With sexual misconduct flooding the news, the recent increase in sexual harassment and assault allegations seems as if the nation is finally ready to acknowledge it.
“You see with the ‘me-too’ hash-tags and the sexual misconduct (in the news),” said Keith Brown, Director of Human Resources and Campus Security. “I think it’s more empowering for more victims and survivors to come forward and to really let people know how they have suffered in silence for so long. Some of these cases going back into the seventies. That is something that can happen on our campus. We provide more on-campus resources to accommodate”.
According to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN), sexual violence is more prevalent on college campuses when compared to other crimes.
Lorain Community College has updated the rules and regulations for sexual misconduct to offer a safe campus for all students. “The existing policy and procedure was updated due to the review of the old policy coupled with existing government resources,” said Brown. “The State of Ohio has a changing campus culture initiative, in which it was proven upon us that we needed to update that procedure to bring it to current standards.” The regulations of LCCC provide a step by step guide on how to report sexual assault with institutional protective measures for victims, and what steps a victim needs to take.
The old policy did not give information on resources, and the updated policy does. Initiatives, programs, and campaigns will be held on campus for awareness efforts. The college aims to reduce the risk of such violations on campus by providing rules, regulations, and disciplinary actions. “We deliberately provided the updated policy to assimilate as much information as widely as possible,” said Brown, “To let our campus committee members know that these are the resources we offer, the protective measures we can offer, and this is how we can discipline people.”
The college provides rules: “Preventing and Responding to Sexual Misconduct and Dating Violence Rules and Regulations”. The rules and regulations outline sexual misconduct with definitions as well as what actions to take. The regulations define sexual misconduct as: any unwelcomed behavior of a sexual nature and is committed with
out consent or by force. This includes intimidation, coercion, or manipulation. Sex discrimination is also included within the regulations which is defined as discrimination based on an individual’s gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation. Sexual harassment is defined as unwanted sexual attention such as staring, leering, ogling, sexual teasing, jokes, inappropriate text messages and electronic mail.
Gestures, inappropriate touching, pressures for a date and/or sex, and suggestions that sex can be exchanged for grades or a promotion are also included within the regulations.
Bystander intervention options can also be found for individuals that may have witnessed sexual misconduct.
The disciplinary process is also included in the regulations.
“A lot of colleges and universities have updated their policy and procedures and it was something we (LCCC) needed to do,” said Brown.
Lorain County Community College’s preventing and responding to Sexual Misconduct and Dating Violence Rules and Regulations Coordinators are Mona Atley and Keith Brown. Both coordinators are located in the Human Resources Department in the College Commons Building office 209.