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Special Alert—Report of Sexual Misconduct/Sexual Assault

Feb. 18, 2015

To: The Oberlin College Community
From: Marjorie Burton, Director of Safety and Security
Date: February 17, 2015

A report of sexual misconduct has been shared by a College administrator with the office of Safety and Security. The sexual misconduct / sexual assault was reported to have occurred in a residential hall between two students early Sunday morning around lack of consent or capacity to give consent. Reports of alleged sexual misconduct or sexual assault are shared with the Oberlin Police Department, and are also investigated under the College Sexual Misconduct Policy requirements.

While not all crimes can be prevented, and the below advice may not be specific for these incidents, please be reminded 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 student conduct policies, including the Sexual Misconduct Policy. Recommendations include:

  • Be aware that alcohol and drugs may compromise one’s ability to recognize whether another person is incapacitated or otherwise unable to provide effective consent. If someone appears to be incapacitated, do not attempt sexual contact with that person. Consent is always required. If you plan to consume alcohol to the point where your judgment about someone else’s ability to consent may be compromised, ask friends to remain with you so that you to not engage in sexual misconduct.
  • Do not use drugs or alcohol to loosen another’s 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 when it is safe to do so. Observe how others are acting or interacting, and decide if you have a responsibility to provide a safe form of assistance, including reporting concerning behavior to Safety and Security. If you see someone that might be in a bad situation or you just want to check in with them, DO! As a support for your community, report situations that may pose a risk for persons present.
  • Set and maintain boundaries for yourself and others. Do not assume it is all right to enter another persons’ room or space or that you can safely leave your room or space unlocked and open where entry can occur when you are asleep or unaware of another person’s presence.
  • Seek assistance when needed--The College Medical Amnesty Policy allows a student at medical risk to seek medical attention for oneself 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, or dial directly 440-774-1061.

On campus, Safety and Security can be contacted at 440-775-8911 or 775-8444. 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 an on campus phone. RideLine transportation is available 9 pm to 2 am during the semester by calling 440-775-RIDE.

Oberlin College Safety and Security urges anyone who believes they have experienced sexual assault to immediately contact the Safety and Security office, 440-775-8444, or local law enforcement. Dial 9-1-1, or dial Oberlin Police directly at 440-774-1061.

Persons who have experienced any form of sexual misconduct are encouraged to seek support. Information may be obtained from the Office of Equity Concerns / Title IX Coordinator at (440) 775-8410, or through the Lorain County Rape Crisis Center at 1-800-888-6161.