Policy and Procedures on Sexual Harassment

As explained in the Goshen College Mission Statement and the Commitment to Community Standards, Goshen College is a Christian institution in which “we begin with a vital concern for the welfare of all community members.” In line with these values, which express our commitment to a quality of campus life for every member of our community, Goshen College affirms its commitment to providing equal opportunities in education and employment.

Toward this commitment, and in recognition of the requirements of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013,  the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act (Campus SaVE), and the Indiana Civil Rights Law, Goshen College strives to provide an environment free of inappropriate treatment of individuals because of sex or sexual orientation, national origin, and gender identity. This policy applies to students, teaching and administrative faculty, staff, and all others, including visitors, vendors, guests, prospective students, and members of the public.

Outside contractors, vendors, and others who do business with the College or enter College premises are expected to comply with this policy and ensure that their agents comply with this policy; the College will take appropriate action if they fail to do so. The College, for example, may suspend or terminate a contract if the contractor fails to correct a sexual misconduct problem that appropriate college officials have brought to its attention. Furthermore, the College, if it determines that a contractor has failed to take appropriate action or has shown a tolerance for any activity which in the belief of the College constitutes sexual misconduct, may bar the contractor from holding future contracts with the College.

Goshen College Procedures for Addressing Complaints of “Sexual Misconduct”

Sexual misconduct is a term that includes sexual harassment, sexual assault (or “battery”), domestic violence, dating violence and stalking.

This provides a complaint procedure for any member of the Goshen College community to make a complaint of sexual misconduct and describes the process by which the College will respond to the complaint, including referral of individuals to appropriate resources, impartial investigation, determination of whether the complaint is substantiated, and imposition of consequences when appropriate.

In addition to the procedure provided in this document, Goshen College will take steps to prevent sexual misconduct by:

  1. Integrating into Goshen College’s curriculum, staff training, and community programming initiatives designed to promote gender equality and prevent sexual misconduct, and to promote awareness and prevention of rape, acquaintance rape, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking.
  2. Conducting climate reviews to explore issues, events, and attitudes relating to gender equality and sexual misconduct at Goshen College and;
  3. Conducting annual training of officials conducting investigations of reported sexual misconduct to ensure the protection of the victim’s safety and the promotion of accountability.

Statement of Policy

Goshen College does not condone and will not tolerate inappropriate conduct toward any individual based on the individual’s sex, sexual orientation, national origin, or gender identity.

Such sexual misconduct includes but is not limited to unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. This encompasses misconduct that does not reach the level of actionable sexual harassment, misconduct that is sufficiently severe and pervasive that it rises to the level of sexual harassment, and sexual misconduct that involves criminal penalties.

Examples of Sexual Misconduct

Examples of sexual misconduct include, among other actions:

  • Unwelcome comments and conduct of a sexual nature or that are demeaning to women or men as a group (for example, offensive or vulgar jokes, name-calling, comments about one’s body or sex life, stereotyping based on a person’s sex, touching, leering, ogling, patting, pinching, indecent exposure, physical gestures, or displaying sexually explicit photographs or objects);
  • Unwelcome demands or requests for sexual favors or social or sexual encounters;
  • Suggestions that submission to or rejection of sexual conduct will affect decisions regarding such matters as employment, work assignment or status, academic standing, grades, receipt of financial aid, or letters of recommendation, or receipt of a Goshen College benefit or service;
  • The use of submission to or rejection of sexual conduct as the basis for making, influencing, or affecting decisions that have an impact upon the terms and conditions of education, employment, or receipt of any other Goshen College benefit or service; and
  • Nonconsensual sexual contact.

Given the nature of this type of conduct and the serious effects such conduct can have, Goshen College treats alleged violations of this Policy seriously and expects all individuals to treat alleged violations in the same responsible manner.

Reporting Sexual Misconduct

  1. Reporting Sexual Misconduct by a Student:
    If someone experiences sexual misconduct from a student, he or she, is to report this to one of the following members of the Sexual Misconduct Response Team:

    • Deb Brubaker, Professor of Music
    • Glenn Gilbert, Utilities Manager; Sustainability Coordinator
    • Jeanne Liechty, Associate Professor of Social Work
    • Launa Rohrer, Associate Dean of Students
    • Jody Saylor, Associate Professor of Biology
    • Jason Samuel, Assistant Professor of Communication
    • Joe Springer, Curator: Mennonite Historical Library
  2. Reporting possible Sexual Misconduct by an employee, outside contractor, or visitor:
    1. Students shall report alleged sexual misconduct by a faculty member, staff member, outside contractor, or visitor to one of the members of the Sexual Misconduct Response Team. The following procedures shall apply according to the status of the person accused of sexual misconduct:
      • Employee: The Director of Human Resources shall be informed of the report if an employee is accused, or the Vice President for Finance will be informed if the HR Director is the person accused or the Vice President for Finance will be informed if the HR Director is the person accused.  The Vice President for Finance, direct supervisor and the Vice President responsible for the employee’s department will be notified.  The investigation will be led by the Director of Human Resources, assisted by a member of the sexual misconduct response team.  The Director of HR shall report the findings and recommended action to the employee’s supervisor and appropriate Vice President, who will make the final decision.  The SSMRT shall be informed by the team member participating in the investigation about the alleged incident and outcome.
      • Campus visitor or outside contractor: the Vice President for Student Life shall be informed of the report if a campus visitor or outside contractor is accused, and shall inform the Vice President for Finance of the alleged misconduct. The VP for Student Life shall lead the investigation, assisted by a member of the Student Sexual Misconduct Response Team. The Vice President for Student Life shall report the findings and recommended action to the VP for Finance who is responsible for approving the final decision. The SSMRT shall be informed by the team member participating in the investigation about the alleged incident and outcome.  If a student is the complainant or respondent in any of these scenarios, the guidelines of the Student Expectations: Goshen College Response to Reports of Sexual Misconduct for the investigation will be followed.
    2. Employee
      1. Employees shall report alleged sexual misconduct by another employee, outside contractor, or visitor to the Director of Human Resources, or the Vice President for Finance if the Director of HR is the person accused. The Director of HR or designee will conduct an investigation, and recommendations on disciplinary action or sanctions, if any, of an employee will be forwarded for review and approval by the supervisor and appropriate Vice President of the employee. The Vice President for Finance is responsible to review and approve any recommended actions against a campus visitor or independent contractor.
        • If an an employee is the respondent and believes the disciplinary action taken did not properly follow stated college policy or procedure, he/she may use the Grievance Policy to have the process steps or application of the decision reviewed.
        • If an employee alleges a student has committed sexual misconduct, he/she shall report it to the Director of Human Resources or designee, who shall share the report with the Student Sexual Misconduct Response Team. The investigation will be conducted by the SSMRT, following the same guidelines listed in the responsibilities section below.
          The final decision will be shared with the employee and the Director of Human Resources.

Goshen College will promptly and equitably address any complaints of sexual misconduct by:

  1. advising the person reporting the alleged inappropriate conduct (“the complainant”) about the importance of preserving evidence;
  2. advising the complainant about available College and community resources, including health care services, counseling and other mental health services, and law enforcement authorities;
  3. assisting the complainant in accessing college and community resources, including campus and local law enforcement authorities, when such assistance is requested;
  4. making reasonable changes in living, working, or academic arrangements as appropriate; and
  5. carrying out a prompt and thorough investigation conducted by the Sexual Misconduct Response Team;

Responsibilities of the Sexual Misconduct Response Team

The Response Team has the following responsibilities:

  1. To receive all complaints regarding sexual misconduct;
  2. To assure that each complainant and respondent is provided information regarding appropriate health, counseling, spiritual, and other resources and to assist the complainant and respondent in accessing those resources, if requested;
  3. To assure that each complainant receives information on how to contact campus and local law enforcement authorities, if appropriate, and to assist the complainant in contacting law enforcement authorities, if requested;
  4. To assure that arrangements are made for appropriate changes to the academic, employment, or living circumstances of complainants and respondents pending investigation of a complaint of sexual misconduct, if appropriate;
  5. To investigate reports of sexual misconduct in a prompt and equitable manner and ensure that the proceedings provide a prompt and equitable solution;
  6. To determine whether or not a complaint is substantiated by a preponderance of the evidence;
  7. To issue any appropriate consequences, including disciplinary action, and to inform the complainant and respondent of those consequences.
  8. To treat all complaints as confidential to the extent consistent with conducting a thorough investigation;
  9. To take or recommend disciplinary or other corrective action where appropriate; and
  10. To simultaneously advise both the complainant and the person about whose conduct the complaint is made (“the respondent”) of the outcome of the investigation, when Goshen College will accept an appeal of the results, any change to the result that occurs before it becomes final (if it is being appealed), when the result will become final, and any disclosures of the results.

No other individual or entity may engage in an investigation of a complaint of sexual misconduct on behalf of Goshen College. The Response Team will keep confidential reports of sexual misconduct and information obtained in the investigations to the extent consistent with completing a thorough investigation.

The Response Team will receive annual training on the issues related to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking and how to conduct an investigation and hearing process that protects the safety of victims and promotes accountability.

Student Expectations: Goshen College Response to Reports of Sexual Misconduct


Community Resources


Threats, other forms of intimidation, and retaliation against a complainant or any other party involved in implementing the college sexual misconduct policy are violations of the policy and may be grounds for disciplinary action.  No officer, employee, or agent of Goshen College may retaliate, threaten, coerce, or otherwise discriminate against any individual for exercising their rights or responsibilities under this policy.

Supervisor/Supervisee and Faculty/Student Interactions

If there is a sexual or romantic relationship between a supervisor and someone he or she supervises or a faculty member and a student over whom she or he has authority, the supervisor or faculty member has the obligation to report the relationship to the administration immediately.

Goshen College discourages sexual or romantic relationships between individuals who have unequal power in educational and employment contexts at the College. Accordingly, faculty members (and others who make or affect decisions affecting student academic, career, or living circumstances) are prohibited from engaging in sexual or romantic interactions with students, whether consensual or otherwise. Goshen College likewise discourages supervisors from engaging in such relationships with those they supervise.

This guideline is based on Goshen College’s desire to protect students, to maintain equal opportunity in employment, and to preserve its professional and educational community. Because of the power differential that exists between students and faculty members (or others who make decisions regarding student conditions) and between supervisors and supervisees, even consensual romantic and/or sexual interactions between the two present a high risk of interference with the healthy Christian environment Goshen College seeks to maintain.

Disciplinary Actions

Sanctions for sexual misconduct may take different forms. In those situations where it is determined, following a thorough investigation, that a violation of this policy has occurred, appropriate action will be taken. Consequences may include but are not limited to the following:

  • verbal reprimands
  • written reprimands and warnings
  • monitoring or restriction of campus access, benefits, or services
  • mandatory counseling and/or training
  • suspension
  • separation from the college
  • protective measures for the victim

In those instances where a violation is found, documentation of the violation and the disciplinary action will be placed in the respondent’s official Goshen College file.

Cases heard and decisions made by the Sexual Misconduct Response Team are shared with the Vice President of Student Life. Any decision made by the Sexual Misconduct Response Team can be appealed to the Vice President for Student Life in writing within 72 hours of communication from the Sexual Misconduct Response Team. The appeal ruling is final

Intentionally Dishonest Complaints of Sexual Misconduct

Lack of corroborating evidence should not discourage complainants from reporting sexual misconduct to Goshen College. However, charges found to have been intentionally dishonest or made maliciously without regard for truth may be subject to disciplinary action.

References and Recommendation for Further Reading

  1. Elsa K. Cole, ed., Sexual Harassment on Campus: A Legal Compendium, 2nd ed. Washington, D.C.: National Association of College and University Attorneys, 1990.
  2. Michele A. Paludi and Richard B. Barickman, Academic and Workplace Sexual Harassment: A Resource Manual. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1991. July 1998.
  3. U.S. Department of Education, Revised Sexual Harassment Guidance: Harassment of Students by School Employees, Other Students, Or Third Parties, 2001.