Office of Human Resources

Sexual Misconduct Policy for Students

Lewis University does not tolerate sexual misconduct of any type. Our Catholic, Lasallian tradition sees each and every human as created in the image of God, full of dignity and worth. Sexual misconduct is a serious affront to one’s dignity as a person. Sexual misconduct includes but is not limited to sexual harassment, non-consensual sexual intercourse, non-consensual sexual contact and sexual exploitation, as defined below.


Unwelcome , gender-based verbal or physical conduct that is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive and objectively offensive that it deprives someone of educational or employment access, benefits and/or opportunities and is based on power differentials, the creation of a hostile environment or retaliation.


  • any sexual intercourse (anal, oral, or vaginal),
  • however slight,
  • with any object,
  • by a man or woman upon a man or a woman,
  • without effective consent and / by force.


  • any intentional sexual touching,
  • however slight,
  • with any object,
  • by a man or a woman upon a man or a woman,
  • without effective consent and / by force .

Consent is clear, knowing and voluntary. Consent is active, not passive. Silence, in and of itself, cannot be interpreted as consent. Effective consent can be given by words or actions, as long as those words or actions create mutually understandable permission regarding the conditions of sexual activity -- who, what, when, where, why and how sexual activity will take place. In order to be effective, consent cannot be procured by use of physical force, compelling threats, intimidating behavior, or coercion. Coercive behavior differs from seductive behavior based on the type of pressure someone uses to get consent from another. When someone makes clear to you that they do not want sex, that they want to stop, or that they do not want to go past a certain point of sexual interaction, continued pressure beyond that point can be coercive. In order to give effective consent, one must be of legal age. If you have sexual activity with someone you know to be—or should know to be—mentally or physically incapacitated (alcohol or other drug use, unconsciousness or blackout), you are in violation of this policy.

  • Any time sexual activity takes place between individuals, those individuals must be capable of controlling their physical actions and be capable of making rational, reasonable decisions about their sexual behavior.

  • This policy also covers someone whose incapacity results from mental disability, sleep, involuntary physical restraint, or from the taking of a so-called “date-rape” drug. Possession, use and/or distribution of any of these substances, including Rohypnol, Ketomine, GHB, Burundanga, etc. is prohibited, and administering one of these drugs to another student for the purpose of inducing incapacity is a violation of this policy. More information on these drugs can be found at

  • Use of alcohol or other drugs will never function to excuse behavior that violates this policy.

Sexual activity includes:

  • Intentional contact with the breasts, buttock, groin, or genitals, 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.

  • Intercourse however slight, meaning 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).


Occurs when a student 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 student;
  • non-consensual video or audio-taping of sexual activity;
  • going beyond the boundaries of consent (such as letting your friends hide in the closet to watch you having consensual sex);
  • going beyond the boundaries of consent (such as voyeurism or secretly watching other) ;
  • knowingly transmitting an STI or HIV to another student.
  • Exposing one’s genitals in non-consensual circumstances; inducing another to expose their genitals;
  • Sexually-based stalking and/or bullying may also be forms of sexual exploitation


  1. Threatening or causing physical harm, extreme verbal abuse, or other conduct which threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person;
  2. Discrimination, defined as actions that deprive other members of the community of educational or employment access, benefits or opportunities on the basis of gender;
  3. Intimidation, defined as implied threats or acts that cause an unreasonable fear of harm in another;
  4. Hazing, defined as acts likely to cause physical or psychological harm or social ostracism to any person within the university community, when related to the admission, initiation, pledging, joining, or any other group-affiliation activity (as defined further in the Hazing Policy);
  5. Bullying, defined as repeated and/or severe aggressive behavior likely to intimidate or intentionally hurt, control or diminish another person, physically or mentally.
  6. Violence between those in an intimate relationship to each other;
  7. Stalking, defined as repetitive and/or menacing pursuit, following, harassment and/or interference with the peace and/or safety of a member of the community; or the safety of any of the immediate family of members of the community.

When the University has reason to believe that a violation of the sexual misconduct policy has occurred, the University will take immediate and appropriate action through the Judicial Process. The University’s Judicial Process is not dependent upon the outcome of external criminal or civil procedures, and usually is not stayed by them. The University will take action over offenses by students that occur on University property or at University-sponsored events. The University will also take action over alleged violations between students that occur off campus when that off-campus conduct detrimentally affects the university community.

What to do if you are assaulted

Get to a safe place. Any student who believes sexual misconduct may have occurred is encouraged to report the matter promptly to Campus Police. Reporting any sexual misconduct will help Campus Police to conduct an immediate and complete investigation in a timely manner. It is important that evidence be preserved at the scene of the alleged offense, for the integrity of the investigation. Any pieces of clothing, beverages, weapons, etc. should not be touched until the Police officials are on scene. Immediately after an assault, the victim should avoid bathing, washing, or going to the bathroom, if possible. It will be the responsibility of Campus Police personnel to place a guard at the scene of the alleged offense to ensure that no one disturbs the scene prior to the arrival of investigators.

While prompt reporting is helpful, delays in reporting are common, and Lewis University has no explicit time limit on reporting, as long as the accused student is still enrolled. If an assault is committed on campus by a nonstudent, local police and the Dean of Student Services should be notified. If an assault occurs off-campus, the local police in that jurisdiction should be notified. An on-campus complaint may also be filed for off campus conduct between students.

Campus Police will make the Dean of Student Services or the Dean’s designee aware of any reported sexual misconduct. Resident students should report any violation of this sexual misconduct policy to a member of the Residence Life staff, to Campus Police, or to the Dean of Student Services.

Should a sexual offense occur on campus, the victim will need to decide whether or not to pursue the matter with law enforcement officials. If the student was assaulted by another Lewis University student, disciplinary action may follow should the victim file a University complaint. The University may also decide to take action even if the victim does not press criminal charges or file a complaint with the university.

Lewis University takes immediate steps to investigate all reported allegations of sexual misconduct and ensure the safety of victims. The University may change academic and living arrangements after an alleged sex offense, upon request. Victims have the option to changes in academic and living arrangements by contacting the Director of Residence Life or Dean of Student Services, who will also inform victims of their right to contact the police and pursue criminal charges. Victims have the right of access to campus counseling resources as well.

In a sexual misconduct case, it is the University’s duty to balance privacy for the victim and the “public’s right to know.” In this balance, maintaining the victim’s privacy is paramount. Any release of information about an alleged violation of the sexual misconduct policy will not include personally identifying information about the victim without permission.

Immunity for Victims

Although the University does not condone violations of university policies, it considers reporting assaults to be of paramount importance, and will therefore extend limited immunity to victims in order to foster reporting and adjudication of sexual misconduct. Additionally, the University will extend limited immunity to others who report violations of sexual misconduct or assist victims of sexual misconduct.

Support Services

The following Campus Victim Support Services will be notified so that they can be available to assist the victim:

  1. Chief of Police
  2. Director of Resident Life
  3. Dean of Student Services
  4. Director of Counseling Services
  5. Director of Health Services
  6. Director of University Ministry
  7. Vice President for Student Services

The following off-campus victim support services are available to assist the victim:

  1. Provena St. Joseph Medical Center
    Emergency Room Sexual Assault Team
    333 N. Madison St.
    Joliet, IL
    (815) 725-7133

  2. Silver Cross Hospital
    1200 Maple Road
    Joliet, IL
    (815) 740-7050 (Emergency Room)

  3. Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital
    500 Remington Boulevard
    Bolingbrook, IL
    (630) 312-5000

  4. Crisis Line of Will County
    (815) 722-3344

  5. Groundwork
    (815) 729-1228

  6. Sexual Assault Services Center

  7. Linden Oaks Hospital
    852 West Street
    Naperville, IL
    (800) 955-OAKS (6257)

The Judicial Process

Once the documentation phase of the investigation is complete, at the request of the victim, the alleged offender will be referred to the judicial process. Alleged violations of the sexual misconduct policy will result in a Judicial Board Hearing. These board hearings are arranged promptly with the purpose of providing resolution of the case in a timely manner. Judicial Board hearings are conducted by a lead hearing officer, presenting officer(s), and a minimum of two hearing officers. The Board receives training in conducting hearings specifically related to sexual misconduct violations. Prior to the hearing, all parties will be advised of their rights.

Rights of the Alleged Victim

  • Right to an investigation and appropriate resolution of all credible complaints of sexual misconduct made in good faith to the university
  • Right to be treated with respect by university officials
  • Right of both accuser and accused to have the same opportunity to have other present (in support or advisory roles) during a campus hearing
  • Right not be discouraged by the University from reporting an assault to both on campus and off-campus authorities
  • Right to be informed of the outcome and sanction of any disciplinary hearing involving sexual misconduct
  • Right to be informed by the University of options to notify proper law enforcement, including on-campus and local police. Additionally, if the victim chooses to notify such authorities, the University will assist the victim in making contacts
  • Right to available counseling, mental health or student services for victims of sexual assault, both on campus and in the community
  • Right to changing academic and living situations after an alleged sexual assault incident
  • Right not to have any irrelevant prior sexual admitted into a judicial hearing
  • Right not to have any complaint of sexual assault mediated
  • Right to make a victim-impact statement at the judicial hearing and to have the statement considered by the board in determining the sanction
  • Right to a campus no-contact against another student who has engaged in any improper behavior that presents a danger to the welfare of the complaining student
  • The right to appeal the findings of the judicial board
  • Right to review all documents regarding the complaint 48 hours prior to the hearing
  • Right to be informed of the names of all witness who will be called to the hearing, within 48 hours of the hearing
  • Right to petition that any member of the board be removed on the basis of demonstrated bias
  • Right to a hearing by means other than having to face the accused student
  • Right to be informed of the judicial board procedures as well as the extent and nature of the alleged violation
  • Right to the complaint heard by the board members that are representative of both genders and have received sexual misconduct adjudication training
  • Right to be informed in advance of any public releases of information regarding the complaint

The Office of Student Services conducts Judicial Board Hearings with the purpose of examining relevant information in order to determine whether the accused student is in violation or not in violation. The hearing is conducted fairly and objectively. Judicial Board makes decisions based on preponderance of evidence. Only persons directly involved with the case and their advisors are permitted to attend the hearing.

The sexual history and character of the complainant will not be discussed in the hearing. Both the alleged victim and the alleged offender are entitled to have an advisor present during a hearing. Both the victim and the alleged offender will be informed of the outcome of the hearing and any appeals, in writing, within 48 hours of the conclusion of the hearing. If the Judicial Board determines the alleged offender to be in violation of this sexual misconduct policy, sanctions will be imposed.


Lewis University will act to promptly and equitably remedy sexual misconduct. While sanctions range from warning to expulsion, suspension and expulsion must be considered for those found in violation of the non-consensual sexual intercourse policy. In acting to sanction and remedy misconduct, Lewis is guided by the need to bring an end to discriminatory conduct, act to reasonably prevent its future reoccurrence, and to remedy the effects of the discrimination upon the victim.

This policy has been revised by the National Center for Higher Education Risk Management ( Some language used here may be from proprietary NCHERM model policies, and is used with permission. Please seek permission from NCHERM to use or adapt its materials.

Featured Personalities of Title IX

  • Dr. Amanda Harsy Ramsay

    "If you have interest in a STEM field, you should definitely pursue it. Don’t force a STEM major, be willing to change paths if it isn’t what you want."

    I constantly remind myself that my worth is not determined by how high I climb up the academic ladder. There is so much more to my life. Keeping this in perspective and doing my best to keep a good balance between my work life and home life, helps me to persevere.

  • Dr. Dana Dominiak

    "Do what you love. When you do what you love, it's not work."

    People should choose to do what they love. If they happen to love science, they are lucky because now STEM careers are in demand and jobs pay very well. There is also a national push to get more women into STEM fields, so young women today will have vast opportunity beyond any women in history.

  • Dr. Cynthia Misischia

    "The only truly ‘closed’ door is the one you choose not to open."

    In many of the sciences, there is a growing field of opportunity for women to become involved. In criminal investigations, having a female perspective in behavior and victimology may provide insights into the investigative process that a strictly male point-of-view might overlook.

Faculty Title IX Resources

Commitment to Equal Employment Opportunity

Lewis University is an equal opportunity employer. Decisions regarding hiring, promotion, termination, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, training, discipline, and all other decisions regarding the terms and conditions of employment will be made without regard to race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, age, marital status, national origin, veteran status, genetic information, disability, or any other basis prohibited by applicable federal, state or local laws which is unrelated to the ability to perform the job or which can be reasonably accommodated.