise coerced by disciplinary or supervisory authority. Consent may be withdrawn at any time. Prior sexual activity or relationship does not constitute consent.
Standard of Evidence—The standard of evidence used to determine responsibility on campus is a "preponderance" of evidence. This determination is based on the greater weight of the evidence and does not require a standard beyond a reasonable doubt. The policies, procedures, and sanctions outlined in the Code of Student Conduct apply to all violations of the Code of Student Conduct, and student sexual misconduct violations are no exception. The Code of Student Conduct can be found in the Student Handbook on the University's website at http://www.miami.muohio.edu/handbook (PDF 1MB).
Disciplinary Sanctions—Sanctions against a student who has violated the Sexual Misconduct section of the Code of Student Conduct include suspension and dismissal and vary depending on the severity of the violation and the accused conduct history. The recommend sanction for non-consensual sexual intercourse will be dismissal. Other sanctions include suspension, expulsion from campus housing, educational intervention, no-contact orders, and restrictions from participating in intercollegiate athletics or extracurricular activities. Both the accuser and the accused will be simultaneously informed in writing of the outcome of each stage of the disciplinary proceedings.
Appeal Process—Both the accuser and accused may appeal based on the grounds (alleged procedural error, new evidence and/or inappropriate sanction) using the appeal process in the Code of Student Conduct.
Interests of the Accused—It must be recognized that the accused person in a University investigation has legal and other rights, and that complaints in which each of the parties are members of the campus community are the most ethically and legally complex. A presumption of guilt should not be made as the result of any allegations. In the event that a student is accused of a sex-based offense and a disciplinary complaint is filed, the accused will be encouraged to seek advice from a member of the University community and is entitled to the same information as the accuser. Counseling and/or support is available to the accused student through the University's Student Counseling Service.
In the event the student chooses not to file a disciplinary complaint or prefers to have the matter investigated by the University through the Office of Equity and Equal Opportunity (OEEO), the Coordinator will seek the victim's consent to investigate the report. If the student consents to the investigation, the OEEO will investigate as provided in Miami's Policy Prohibiting Harassment and Discrimination (http://www.units.muohio.edu/oeeo/employment-recruitment/resources-search-committees/policy-prohibiting-harassment-and-discrimination).
An investigation will not begin without the consent of the student unless the Coordinator determines circumstances warrant an investigation. The Coordinator will evaluate a request for confidentiality in the context of the University's obligation to provide a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for all students. The Coordinator will weigh the request for confidentiality against the nature of the alleged assault (e.g., use of force or threat of force, pattern, alleged use of "date rape" drugs), whether there have been other complaints against the same person and the accused’s right to access to the complaint. If the victim insists that his or her privacy be protected and that his or her name or other identifiable information not be disclosed to the accused, the Coordinator will advise the victim of the University's limited ability to respond to the report. The Coordinator and the OEEO may take other steps to limit the effects of the alleged assault and prevent its recurrence.
If the victim has consented to an investigation, the investigator from the OEEO will meet with the complainant to discuss the investigation and review the details of the allegation and to explain the subsequent steps involved in a sex-based offense investigation.
Immediate Response. The OEEO investigator, working with the Coordinator may initiate an immediate response to separate the accuser and accused from engaging each other in common areas, residence halls, campus buildings, and student activities. The Coordinator will outline options to change the accuser's or the accused's academic and/or living situations if those changes are requested by the accuser or accused and are reasonably available. The Coordinator has the discretion to remove the accuser or accused from a hostile living situation.
The investigator will review the victim's report. If the report alleges potential criminal conduct and the police have not been notified, the investigator will notify the University Police and the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator.
The investigator will inform both parties of the respective time and place of the interviews of the parties and any witnesses. Contact between the parties will be limited to necessity. During this stage of investigation, both the accuser and the accused have the right to be accompanied by an advisor.
The purpose of the investigation is to ascertain to a reasonable cause whether a sex-based offense occurred and what responses need to occur. At the conclusion of the investigation, the investigator will prepare a written report of the findings of the investigation.
During any stage of the investigation, if the investigator reasonably suspects that the accused poses an imminent threat of harm or disruption to the campus community, the investigator will notify the Miami University Police, the Coordinator and the Dean of Students, who may initiate the summary suspension process under the Code of Student Conduct to immediately remove the accused from campus and/or impose other restrictions.
If the investigation finds by a preponderance of the evidence that a sex-based offense did occur, the University will take immediate steps to eliminate any hostile environment that has been created, prevent any further sex-based offenses and prevent retaliation. Additional remedial action including counseling, no-contact orders, and/or required education/training may also be provided. Following the investigation under Miami's Policy Prohibiting Harassment and Discrimination, disciplinary action against the accused may be initiated by either the victim or the Office of Equity and Equal Opportunity.
Any retaliatory action or conduct taken by any person against a person who has sought relief under this Protocol is strictly prohibited and will be regarded as a distinct violation of the University's Policy Prohibiting Harassment and Discrimination and/or a violation of the Code of Student Conduct if the person engaged in retaliatory action is a student.
In addition to University disciplinary action, a person who engages in a sex-based offense may be the subject of criminal prosecution and/or civil litigation. A police report must be made for criminal prosecution to be considered by the local prosecuting attorney. The chances of successful prosecution are greater if the report is timely and is supported by the collection of medical and/or legal evidence. Complaints may also be filed with the United States Department of Education Office for Civil Rights or by consulting an attorney at the person's own expense. See http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/howto.html.
The Division of Student Affairs creates, supports, and evaluates education and support programs aimed at the eradication of sex-based offenses involving members of the Miami student community. To support these programs, the Coordinator will coordinate sex-based offense education and prevention programs. Through this commitment, the Division of Student Affairs shall educate students about the following:
The Miami University Police foster a safe campus environment by doing the following:
Other information sources including the following:
Any sexual act directed against another person, forcibly and/or against that person's will; or not forcibly or against the person's will when the victim is incapable of giving consent.
1. Rape— The 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 victim.
2. Sodomy— Oral or anal sexual intercourse with another person, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her age or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.
3. Sexual Assault With An Object— The use of an object or instrument to unlawfully penetrate, however slightly, the genital or anal opening of the body of another person, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her age or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.
4. Fondling— The touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her age or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental incapacity.
5. Incest— Nonforcible sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law.
6. Statutory Rape— Nonforcible sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent.
7. Domestic Violence—The term "domestic violence" includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction receiving grant monies, or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person's acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction.
8. Dating Violence—The term "dating violence" means violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. The existence of the relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors:
9. Stalking—The term "stalking" means 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.
Any sexual conduct directed against another person, forcibly and/or against that person's will; or where the victim is incapable of giving consent.
Consent must be voluntary. An individual cannot consent who is substantially impaired by any drug or intoxicant; or who has been compelled by force, threat of force, or deception; or who is unaware that the act is being committed; or whose ability to consent is impaired because of a mental or physical condition; or who is coerced by supervisory or disciplinary authority. Consent may be withdrawn at any time. Prior sexual activity or relationship does not constitute consent.
Examples of sexual misconduct include but are not limited to the following: