Sexual Misconduct Policies

Lake Erie College is committed to providing a campus climate that promotes respect and concern for every individual who studies, works and/or lives on campus.  Any form of harassment, gender discrimination, assault, sexual violence (including sexual harassment, sexual assault, intimate partner violence, dating violence and stalking) is prohibited and regarded as a serious matter. Sexual misconduct often exploits a relationship between individuals of unequal power and authority (for example, the relationship between an employee and a supervisor or between a student and a teacher), but may also occur between social and professional peers. Sexual misconduct may involve the behavior of a person of either gender against a person of the opposite or same gender. Sanctions for sexual misconduct range from warnings and mandatory education about sexual misconduct issues to dismissal or termination, depending on the seriousness and frequency of the behavior.  

Sexual Misconduct Offenses include, but are not limited to:

Sexual Harassment

Sexual Harassment is unwelcome, sex or gender‐based verbal or physical conduct that is sufficiently severe, persistent and/or pervasive. When these behaviors have the effect of unreasonably interfering with, denying or limiting someone’s ability to participate in or benefit from the College’s educational programs and/or activities, or fulfill their work responsibilities, it is in violation of this policy.  Sexual harassment can be based on power differentials (quid pro quo), the creation of a hostile environment, or retaliation. 

Specific examples of sexual and sex-based harassment may include: requests for sexual favors; unwanted physical contact (touching, pinching or brushing the body); verbal harassment (sexual innuendos, suggestive comments, jokes of a sexual nature, sexual propositions, threats); non-verbal conduct, such as a display of sexually suggestive objects or pictures, leering, whistling, or obscene gestures; acts of physical aggression, intimidation, hostility, threats or unequal treatment based on sex (even if not sexual in a nature).

Non-Consensual Sexual Contact

Any intentional sexual touching, however slight, with any object, by a person upon a person that is without consent and/or by force.  Examples include, but are not limited to: Intentional contact with the breasts, buttock, groin, genitals, mouth or other orifice, or touching another with any of these body parts, or making another touch you or themselves with or on any of these body parts; any intentional bodily contact in a sexual manner, though not involving contact with/of/by breasts, buttocks, groin, genitals, mouth or other orifice.

Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse

Any sexual penetration however slight, with any object, by a person upon a person that is without consent and/or by force.  Examples include, but are not limited to: Vaginal penetration by a penis, object, tongue or finger, anal penetration by a penis, object, tongue, or finger, and oral copulation (mouth to genital contact or genital to mouth contact), no matter how slight the penetration or contact.  

Sexual Exploitation

Occurs when an individual takes non‐consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for his/her own advantage or benefit, or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited, and that behavior does not otherwise constitute one of other sexual misconduct offenses.   Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to: Invasion of sexual privacy; prostituting another individual; non‐consensual video or audio‐taping of sexual activity; going beyond the boundaries of consent (such as allowing others to hide in proximity to witness sexual activity); engaging in voyeurism; knowingly exposing another unaware individual an STD or HIV; exposing one’s genitals in non‐consensual circumstances; inducing another to expose their genitals.

Intimate Partner Violence

Intimate Partner Violence, also known as Dating Violence is defined as violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of romantic or intimate nature and where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the length of the relationship; the type of relationship; and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. The abuse can take a variety of forms such as isolation, displaying a self-destructive behavior, physical, sexual, psychological or emotional and economic abuse. 


Repetitive, menacing pursuit, harassment and/or interference with the peace and/or safety of a member of the College community. Stalking may take many forms, including, but not limited to, persistent calling, texting, direct messaging, posting on a social networking site, monitoring behavior, taking pictures or physical stalking.

Quid Pro Quo

Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature by a person having power or authority over another when submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment, educational benefits, academic grades or opportunities, living environment or participation in a College activity.


Consent is clear, knowing and voluntary. Consent is active, not passive. Silence, in and of itself, cannot be interpreted as consent. Consent can be given by words or actions, as long as those words or actions create mutually understandable clear permission regarding willingness to engage in (and the conditions of sexual activity. 

  • Consent to any one form of sexual activity does not automatically imply consent to any other forms of sexual activity. 
  • Previous relationships or prior consent does not imply consent to future sexual acts.   o NOTE: There is no requirement that a party resists the sexual advance or request, but resistance is a clear demonstration of non‐consent. The presence of force is not demonstrated by the absence of resistance. Sexual activity that is forced is by definition non‐consensual, but nonconsensual sexual activity is not by definition forced.
  • In order to give effective consent, one must be of legal age.
  • Sexual activity with someone who should know to be ‐‐or based on the circumstances should reasonably have known to be ‐‐ mentally or physically incapacitated (by alcohol or other drug use, unconsciousness or blackout) constitutes a violation of this policy.  

Force is the use of physical violence and/or imposing on someone physically to gain sexual access. Force can also include threats, intimidation (implied threats) and coercion that overcome resistance or produce consent.

Coercion is unreasonable pressure for sexual activity.  Coercive behavior differs from seductive behavior based on the type of pressure someone uses to get consent from another. When someone makes clear that sex is not wanted, want it to stop, or do not want to go past a certain point of sexual interaction, continued pressure beyond that point can be coercive.

Incapacitation is a state where someone cannot make rational, reasonable decisions because they lack the capacity to give knowing consent (e.g., to understand the “who, what, when, where, why or how” of their sexual interaction).

  • This policy also covers a person whose incapacity results alcohol or drug use, mental disability, sleep, involuntary physical restraint, or from the ingesting of “rape drugs”. Possession, use and/or distribution of any of these substances is a violation of this policy. • Use of alcohol or other drugs will never function as a defense to a violation of this policy.  
  • The sexual orientation and/or gender identity of individuals engaging in sexual activity is not relevant to allegations under this policy.