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. Members of the community, guests and visitors have the right to be free from sexual violence and discrimination. All members of the community are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that respects the rights of others to control their sexual behavior and bodily integrity.  All members of the community have the right to decline to engage in any sexual activity without fear of retaliation or adverse actions from the person seeking to engage in that activity.   The University Sexual Misconduct Policy has been developed to reaffirm this expectation and to provide recourse for those individuals whose rights have been violated.  The University enforces this policy regardless of the sexual orientation or gender identity of individuals engaging in sexual activity.  The University takes seriously any incidents of sexual misconduct that come to its attention, whether by formal complaint or other means.  Resolution by the University is intended to bring an end to harassing or discriminatory conduct, prevent its recurrence and remedy the effects on the victim and the community. 

Some violations of this policy may also violate the criminal laws of the State of Illinois.  Victims of sexual misconduct that also experience violations of criminal law may, at their option, proceed with a complaint to law enforcement authorities as well as to the University under this policy. 

In applying this policy, the sex, gender identification, and sexual orientation of the parties to the incidents is irrelevant to whether a violation has occurred. Voluntary use of alcohol or other judgment impairing substances by a person whose conduct otherwise violates this policy will rarely, if ever, excuse the behavior.

Sexual misconduct prohibited by this policy includes but is not limited to sexual harassment, non-consensual sexual intercourse, non-consensual sexual contact,  sexual exploitation, dating violence, domestic violence, and possession, distribution or administration of “date rape” drugs.

Occurs when gender-based verbal or physical conduct is reasonably found to be offensive by the person(s) exposed to the behavior and is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive to deprive or materially interfere with the exposed person(s)’  ability to participate in or enjoy the benefits of the University’s educational, extracurricular programs, and/or employment opportunities.  Sexual harassment is not always sexually explicit and can involve differential treatment of persons of one sex that has the purpose and effect of creating a hostile environment.  It may also include acts taken in retaliation for a person’s refusal to engage in sexual activity. 


  • Any sexual intercourse (anal, oral, or vaginal),
  • However slight,
  • Whether with an object or body part,
  • By any person upon any person,
  • Without effective consent


  • Any intentional sexual touching,
  • However slight,
  • With any object or body part,
  • By any person upon any person,
  • Without effective consent

Occurs when a student takes abusive sexual advantage of another for his/her own advantage or benefit, or that of  third persons, and that behavior does not otherwise constitute one of the 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 (ex. permitting or participating in voyeurism or secretly watching others who are engaged in consensual behavior)
  • Knowingly transmitting a sexually transmitted disease to another student
  • Exposing one’s genitals in non-consensual circumstances or inducing another to expose their genitals
  • Sexually-based stalking and/or bullying may also be forms of sexual exploitation

Dating violence is violence, including sexual or physical abuse, or threat of the same, committed by a person who is currently, or has been previously, involved in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the alleged victim.

Domestic violence is violence, including sexual or physical abuse, or threat of the same, committed by a person who is currently, or has been previously, the alleged victim’s spouse, cohabitant, or other person protected by family or domestic law (ex. someone who shares a child with the alleged victim).


  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. Bullying, defined as repeated and/or severe aggressive behavior likely to intimidate or intentionally hurt, control or diminish another person, physically or mentally.
  5. 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.

Possession, use and/or distribution or non-consensual administration to another of any so-called rape or date rape substances, including Rohypnol, Ketomine, GHB, Burundanga, etc. is prohibited and a violation of this policy. 

Violations of other University polices, such as those relating to domestic violence, stalking, bullying or other misconduct which also involve conduct prohibited by this policy may be addressed by the University as violations of all implicated policies.


Effective Consent:
To be effective, consent must be clear, knowing and voluntary.  Consent should normally be affirmatively expressed rather than inferred from silence, acquiescence or lack of objection by the recipient of sexual touching, intercourse or other conduct.  Effective 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 by itself imply consent to any other forms of sexual activity.
  • Previous relationships or consent given on prior occasions does not imply consent to sexual acts with other persons or at other times.
  • A person’s manner of dress does not constitute consent.
  • Consent from a person who is not of legal age is not effective consent.
  • Consent from a person who is known to be or should be recognized as incapacitated, whether by drugs, alcohol, disability or other factor is not effective consent.
  • Effective consent cannot be given by someone who is asleep, unconscious or only semi-conscious. 
  • Consent, even if freely given, can be withdrawn at any time by words or acts that convey that consent no longer exists.  Continuation of sexual touching or intercourse after consent is withdrawn is a violation of this policy. 
  • Consent obtained by force or coercion is not effective consent.

Force is the use or threat of physical violence, restraint and/or imposing on someone physically to gain sexual access to that person or another.  Such as using superior size or strength to limit another’s ability to remove him/herself from a sexual situation or to believe that leaving would be unsafe.  

Coercion is unreasonable pressure for sexual activity.  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, particularly if the pressure suggests negative consequences or appeals to the social or other fears of the person refusing consent. 

Incapacitation or incapacity means that a person is in a state where he/she cannot make rational and reasonable decisions or to understand the circumstances of the sexual activity sufficiently to provide effective consent.  Incapacity can be the result of drug or alcohol use, lack of onsciousness/sleep, mental disability or physical restraint.

Sexual Touching:
Sexual touching  means 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; or any intentional bodily contact in a sexual manner, though not involving contact with/of/by breasts, buttocks, groin, genitals, mouth or other orifice.

Sexual Intercourse:
Sexual Intercourse  means  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).

Special consideration for matters involving Sexual Assault
If you believe you have been the victim of a sexual assault, nonconsensual intercourse or touching, or any violation of this policy involving physical violence or the threat thereof, there are additional factors to consider.  First, get to a safe place, and report the matter to Lewis University Police or municipal police if the event occurs off campus.  Your safety is paramount. Reporting sexual assault promptly  will help Campus Police to conduct an immediate and complete investigation in a timely manner and to  preserve evidence  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, until you have talked with law enforcement personnel about evidence gathering.  Ultimately, it will be your decision whether you wish to proceed with a criminal complaint, a complaint within the University Conduct Process or both.  However, your ability to make the decision that is right for you will be enhanced if the evidence is preserved and you promptly get the assistance you need, either from University or off-campus resources.

Victims may have a medical forensic examination completed at no cost in accordance with the Sexual Assault Survivors Emergency Treatment Act.  The following are hospitals in close proximity to Lewis University:

  1. Presence St. Joseph Medical Center
    333 N. Madison St.
    Joliet, IL 60435
    (815) 725-7133

  2. Silver Cross Hospital
    1900 Silver Cross Blvd
    New Lenox, IL 60541
    (815) 300-1100

  3. Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital
    500 Remington Boulevard
    Bolingbrook, IL 60440
    (630) 312-5000

Reporting Conduct You Believe Violates this Policy
Students who believe their rights under this policy, or those of another community member, have been violated are encouraged to report the matter promptly.  The University does not impose any specific deadlines for reporting instances of violations, and understands that delays in reporting, particularly in case of sexual assault, are not uncommon.  The University does encourage prompt reporting because the sooner the matter is reported, the more effective the investigation and response of the University can be. 

Making a Report
Reports of sexual misconduct may be submitted to the University and/or to Law Enforcement.  Reporting to one neither precludes nor requires reporting to the other. 

To Whom At the University Reports Should be Made
To make a report, you can contact the Lewis University Police Department, the Title IX Coordinator or one of the Deputy Title IX Coordinators; Residence Life Staff; Deans, Assistant Deans, Faculty members, Coaches; or managerial level administrators of the University. These persons have an obligation to forward reports of violations to the Title IX Coordinator, who is responsible for overseeing the University’s response. Should you make a report, and not receive a response or what you consider an appropriate
response, you should bring the matter directly to the attention of the Title IX Coordinator or one of the Deputy Title IX coordinators. A report to any of these persons will result in the University commencing an investigation into the matter in order to: provide necessary aid to the victim; determine responsibility or persons involved; determine steps avoid further harm to the victim and campus community; and remediate the issue.

For persons who desire to seek assistance, but who either do not desire to initiate an investigation, or are unsure if they wish to, a list of confidential sources (those who are not obligated to provide information to the Title IX Coordinator) of assistance is provided later in this policy.

Understanding Privacy and Confidentiality
A common concern when reporting sexual misconduct is the sensitive nature of the matter and what, if any, information will be shared with other people.  It is important to know the level of privacy that students can expect from different on-campus and off-campus resources.  Essentially there are four levels of privacy that can pertain to internal communications made to the University, depending on who you talk to and the circumstances of the conversation:  Privileged; Confidential; Need to Know and Anonymous. 

Privileged Communication
Privileged Communications are those you would make to a Doctor, Therapist or Counselor for purposes of seeking therapeutic treatment, or to a clergy member for purposes of confession.  These conversations are highly privileged by law and in the case of medical providers generally can be revealed only when there is a high risk of harm to you or others and only as needed to avoid the harm, or if there is abuse of a minor child involved.  

Confidential Communication
Confidential communications are those you might make to staff members working under the guidance of a Health Care professional in the Student Wellness Center.  Disclosure of a personally identifiable aspect of a communication with a Confidential resource can usually only be shared with other if you give your affirmative permission.  As a result, when you report or discuss an instance of sexual misconduct with a Confidential Resource, that person does not report the matter to the Title IX Coordinator and no investigation is opened.  A Confidential Resource is there to provide assistance and support, that may include referrals to support agencies, help in understanding the internal and external resources and measures available to you, and help you understand and navigate the processes that may apply to your situation.  Confidential resources can be required to divulge information in the same circumstances as health care providers, and in addition may have to disclose personally identifiable information in response to a subpoena or other legal order from a court.  It is important to note, confidential resources may have a duty to report information you disclose, but without identifying you personally, for purposes of fulfilling the University’s commitment to honest reporting of crime statistics and proactively seeking ways to prevent sexual misconduct from occurring.  In those instances, only limited information which is not identifiable to you will be released without your consent. 

Need to Know Communications
When a report is made to a responsible employee of the University, that employee is required to bring the matter to the attention of the Title IX coordinator, who is obligated to investigate and respond.  Throughout the investigation and resolution process the University seeks to protect the privacy of all concerned by limiting information to those persons who have a need to know.  However, to do an appropriate investigation and fulfill the preventative and remedial aspects of this policy, some sharing of personally identifiable information about the victim with the accused, witnesses to the event or school officials involved in the complaint resolution process may be necessary.  Students who are the victims of an alleged violation may request anonymity, but should be aware that in some circumstances the request for anonymity, if granted, may impede the ability to effectively investigate or address the violation.  The Title IX coordinator may deny the request if allowing anonymity would present a significant risk of harm to other members of the community.

Anonymous Communications
Additionally, reports may be submitted electronically and anonymously online at  An anonymous report can be helpful in the University’s efforts to discern patterns and formulate preventative measures.  However, depending on the circumstances and kind of information disclosed anonymously, it may not be possible to provide services to an undisclosed victim or conduct a meaningful investigation unless the person making the anonymous report comes forward. 

Reports to Police Departments
Reports to the municipal police departments are outside the control and policies of the University.  Most police departments have officers who are trained to handle reports of sexual crimes in a sensitive manner.  However their policies and obligations regarding further reporting of information to prosecutors or others in the criminal justice system may require disclosure of personally identifiable information.  This is something you can discuss with an officer at the relevant police department if you chose to report a matter there. 

Confidential Advisors
An additional resource available to alleged victims is a Confidential Advisor.  These trained persons can provide additional support related to reporting an incident and navigating the resolution process while maintaining confidentiality as described above. A confidential advisor can:

  • Provide information to the alleged victim regarding possible next steps and the choices available to them, such as reporting an incident to the University or law enforcement
  • Inform the alleged victim of support resources and services available both on and off campus
  • Inform the alleged victim of their rights and the University’s responsibilities regarding interim measures, no-contact orders, civil orders of protection or other similar orders from a court.
  • Provide confidential services to and have privileged, confidential communications with the alleged victim.
  • At the alleged victim’s request, act as a liaison with University officials, community based resources, and/or law enforcement, as well as, if requested, assist the alleged victim in contacting the same.
  • At the alleged victim’s request, liaise with the University to secure interim measures and/or accommodations for the alleged victim.
On Campus Resources
On-Campus Confidential/Privileged Resources

Assistant Dean of Student Services & Title IX Coordinator
Dr. DeSean E. Coleman
(815) 836-5597 or (815) 520-0115

Lewis University Police Department
Lower Level of the Student Union
Emergency: (815) 836-5911 or 5911
Non-Emergency: (815) 836-5222

Student Wellness Center
Lower Level of Mother Teresa Hall
(815) 836-5455


Electronic & Anonymous Reporting
Off-Campus, Confidential Resources

Student Wellness Center
Lower Level of Mother Teresa Hall
(815) 836-5455

Guardian Angel Community Services
168 N. Ottawa Street
Joliet, IL 60432
(815) 729-0930 (Main Number)

(815) 730-8984
(24 hour Sexual Assault hotline)

(815) 729-1228 (24 hour Domestic Violence Hotline)

Off-Campus Law Enforcement

Romeoville Police Department
1050 W Romeo Rd, Romeoville, IL 60446
(815) 886-7219

Emergency: 911

University Response to a Report
Once a report of sexual misconduct is received by the Title IX Coordinator, the University will begin an investigation.  While the exact response will be determined based on the nature of the information received and the wishes of the alleged victim, generally the University’s response can be divided into three phases.

Initial Response
During the initial response, the University will identify and attempt to contact the alleged victim.  Once contact has been made, the University will provide support resource information and interview the alleged victim.  The alleged victim will also be presented with concise, plain language, literature explaining their rights and options to resolve the complaint through the University and/or law enforcement.  The level of participation and information shared is determined by the alleged victim.  Requests for anonymity and privacy, as well as the specificity of information provided, may limit the University’s ability to full respond to the incident.  Alleged victims may also request specific action or inaction regarding how the complaint is resolved.  In most cases, the University will attempt to honor these wishes.  However, there may be times when the University will pursue an investigation and resolution independently in order to ensure the safety of the community and maintain a non-discriminatory environment.  In those cases, the alleged victim will be notified and their privacy will be protected to the extent possible. 

In cases where reports are submitted electronically, the University will respond to the reporting party, if identified, within twelve (12) hours.

Following the initial response to a report, the University will investigate the alleged violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy.  The investigation is conducted by a team of trained investigators.  The investigators will meet with both the complainant and respondent independently, as well as witnesses who have relevant information.  During interviews with either party, the investigators will explain a summary of the parties’ rights, the investigation process, and offer support resources.  The investigators will ask each party for all relevant information pertaining to the allegations.  Both the complainant and respondent may suggest witnesses, present evidence (documents, pictures, etc.), or any other relevant information.  Following the interview, each party may submit supplemental relevant information as necessary. 

During the interviews, the complainant and respondent may have an advisor of their choosing present.  The role of the advisor is explained in detail in the advisor section of this policy.

Once the investigators have interviewed all parties, witnesses, and reviewed all relevant information, an investigation report will be compiled.  Once completed, this report will be made available to both the complainant and respondent to review.  After any additions or corrections, the report will be finalized.

Resolving allegations of sexual misconduct can be divided into two categories, informal and formal.

Informal resolutions may be used in limited and appropriate circumstances.  Typically, these resolutions are used only when the respondent acknowledges their behavior was inappropriate, caused harm to the complainant, and both parties agree that it would be useful to participate in a structured, informal interaction (ex. mediation).  Informal resolution, and any conditions related to it, must be agreed to by both the complainant and respondent.  The administration of any informal resolution will be facilitated by University staff.

Formal resolution to a report of sexual misconduct will be handled through the University Conduct Board Process outlined in this handbook.  Board hearings are conducted by trained board members with the purpose of examining relevant information in order to determine whether the accused student is in violation or not in violation of University policy. The hearing is conducted fairly and objectively.  The Board makes decisions based on a preponderance of the evidence.  Only persons directly involved with the case and their advisors are permitted to attend the hearing.  

Interim Protective Measures and Retaliation
At any time prior to the final resolution of a report, the University may implement, either at the request of the alleged  victim or on its own initiative, interim measures that are designed to promote a healthy and safe environment while the resolution process is continuing.  Examples of these measures include:

  • Changes in academic, living, dining, transportation and working situations
  • Obtaining a campus No Contact Order
  • Honoring on campus an order of protection issued by a civil or criminal court

Lewis University strictly prohibits any retaliation against anyone who in good faith reports, assists in reporting, or participates in the investigation and/or resolution of an alleged violation of the sexual misconduct policy.  Retaliation includes, but is not limited to: intimidation, threats, harassment, or other adverse action.  Reports of retaliation will be addressed in the student conduct process and may result in sanctions up to and including disciplinary suspension or expulsion from the University.  

Immunity for Alleged Victims
Although the University does not condone violations of University policies, it considers reporting sexual assaults to be of paramount importance.  Therefore in cases involving sexual misconduct, the University will extend limited immunity to victims for violations of other University policies (for example underage drinking) 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.  Limits to this immunity typically apply to violations that are deemed egregious or jeopardized the health or safety of any person.

Support Services

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

  1. Student Wellness Center
    Lower Level of Mother Teresa Hall
    (815) 836-5455
  2. Office of Student Services
    Upper Level of the Student Union
    (815) 836-5275
  3. University Ministry
    Sancta Alberta Chapel
    (815) 836-5550

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

  1. Provena St. Joseph Medical Center
    333 N. Madison St.
    Joliet, IL
    (815) 725-7133
  2. Silver Cross Hospital
    1900 Silver Cross Blvd
    New Lenox, IL 60541
    (815) 300-1100
  3. Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital
    500 Remington Boulevard
    Bolingbrook, IL
    (630) 312-5000
  4. Groundwork Domestic Violence Hotline (24 hour)
    (815) 729-1228
  5. Guardian Angel Sexual Assault Hotline (24 hour)
  6. Crisis Line of Will County (24 hour)
    (815) 722-3344
  7. Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) 
    (800) 656-4673 (24 hour)
  8. National Domestic Violence Hotline 
    (800) 799−7233 (24 hour) 
  9. Love Is Respect 
    (866) 331-9474 (24 hour)
  10. Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence (ICADV) 
    (217) 789-2830
  11. Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault (ICASA) 
    (217) 753-4117

Rights of the Parties

  • Right to an even-handed investigation and appropriate resolution of all 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 an advisor present during interviews and campus hearings
  • 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 alleged victim chooses to notify such authorities, the University will assist the victim in making contacts
  • Right to available counseling, mental health or student services both on campus and in the community
  • Right to interim protective measures and accommodations, such as changes to academic and living situations after an alleged incident
  • Right not to have any irrelevant prior sexual history admitted into a conduct hearing
  • Right not to have any complaint of sexual assault mediated
  • Right to present evidence, suggest witnesses to be interviewed or called and to provide other relevant information during the investigation and at the conduct hearing.  In cases where a violation is found, the victim has the right to make an impact statement and the person found in violation a statement in mitigation before any sanction decision is made.
  • 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 conduct 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 face-to-face contact between the parties
  • Right to be informed of the conduct board procedures as well as the extent and nature of the alleged violation
  • Right to have 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

Both the victim and the alleged offender will be informed of the outcome of the hearing, as well as the rational for the outcome of the hearing, any sanctions issued, and any appeals, in writing, within 48 hours of the conclusion of the hearing. In most cases, the initial decision of the Board (including the investigation) will be completed within 60 days.

Role of the Advisor in Sexual Misconduct Cases:
The term “advisor” is defined as any person selected by either party to assist and accompany them through the University conduct process.  Parties may choose to have an advisor or may choose to proceed without an advisor. A student shall not select an advisor with the actual or effective purpose of disrupting the hearing, causing emotional distress to the other party, or otherwise attempting to disrupt the process. The advisor may (1) accompany the student in any interview or disciplinary hearing, (2) advise the student in the preparation and presentation of information, and (3) advise the student in the preparation of any appeals.  The advisor shall not perform any function in the process other than advising the student and may not make a presentation or represent the student in any way.  The parties are expected to ask and respond to questions on their own behalf, without representation by the advisor. The advisor may consult with their advisee quietly, in writing, or outside during breaks, but may not speak on behalf of their advisee. Delays in the conduct process will not be allowed due to scheduling conflicts with advisors.  Advisors that violate the expectations of an advisor, or engage in behavior that harasses, abuses, intimidates any parties, witnesses, or board members, or is disruptive to the conduct process will be prohibited from further participation and removed from the proceedings.  

Lewis University will act to promptly and equitably remedy sexual misconduct found to have occurred.  Students who are found in violation of this policy are subject to sanctions which will vary with the severity of the violation, the degree of culpability, the likelihood of future harm to the complaining party or other community members, and any other relevant factors.  Sanctions imposed may include, warnings, probation, suspension, or expulsion.  A complete listing of possible sanctions may be found on page 55 of this handbook.

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 and the University community.

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 referred 27189610.1\135440-00022

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