Harassment/Sexual Misconduct

Heidelberg University does not and will not tolerate harassment of our students on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, age or disability. The university recognizes the adverse impact of harassment on academic and residential success, and recognizes that those being harassed may personally suffer adverse effects. All students are entitled to an environment free from all forms of unlawful discrimination and harassment. In order to properly educate students about harassment and sexual misconduct, programming is offered in university residence halls and through the Dean of Student Affairs Office. This policy demonstrates the University’s commitment to addressing this important concern.


Harassment is physical conduct, verbal conduct or other expressive behavior, including written, pictorial, or electronic expression that explicitly demeans any person(s), and 1) interferes with education, employment or other University-authorized activity; or 2) creates an intimidating, hostile or demeaning environment for education, University-related work, or other University-authorized activity. It is a violation of University policy to engage in harassment, or to retaliate against anyone bringing forth an honestly perceived complaint of harassment.

Verbal harassment includes, but is not limited to, name calling, slurs, and epithets, jokes or other remarks that demean the victim and/or discourage the individual’s full participation in the University’s community. Physical harassment occurs when a person’s body, possessions, or residence are threatened or abused.

In addition to the preceding definition, harassment refers to behavior that is not welcome, which is particularly offensive, which debilitates morale and which therefore interferes with the work, academic effectiveness, or living environment of its victims, their co-workers or peers.

Harassment of students will not be tolerated. Students who have questions about harassment or who wish to discuss a complaint should contact the Dean of Student Affairs Office. Students are also free to contact the Tiffin City Police Department to file appropriate charges. If the case cannot be resolved at this level, the appropriate grievance procedure will be employed. Students charged with harassment will be referred to the appropriate judicial body (see Heidelberg University Student Code on page 26 for more information).

Sexual Misconduct

Sexual misconduct, in a university setting, is “non-consensual physical contact of a sexual nature,” such as acts using force, threat, intimidation, or advantage gained by the offended person’s mental or physical incapacity or impairment of which the offending person was aware or should have been aware. Sexual Misconduct may include, but is not limited to:

  1. Non-consensual sexual intercourse, which is any sexual intercourse by any person upon another without consent. This includes oral, anal and vaginal penetration, however slight, with any object. It is referred to as “sexual assault” in this policy.
  2. Non-consensual sexual contact, which is any sexual touching with any object, by any person upon another, without consent. Sexual touching is contact of a sexual nature, however slight.
  3. Other forms of sexual misconduct include, but are not limited to:
    1. Sexual exhibitionism
    2. Prostitution or the solicitation of a prostitute
    3. Peeping or other voyeurism
    4. Going beyond the boundaries of consent, e.g., by allowing others to view consensual sex or the non-consensual video or audiotaping of sexual activity.

Consent means informed, freely given agreement, communicated by clearly understandable words or actions, to participate in each form of sexual activity. Consent cannot be inferred from silence, passivity, or lack of active resistance. A current or previous dating or sexual relationship is not sufficient to constitute consent, and consent to one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity. By definition, there is not consent when there is a threat of force or violence or any other form of coercion or intimidation, physical or psychological. A person who is the object of sexual aggression is not required to physically or otherwise resist the aggressor; the lack of informed, freely given consent to sexual contact constitutes sexual misconduct. Intoxication is not an excuse for failure to obtain consent. A person incapacitated by alcohol or drug consumption, or who is unconscious or asleep or otherwise physically impaired, is incapable of giving consent.


To report Harassment/Sexual Misconduct or to obtain assistance in determining whether or not you have been or are a victim of Harassment/Sexual Misconduct, students should contact the Dean of Student Affairs in Campus Center Room 328, or by calling (419)448-2062. As an alternative to the Dean of Student Affairs, students may also contact the Director of Security in Campus Center Room 206 or by calling (419)448-2211. Students are also free to contact the Tiffin City Police Department to file appropriate charges.

Investigation Procedures

Harassment/Sexual misconduct between students will be investigated by the Dean of Student Affairs Office. Harassment/Sexual misconduct between students and staff or students and faculty will be jointly investigated by the appropriate Vice President and the Dean of Student Affairs. Students are also free to contact the Tiffin City Police Department to file appropriate charges.

All complaints will be investigated in a timely and responsible manner. Students charged with harassment or sexual misconduct will be referred to the appropriate judicial body. Confidentiality of all information obtained during the investigation will be protected, as much as possible, to the extent the investigation is not compromised. All witnesses and those interviewed during the investigation are expected to treat the matter as confidential. All students (and others) who are part of the investigation have the duty to answer all questions honestly and completely. Individual(s) alleged to have committed harassment/sexual misconduct have the right to be presented with the allegations and have a responsibility and a right to respond to the allegations. Both the person(s) claiming harassment/sexual misconduct and the accused have the right to a prompt and complete investigation of the claim as well as learning the result of the investigation.

Disciplinary Action

If evidence indicates that a student is responsible for harassment/sexual misconduct, the sanction may include suspension from Heidelberg University. If evidence supports a finding that a charge of harassment/sexual misconduct is false, the student responsible for bring the false charge may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including suspension.

Confidentiality And Retaliation

The University will keep all complaints of harassment/sexual misconduct and all communications, such as interviews and witness statements, in strict confidence. The University will not tolerate retaliation against any student who complains of harassment/sexual misconduct or provides information in connection with any such complaint. Any student who impedes an investigation, covers up the truth, or retaliates against a complainant shall be subject to disciplinary action up to and including suspension from Heidelberg University.

Coping with Sexual Misconduct

Students who believe they may be the victim of sexual misconduct may find confidential assistance through one of the following agencies and/or University offices.

Heidelberg Campus Ministry 419-448-2066
Heidelberg Health Center/Counseling Services 419-448-2042
Heidelberg Dean of Student Affairs Office 419-448-2062
Heidelberg Safety and Security 419-448-2211
Open Arms Domestic Violence & Rape Crisis Center, Findlay, Ohio 419-422-4766
Tiffin Mercy Hospital 419-448-3167
Ohio Coalition on Sexual Assault 888-336-8672
Rape Assault and Incest National Network (RAINN) Hotline 800-656-HOPE