The University of Akron’s protocol is designed to comply with applicable state and federal law. The University of Akron reserves the right to modify or deviate from this 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.
The University of Akron is a community dependent upon trust and respect among its constituent members. The University is committed to maintaining a healthy and safe learning, living, and working environment and an environment that promotes responsibility and respect in matters of sexual conduct. Sex-based offenses are a violation of trust and respect, are prohibited and will not be tolerated. This applies to academic, educational, co-curricular, athletic, study abroad, residential and off-campus conduct, and other University programs. Sex-based offenses include: criminal offenses, such as rape and sexual assault, domestic and dating violence; and stalking; violations of the University’s Code of Student Conduct – Sexual Misconduct; and violations of the University’s Sexual Harassment Policy. (See the appendix below for a full statement of definitions.)
The University is dedicated to preventing sex-based offenses by providing:
This Protocol describes how the University investigates and responds to reports of sex-based offenses and:
Ms. Denine M. Rocco is the University’s Deputy Title IX Coordinator (“Coordinator”) for matters related to student sex-based offenses. Ms. Rocco can be reached at: 306 Student Union, The University of Akron, Akron, OH 44325-4612, (330) 972-6048, or email@example.com. Ms. Rocco will assist students with:
The University of Akron urges people 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 person who has been the victim of sex-based offenses involving a member of the campus community is also urged to make a disciplinary complaint to the Office of Student Judicial Affairs. A criminal charge and a disciplinary charge may be pursued at the same time; however, students may pursue 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.
Individuals having knowledge of a sex-based offense (including dating violence, domestic violence and stalking) also are strongly encouraged to timely report that crime to the police. (In fact, under Ohio law, persons who have knowledge of a felony - a victim of or witness to the crime - are required to report the crime to the police and failure to report a crime may itself be a crime. (Ohio Revised Code §2921.22.)) These individuals also are encouraged to contact the resources identified in this report to discuss options for safe and positive intervention on behalf of the victim. These resources also provide helpful information to assist individuals in identifying and recognizing the warning signs of abusive behavior and offering guidance on how to avoid potential attacks and becoming a victim of such violence.
Retaliation against a person who: reports a crime; brings a complaint; pursues legal action; participates in an investigation; or, is a witness in any proceeding is prohibited and will not be tolerated. Students who retaliate will face University discipline.
The University of Akron will preserve student confidentiality to the extent possible and allowed by law. The degree to which confidentiality can be protected, however, depends upon whether or not the individual to whom the sex-based offenses is reported is legally required to report this information to law enforcement. The professional being consulted should make these limits clear before any disclosure of facts.
When choosing a reporting resource, please consider the following information.
A person may speak confidentially with certain persons in legally protected roles, including:
Privileged reporting consists of those communications that legally cannot be disclosed to any other person without the reporting person’s consent, except under very limited circumstances, such as an imminent threat of danger to self or others or if the victim is a minor.
Student Affairs staff, including resident assistants and professional residence life staff, are required by Ohio law to report sex-based offenses to UAPD, who will report it to the Coordinator. The University will exercise sensitivity with respect to the privacy concerns of the reporting person. However, the privacy interests of the reporting source must be balanced with the University’s legal obligations; its need to protect the University community; and to insure that appropriate disciplinary processes are implemented. Notification to the parent or guardian of a victim of an incident of sexual misconduct or sexual assault will be made, if necessary in accord with the requirements of applicable privacy and reporting laws, including but not limited to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
The Clery Act requires the University to designate University staff members who have significant responsibility for student or campus activities as Campus Security Authorities (CSAs). At The University of Akron, CSAs include: the Dean of Students; most managerial staff in The Division of Student Affairs; Residence Life staff, including resident assistants and hall directors; advisors to registered student organizations; the Director of Athletics and athletic coaches. CSAs are required to provide information regarding any report of sex-based offenses to UAPD to be included in the University’s Annual Report of Crime Statistics and, if appropriate, for the purpose of issuing a safety alert or other emergency notification. A victim’s name and other personally identifying information is NOT included in any safety alert or emergency notification.
Police reports are open for inspection and copying under Ohio’s Public Records Act. The extent to which the University can protect the identity of the 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 details of the report. In addition, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) protects students’ education records, including reports made to the Coordinator and disciplinary complaints made to the Office of Student Judicial Affairs. FERPA prohibits the University from releasing these records to persons outside the institution without the students’ consent, except in response to lawful subpoena or as otherwise require by law. However, if a student-offender is found responsible for violating a Sexual Misconduct provision of the Code of Student Conduct, the University may release the following information to anyone: the name of the student-offender (but not the victim); the Code of Student Conduct violation; and the sanctions imposed as a result of the disciplinary hearing.
The University of Akron strongly encourages persons who have been the victim of a sex-based offense to obtain prompt medical attention and to file a police report, both for their own protection and that of the entire campus community. Students also may pursue further action through either the offices of Student Judicial Affairs or the Coordinator. Students are also advised to seek medical attention as soon as possible (but no more than 72 hours) if they are the victim of a sex-based offense. Students may choose one or more options to create the most effective course for them.
An individual who has been the victim of a sex-based offense is urged to seek medical evaluation as soon as possible, ideally within 72 hours of the incident. Any person who has been the victim of a sex-based offense may go directly to the emergency room of any local hospital for medical attention. Students who are reporting an immediate assault should be accompanied to a health care facility of their choice to allow for collection of evidence and treatment. For life-threatening conditions, call 911, or 2911 from a campus phone.
Sexual assaults for which individuals seek medical treatment must be reported to the appropriate police unit by health care officials. However, students are not required to criminally prosecute the case or file a police report, unless the sexual assault survivor is a minor. A list of hospitals close to campus is below. Students also can seek treatment or advice at University Student Health Services for any medical concerns, including: physical exams; treatment of sexually transmitted infections: pregnancy testing, and/or to obtain emergency contraception. All medical information and services are protected by privileged reporting. However, if a student decides to pursue a criminal or civil legal action, the student will be required to sign a University Health Service Medical Information Release Form to allow their attorney, the police, or the University to gain access to medical information applicable to the sexual misconduct.
Sex-Based Offense: A person who has been the victim of sex-based offenses (particularly rape, forcible oral copulation, or sodomy) is encouraged to request collection of medical-legal evidence. Collection of evidence entails interaction with police and a police report. Prompt collection of physical evidence is essential should a person later decide to pursue criminal prosecution and/or a civil action. If the sex-based offense occurred within 72 hours, a free and confidential exam can still be administered at local hospitals. However, the sooner sex-based offenses are reported, the more likely evidence will remain. To help preserve evidence, the victim is encouraged to try to avoid:
Questions about evidence collection can be directed to the Rape Crisis Center for Summit and Medina Counties at 330-434-7273 or your local Rape Crisis Center.
Domestic Violence, Dating Violence or Stalking: A person who has been the victim of domestic violence, dating violence or a stalking offense is encouraged to request collection of medical-legal evidence. Collection of evidence entails interaction with police and a police report. Prompt collection of physical evidence is essential should a person later decide to pursue criminal prosecution, civil action or in obtaining a civil protection order. The sooner offenses are reported, the more likely evidence will remain. To help preserve evidence, the victim is encouraged to try to avoid:
Questions about evidence collection can be directed to the Rape Crisis Center for Summit and Medina Counties at 330-434-7273 or your local Rape Crisis Center.
A student who has been the victim of a sex-based offense (including dating violence, domestic violence or stalking) should promptly report the incident. If the victim is incapacitated or is unable to make a report, a report should be filed on behalf of the victim. Reporting is best done as soon as possible after the incident, but may be done at any time. Students can make their report to any Campus Security Authority.
The University of Akron encourages victims to file a police report in all cases involving potential criminal conduct; however, victims have several options for initiating a complaint/report of a sex-based offense, which can be done singly or in combination:
UAPD and the Office of Student Judicial Affairs promptly will inform the Coordinator of the report.
The University will assist students with reporting sexual misconduct/assault and in obtaining medical support and information regarding available legal and judicial affairs resources as well as counseling and support services. If requested by the student, and if reasonably available, the University will assist the student in changing her/his academic or living situation after the alleged assault.
The Code of Student Conduct addresses a much broader range of sexual misconduct than does criminal law. Criminal investigations/prosecutions are not determinative of whether a violation of the Code of Student Conduct has occurred.
For a sex-based offense that took place on-campus, students should contact UAPD directly at 330-972-2911 to file a report with the police. UAPD officers will respond quickly and with sensitivity upon notification of an assault. Students who are victims of an off-campus sex-based offense who want to file a report with the City of Akron Police Department should call 330-375-2677, or if it is an emergency, 911. If the assault occurred in an off-campus location other than Akron, the student should contact the local law-enforcement jurisdiction. Upon request, UAPD, the Office of Student Judicial Affairs and the Coordinator will assist victims in making a report to the police. Upon request, UAPD also will assist the victims in obtaining protection or restraining orders.
In addition to all other available processes and in accordance with Ohio Revised Code Section 3345.22 and .23 (“1219” procedures), an alleged perpetrator who has been arrested and charged with a qualifying crime (rape, sexual battery or gross sexual imposition), may be suspended pending final resolution of the criminal charges. If convicted, the student is dismissed for a period of one year and may only be readmitted to the University by the Board of Trustees upon terms of strict disciplinary probation. Suspension and dismissal under the “1219” process is imposed in addition to University discipline under the Code of Student Conduct.
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 UAPD are shared with the Coordinator, and sex-based offenses reported to the Coordinator will be reported to UAPD if the alleged offense occurred on-campus and to the appropriate law enforcement unit if the offense occurred off-campus. 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.
Reporting an assault or misconduct to UAPD or other law enforcement does not require the filing of criminal charges by the victim, but it allows all support systems for the victim to be initiated. Choosing not to pursue University or criminal action, however, does not necessarily remove the responsibility of the University to investigate and/or take action. Students who choose to notify police should be aware of the importance of the immediacy of reporting the incident and the importance of preserving physical evidence at the assault scene as well as on the person assaulted. Physical evidence can provide important evidence to support criminal charges leading to a successful prosecution.
If the accused is a student at The University of Akron, students are urged to file a complaint of with the Office of Student Judicial Affairs by calling 972-6380. Students are not required to file a police report to pursue a complaint with the Office of Student Judicial Affairs.
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 persons who receive annual training on issues related to sex-based offenses and how to conduct a hearing process that protects the safety of students and promotes accountability.
Although procedural requirements are not as formal as those existing in the courts of law, the judicial affairs process provides procedural safeguards for accusers and accused alike. Both the accuser and the accused are entitled to the same opportunity to:
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.
To ensure fairness, the following procedures apply:
Rights of the accuser:
Rights of the accused:
The standard of evidence used to determine responsibility 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 the Code of Student Conduct apply to all violations of the Code, including student sexual misconduct violations.
Regardless of whether criminal charges are filed, students found to be responsible for sexual misconduct may be subject to university judicial sanctions. Sanctions against a student who has violated the Code of Student Conduct include suspension and dismissal and vary depending on the severity of the violation and the accused conduct history. The recommended 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 extracurricular activities. Both the accuser and the accused will be simultaneously informed in writing of the outcome of each stage of the disciplinary proceedings.
Both the Accuser and the Accused may appeal based on the grounds specified in the Code of Student Conduct (3359-41-01(H)(3)) using the appeal process specified in the Code.
An accused student, in accordance with University Rules, may be suspended from the University on an interim basis pending the final outcome of the disciplinary proceeding.
Students may elect to report a sex-based offense directly to the Coordinator at 306 Student Union, The University of Akron, Akron, OH 44325-4612, (330) 972-6048, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Coordinator generally will first urge the student to attend immediately to any medical needs. The student will be given information on available medical and psychological resources. The Coordinator also can arrange for a professional staff member to accompany the student to the hospital if requested by the student. The student also will be assisted in contacting a support person, such as a parent or friend, if desired.
The victim will be informed of his or her right to file a police report and/or file a disciplinary complaint against the accused and will be given a copy of the University’s protocol for reporting and responding to sex-based offenses. Upon request, the Coordinator will assist students in notifying UAPD if the assault occurred on-campus, or municipal police if the assault occurred off-campus, and/or in filing a disciplinary complaint if the accused is a student. The victim has the right to determine whether she or he will file a written disciplinary complaint with the Office of Student Judicial Affairs. If the accused is someone other than a student, the Coordinator will inform the student of the right to pursue a sexual misconduct complaint using the appropriate University process. The Coordinator is required by law to notify appropriate law enforcement authorities of any sexual assault reported to her/him.
The Coordinator (or designee) will initiate an immediate response to use best efforts to separate the accuser and accused from engaging with each other in common areas, residence halls, campus buildings, and student activities. The Coordinator (or designee) 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 also has the discretion to remove the accuser or accused from a hostile living situation. The Coordinator also will assist student in connecting with the police and judicial processes to obtain a no-contact order, restraining order or other lawful order of protection.
The Coordinator will seek the victim’s consent to investigate the report. If the student consents to the investigation, the Coordinator (or designee) will meet with the complainant to discuss the investigation and review the details of the allegation and to explain the subsequent steps involved in the investigation of a sex-based offense.
An investigation by the Coordinator (or designee) generally will not begin without the consent of the student unless the Coordinator determines circumstances warrant investigation. The Coordinator will evaluate the 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, 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 complaint and that disciplinary action cannot be instituted without a written signed complaint and disclosing the victim’s identity. The Dean of Students may take other steps to limit the effects of the alleged assault and prevent its recurrence.
The Coordinator (or designee) will review the victim’s report. If the report alleges potential criminal conduct and the police have not been notified the Coordinator will notify the University Police.
The Coordinator (or designee) 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 advocate. The purpose of the preliminary investigations is to ascertain to a reasonable suspicion if there may have been a sex-based offense and what immediate responses need to occur. At the conclusion of the interviews, the Coordinator (or designee) will prepare a preliminary report of the findings of the investigation.
During any stage of the investigation, if the Coordinator (or designee) reasonably suspects that the accused poses an imminent threat of harm or disruption to the campus community, the Coordinator may initiate disciplinary charges through Student Judicial Affairs and/or an interim suspension.
In the event the Coordinator (or designee) finds by a preponderance of the evidence that sex-based offenses did occur, the University will take immediate steps to end the sex-based offenses, eliminate any hostile environment that has been created, prevent any further sex-based offenses and prevent retaliation. Additional remedial action including victim counseling, tutoring, no-contact orders, and/or permitting a student to retake a course may be applied. In addition, the accused may be required to participate in educational intervention.
The student has the right not to file a written report with the police or with Student Judicial Affairs. However, absent egregious and compelling circumstances, the University will not initiate disciplinary action against the accused in the absence of a written signed complaint from the victim.
Students who have been sexually assaulted have access to support services such as changing academic and living situations after an alleged incident, if so requested and if such changes are reasonably available (no police report, disciplinary charge or investigation need occur before this option is available). Support includes:
The student has the right not to file a report. However, students are highly encouraged to seek medical attention, including counseling, either on- or off-campus. Students who wish to file a report at a later date may do so by contacting UAPD or the Coordinator’s Office at 330-972-6048. Please note, a delay in reporting could weaken or result in a loss of evidence used to determine whether an individual is responsible for a sexual misconduct/assault.
The disciplinary process of individual schools or university-related organizations does not supersede this policy. This policy does not negate the right of schools or organizations to institute their own disciplinary process for cases of sexual misconduct/assault. In addition to the criminal and judicial affairs processes, the victim of sexual assault may consider retaining a private attorney for the purpose of filing a civil action.
Counseling may be obtained following an incident involving sexual misconduct, no matter how much time has elapsed since the incident. On and off-campus resources are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for students, faculty and staff members. A variety of counseling services are available. On-campus counseling services are available for students at the Counseling, Center in Simmons Hall 306.
Students who are the victims of a sex-based offense also may be referred to The University of Akron Crisis, Assessment, Referral and Evaluation “CARE” team. The CARE Team is a University Organization that provides guidance and assistance to students who are experiencing crises and responds to students when concerns have been identified for a student’s health, welfare and safety.
Counseling services are free and the services are privileged communications. Counseling services are available for faculty and staff through IMPACT or through psychological services provided through their individual insurance and is privileged communications. The Rape Crisis Center of Medina/Summit Counties provides services and has a 24-hour hotline. For contact information, refer to the Resource chart in this policy.
If a report of a sex-based offense reveals that 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 Public Safety Advisory will be issued. The purpose of the Public Safety Advisory is to enable individuals to protect themselves and to increase safety awareness, as well as to seek information that will lead to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator. The victim’s name and other personally identifiable information will NOT be included in any Emergency Notification or Public Safety Advisory.
Reports of sexual assaults, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking are included in the Annual Security and Fire Safety Report.
The “sexual assault” means an offense classified as a forcible or non-forcible sex offense under the uniform crime reporting system of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The terms includes:
1. Forcible Rape: The carnal knowledge of a person, forcibly and/or against the person's will; or not forcibly or against the person's will when the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity (or because of his/her youth).
2. Forcible Sodomy: Oral or anal sexual intercourse with another person, forcibly and/or against that person's will; or not forcibly against the person's will when the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her youth or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.
3. Sexual Assault/Sexual Misconduct 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, 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 because of his/her youth or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.
4. Forcible Fondling: The touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, 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 because of his/her youth or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental incapacity.
5. Non-Forcible Sex Offenses: Unlawful, non-forcible sexual intercourse including Incest (sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law) and Statutory Rape (sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent.)
6. Domestic Violence:
* The full text of Ohio Revised Code §2919.25 is available at: http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/2919.25.
7. Dating Violence:
The term “dating violence” means violence committed by a person:
(A)(1) No person by engaging in a pattern of conduct shall knowingly cause another person to believe that the offender will cause physical harm to the other person or cause mental distress to the other person.
(A)(2) No person, through the use of any electronic method of remotely transferring information, including, but not limited to, any computer, computer network, computer program, or computer system, shall post a message with purpose to urge or incite another to commit a violation of division (A)(1) of this section.
(A)(3) No person, with a sexual motivation, shall violate division (A)(1) or (2) of this section.
* The full text of Ohio Revised Code §2902.211 is available at: http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/2903.211.
Please note: Definitions of crimes may be legislatively modified at any time and specific crime elements may vary by jurisdiction. Additional offenses also may meet the defined elements of the crimes above (e.g. a trespass also may be considered stalking.)
Sexual harassment consists of unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, sexually motivated physical conduct, or other verbal or physical conduct or communication of a sexual nature.
Sexual harassment is subject to a separate set of policies and guidelines.
For the full Sexual Harassment Policy and definitions, you can go to http://www.uakron.edu/dotAsset/777511.pdf.