Sexual misconduct and rape will not be tolerated at Lycoming College. The nature of these types of incidents causes immense difficulty to the individuals directly involved and offends the educational mission of the institution. Any time a person is forced, coerced, and/or manipulated into unwanted sexual activity, that act violates a person's trust and sense of safety. Acts of sexual misconduct are a violation of the College's code of student conduct. Those identified as being responsible for such acts may expect to be criminally prosecuted and held accountable under the sexual misconduct grievance procedure described in the Student Policies Manual.
Lycoming College defines Sexual Misconduct as: deliberate physical contact of a sexual nature (or threats or attempts thereof) which is against the person's will or without their consent or cognizance. Sexual misconduct may involve various forms of coercion or force and can occur when a victim is incapable of giving consent due to the influence of drugs, alcohol, emotional trauma, or other factors.
Consent further defined...
- Mutual consent must be expressed by words, actions, or gestures.
- No one who has been threatened or coerced can consent.
- No person who has been given alcohol or drugs through deception or without their knowledge may give consent.
- No person who is physically helpless, impaired by alcohol, or in a state of diminished judgment may give consent.
- Silence or non-communication must never be interpreted as consent.
- Consent may be withdrawn at any time during the course of a sexual encounter.
- Failure to respect a withdrawal of consent is improper sexual conduct.
- A current relationship or previous sexual relationship between the parties may not be taken as an automatic indication of consent.
Examples of sexual misconduct include, but are not limited to: (1) unwanted sexual contact such as fondling; (2) deliberate or reckless threats, actual or implied, of physical assault or physical harm, or (3) coerced sexual activity which, in its most severe form, is manifested by any form of sexual penetration when consent was not freely given.
Reporting Sexual Misconduct
Incidents of sexual misconduct occur on our campus and we want to encourage students who believe they have been the victim of sexual misconduct to report the incident. A student who believes he/she has been the victim of sexual misconduct has up to six months to report the incident on campus. The student may report the incident to College authorities and/or the local authorities. If a student reports an incident to the local police and the College, the adjudication processes will be separate and distinct from one another.
To report a sexual misconduct incident on campus, a student can speak with a variety of different staff members including, a Resident Advisor, Student Life Coordinator, Health Services nurse(321-4322/4052), College counselor (321-4258/4332), a Safety and Security officer (321-4911/4064), the Director of Residential Life (321-4046), etc. To report a sexual misconduct incident to local off campus authorities a student should contact the Williamsport City Police Department (*911/327-7545) or Wise Options (1-800-326-8483, 323-8167). If a student reports an incident on campus and wants action to be taken, the student will need to speak with the Dean of Student Affairs (321-4039) or a designee. If action is taken on campus, a Sexual Misconduct Disciplinary Board may be called. This Board is responsible for evaluating the accuser's behavior for evidence of consent. Students who report incidents of sexual misconduct on campus and students who are accused of sexual misconduct on campus are strongly encouraged to seek support from one of the College's Advocates. An Advocate can provide guidance and support through the disciplinary process.
For more information about the policies and procedures outlined in the student handbook please visit: Sexual Misconduct Policy and Disciplinary Board.
If You Are Sexually Assaulted
- Try to remain calm. You are not to blame. Call someone you trust - a friend, your Resident Advisor (RA), your Student Life Coordinator, another College staff member, or a family member. You can also call Wise Options (1-800-326-8483, 323-8167) 24hrs. a day. If you'd like to talk with a counselor on campus call Counseling Services (321-4258/4332). If you have an after hours emergency and need to talk to a counselor on campus talk with your RA or the Office of Safety and Security (321-4064). To report a crime contact the Office of Safety and Security at (*4911/321-4064) or the Williamsport Police Department (327-7545). Attempting to ignore or forget the incident will ultimately have a negative impact on your emotional well being.
- You are encouraged to seek medical attention for your health and safety. There are Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) on call at the Williamsport Regional Medical Center Emergency Room 24 hrs. a day. The Emergency Room is very close to campus. A trip to the hospital emergency room can have two purposes: 1) to secure necessary medical attention for health concerns such as physical injuries, sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy; 2) to collect necessary evidence in case you decide at some time (then or later) to pursue legal prosecution. Ideally, evidence should be collected within the first 24 hours but not later than 72-96 hours after the assault has occurred.
- It is in your best interest not to bathe, shower, douche, change clothes, brush or comb your hair, apply medication, apply makeup, urinate, or defecate. Any change in your appearance may destroy evidence crucial for later legal prosecution. A SANE can perform the appropriate exam at the emergency room. If you have changed clothes, gather them and any other evidence in a paper bag.
- You are encouraged to report the crime to the police. Regardless of whether or not you pursue action through the public courts, you have the option of pursuing charges on campus if the individual or individuals involved are members of the campus community. ** Any action you take can prevent others from being victimized by the same person or persons.
- You may experience a wide range of emotions and stress-related symptoms following the assault. Some symptoms may linger for some time. Seek counseling to help you through the recovery process. Sexual assault is a traumatic experience and trained counselors can make your recovery easier and quicker. Help is available on campus through Counseling Services (321-4258/4332) or off campus at Wise Options (1-800-326-8483, 323-8167).
If Someone You Know Is Sexually Assaulted
- Believe the person. Reassure the person that it is not her or his fault. Listen, be open, supportive, and nonjudgmental. The survivor may feel a loss of control as a result of the assault. Ask how you can help but let her or him make the necessary decisions.
- Know that after an assault, survivors may exhibit a wide range of emotions and stress-related symptoms including calm, anger, guilt, shame, fear, and anxiety. These are all normal reactions. These feelings may linger long past the immediate crisis.
- Encourage the person to seek medical assistance. If the survivor refuses to go to the Williamsport Regional Medical Center Emergency Room, encourage her or him to speak with a doctor or nurse in Health Services on campus (321-4322/4052). If the survivor agrees to go to the hospital, be sure she or he takes a change of clothing to the hospital.
- Encourage the survivor to report the crime to the Williamsport Police (*911/327-7545). Remember, however, it is the survivor's decision to make.
- The survivor has the option of pursuing charges on campus if the individual or individuals involved are members of the campus community, regardless of whether any action is pursued in the public courts.
- Accompany the person to the hospital, police station, Safety & Security office, counseling, etc.
- Know that people close to a survivor may also need assistance coping with their feelings and the stress the incident has brought to their own lives. Help is available on campus through Counseling Services (321-4258/4332).
Advocates play a very important role on campus. They are available to listen to, educate, support, and guide a student who has been involved in a sexual misconduct incident. Advocates are faculty and staff members. Students are encouraged to choose an advocate they would feel most comfortable with. Advocates are trained to be sensitive to issues students involved in a sexual misconduct might be experiencing. They are knowledgeable of the College's sexual misconduct policies and processes, including the reporting process and the sexual misconduct disciplinary board. Advocates do not provide counseling, medical advice, or legal advice but are knowledgeable of resources both on and off campus that can provide those types of services. The Advocates are listed below.
- Think about what your sexual limits are, and be prepared to communicate them directly.
- Don't make assumptions about a person's behavior. You can't assume that a person who drinks heavily, dresses provocatively, or goes to your room wants to have intercourse with you. If the person consents to kissing or more intimate sexual contact, again, don't assume that she/he is willing to have intercourse.
- Pay attention to nonverbal behaviors, including the signals you may be sending. Make sure that your body language is consistent with verbal messages.
- Remember that alcohol and other drugs can interfere with your ability to communicate effectively and deal with potentially dangerous situations. Be responsible in your decision making with regard to alcohol and drugs.
- Learn to be assertive and speak directly. Don't worry about being polite. Expect and demand that your rights and feelings be respected.
- Assume that "no" means NO.
- Be aware of sex-role stereotypes that prevent you from acting as you want to, such as a woman not being able to initiate sexual activity or a man not being able to say "no".
- Avoid being in a vulnerable situation with someone you don't know well.
- Trust your instincts. If the situation doesn't feel right, it probably isn't. Confront the person immediately or leave.
- Know how you are getting home from a social event. Call the campus Safety & Security office for an escort if you friends have already left.
- In a dating situation listen carefully to the other person's statements. If you're confused about what the person means, particularly if you feel that the person is giving a mixed message, ask for clarification.
- Do not exploit others sexually. Focus on consent and mutuality.
- Avoid participating in peer pressure that encourages "scoring" , "hooking up", and bragging about sexual activity. Instead, use peer pressure positively to discourage exploitation of others.
- Confront exploitative and/or violent behaviors when they are occurring. As difficult as it may be, you truly will be helping all those involved.
- Kathy Lucas, Health Services, Rich Hall, (570) 321-4052
- Jason Moran, Admissions, (570) 321-4122
- Sondra Stipcak, Health Services, Rich Hall, (570) 321-4322
- John Whelan, Philosophy Department, Academic Center D-221, (570) 321-4205
- Williamsport Regional Medical Center, 777 Rural Ave., Williamsport, (570) 321-2000
- Health Services, Rich Hall, Lower Level, (570) 321-4322/4052
Campus Security and Police Information
- Safety & Security, Rich Hall, Lower Level, (570) 321-4064 (students may dial *4911 in emergencies)
- Williamsport Police, 911/327-7545
On Line Resources