Special Alert: Reported Sexual Assault
Feb. 26, 2014
To: The Oberlin College Community From: Marjorie Burton, Director of Safety and Security Date: Wednesday, February 26, 2014
The Office of Safety and Security is sharing a report of sexual misconduct that occurred early last semester. The reporting person interacted with an individual who represented himself as a student at an off-campus house party, and supplied the reporting person, who was underage, with alcohol. The reporting person felt ill and was accompanied to a campus residence hall where the reporting person lost memory, but became aware of being sexually assaulted in a lounge.
Unwelcome or inappropriate touching, administering intoxicants to cloud judgment, and non-consensual sexual conduct, is considered a violation of both the Oberlin Sexual Offense Policy, and a violation of State law. Any Oberlin College community member who finds specific behavior hostile, offensive, or intimidating; witnesses or is subject to unwanted physical contact of any kind; or is subject to sexual conduct for which consent has not been given, can and should report that behavior immediately to Safety and Security for assistance.
While not all crimes can be prevented, and the below advise may not be specific for this incident, this communication with the community is to remind each member to take special care for your own safety and for the safety of others, and to be well-acquainted with the requirements of Oberlin’s Sexual Offense Policy. Additional recommendations include:
• Make a plan to attend and leave social functions with responsible and trusted friends who share your own values and will not change their plans once in attendance. As support for your community, report situations that pose a risk for persons present.
• Be aware that alcohol and drugs often compromise both one’s ability to make decisions about their own appropriate behavior or help one stay out of unwanted situations.
• Do not return to a drink left unattended; do not drink from a community container such as a punch bowl or accept drinks from individuals you have just met or do not know well.
• Do not use drugs or alcohol to loosen inhibitions or as an excuse to rationalize your own abusive behavior toward someone else later. Voluntary intoxication is not an excuse for unacceptable behavior under the law or under college regulations.
• As a bystander, be ready to intervene. Observe how others are acting or interacting, and decide if you have a responsibility to act, choosing a safe form of assistance, including reporting concerning behavior to Safety and Security.
• Seek assistance when needed--the College Medical Amnesty Policy allows a student at medical risk to seek medical attention for him- or her- self or another for intoxication or overdose without formal College sanction for illegal use or possession of alcohol or other drugs when College policies have been violated in conjunction with intoxication or overdose. • Seek assistance from the Oberlin Police if there is an emergency. Dial 9-1-1. Contact Safety and Security for a safety escort if you need assistance leaving a social function by calling (440) 775-8444 or Ext. 58444 from on campus. RideLine transportation is available 9 pm to 2 am by calling 440-775-RIDE.
Oberlin College Safety and Security urges anyone who believes they have been victim of a sexual offense to immediately contact their local law enforcement agency. On campus, Safety and Security can be contacted at 440-775-8911. Oberlin Police can be contacted at Emergency 911, or directly at 440-774-1061. Victims of any form of sexual assault are encouraged to seek support and can obtain information from the Office of Equity Concerns at 440-775-8555, or through the Lorain County Rape Crisis Center at 1-800-888-6161.