The Oberlin Student Cooperative
Sexual Offense Policy
for the current version of this document.
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OSCA Policy on Procedures For Sexual Offenses Within OSCA
I. Statement of Purpose
Because sexual offense can seriously undermine the effectiveness
of a cooperative community such as OSCA, it is a crime against the
entire community. For this reason, OSCA prohibits and will not
tolerate a sexual offense against any member, guest, or employee of
OSCA by any other member, guest, or employee.
This policy is intended to ensure that OSCA is a safe environment
and that OSCA supports survivors of sexual offenses. The policy is an
attempt to remove any barriers which OSCA as an institution may place
before the survivor in her/his healing process and to expedite that
healing process. The educational aspects of this policy are intended
to prevent sexual offense before it happens.
This policy seeks to prevent any imbalance of justice in cases of
sexual offense. Only if all parties are treated equally can the
policy be truly effective.
This policy deals with instances of sexual offense as they occur
within the context of OSCA. OSCA as a cooperative association of
living and dining cannot and does not wish to replace Oberlin's all
A. OSCA's policy deals specifically with sexual offenses as they
pertain to OSCA's cooperative living and dining situations.
B. Students who use the OSCA policy will still be allowed to use
other policies for dealing with their grievance.
A. Sexual offense
is defined as behavior which calls attention to gender, sexuality
or sexual identity of persons in a manner that prevents or impairs
their full enjoyment of dining and/or living benefits, climate and
activities in OSCA. It may include the following:
1. Sexual Harassment
- a. Behavior towards an individual or group relating to gender
or sexual orientation which has the purpose or effect of
unreasonably interfering with that individual's or group's sense
of comfort and safety and/or creates a hostile, offensive or
- b. Inappropriate behavior, i.e., unwelcome comments (verbal,
written, or visual), gestures, or touching which may be perceived
as a sexual overture or sexual denigration.
- c. Any obviously unwelcome request for sexual favors.
- d. Any request for sexual favors accompanied by threat of
repercussion if these favors are not granted.
2. Sexual Assault
Coercion (see below for definition) for the purpose of sexual
relations; sexual contact to which any party involved does not give
full and free consent.
3. Sexual Battery
When a person engages in sexual intercourse, fellatio or
cunnilingus with another through the use of coercion.
When a person engages in sexual intercourse, fellatio,
cunnilingus, or penetration of anal or vaginal areas with any object,
with another person through the use of physical force, threat of
force, or by forcefully, deceitfully, or surreptitiously
[Both rape, sexual assault, and sexual battery are felony
crimes in the state of Ohio and therefore every member of the college
community, OSCA included, has a legal responsibility to report
knowledge of such a crime to the Oberlin police]
Defined here as:
- 1. The abuse of interpersonal power relationships which may
or may not be based on race, gender, religion, and/or sexual
orientation, and differences in size and obvious physical
- 2. The administration of alcohol or drugs to prevent
- 3. The use of alcohol or drug induced situations to reduce
- 4. Taking advantage of an individual's lack of ability to
appraise a situation or state of awareness (i.e., if the person
Consent to one type of action, including various degrees of
sexual behavior, or past sexual behavior with the perpetrator does
not imply consent to any further action(s).
At any time during a tier one or tier two action, the
complainant may stop the process or move to a different tier, and
a complainant may enact both a Tier One and a Tier Two action at
the same time.
A. Tier One: actions that affect only the complainant
- 1. Any member who has experienced or is experiencing a
sexual offense within OSCA may be granted an immediate switch
into another co op or job by the membership director. With
respect to housing, the member will be moved to the top of the
wait list for the next available housing co op.
- 2. The switch may be temporary or permanent, and may be
altered at any time. This decision is left to the discretion of
the individual requesting the change.
- 3. To make a request, the individual must contact an
advocate who will be responsible for working with the
membership director to enact the move. The membership director
will not be told of any details of the situation.
- 4. At the beginning of each semester, the advocates will
ask members of OSCA to volunteer their rooms, or off campus
houses to be used as a place for people who need to move out of
their living situation immediately.
- 5. Should the individual wish to move from a co op into a
dorm or into CDS, the advocates will be responsible for working
with Res. Life to expedite the process.
- 6. No investigation of the "truth" should take place, no
names should be revealed, a complainant telling an advocate
that a sexual offense has been committed against them will be
sufficient to prompt a move. In addition, any lapse in time
between when the alleged offense(s) took place and when the
request for a move is made is irrelevant in a Tier One action.
B. Tier Two: Mediation
- 1. Mediation may take place between a complainant and a
respondent only if both parties agree to it.
- 2. If both parties agree, each will choose an advocate to
go through the mediation process with them, and to advise them
of their options. The advocates can not make any decisions for
their respective parties or about the outcome of the mediation.
They can only advise and suggest and act according to the
wishes of those for whom they are advocating.
- 3. Anyone may act as a mediator, as long as both parties
- 4. At any time either parry can end the mediation
V. Record Keeping
A. There will be records kept for all actions that are taken
under this policy. In addition, OSCA members may file a statement
without taking an action.
- 1. All records will be confidential.
- 2. All records will be anonymous unless the complainant
chooses to include their name and/or a detailed account of the
- 3. No records should include the name of the
B. All forms will be held confidential. They will be kept in a
locked file cabinet in the OSCA office, the key to which will be
made available to only the advocates.
C. Advocates should compile and publish statistics pertaining
to issues of sexual assault within OSCA. These statistics will be
made available to the OSCA and Oberlin College community. They may
be drawn from any advocate records and will contain no personally
identifiable information, only numbers.
D. Any records kept by the advocates will not be included in
any OSCA member's College Transcript. This is because OSCA does
not have jurisdiction over academic/administrative matters and we
have no desire to take such punitive action(s).
A. Education regarding sexual assault, harassment, and rape is
the responsibility of the advocates. While very broad, this
educational role is extremely important.
B. Publicity: advocates must publicize this policy and separate
definitions within OSCA.
- 1. Post permanent laminated copies of this policy and
separate definition sheets in every co-op.
- 2. Post and publicize advocate names, phone numbers and
office hours in every co-op.
- 3. Post information sheets with resources (on and off
campus) which survivors can turn to.
- 4. Post comment sheets.
- 5. Regularly contribute educational articles to OSCA
- 1. Develop and implement workshops on sexual assault,
harassment and rape for all LECs and HLECs. These should take
place at the beginning of every semester.
- 2. Develop and implement co-op workshops on sexual assault,
harassment and rape, especially in living co-ops.
- 3. Work with the OSCA Education committee to develop
further possibilities and to integrate sexual assault,
harassment and rape education into other educational
VII. The Advocates
A. The position
- 1. There will be four advocates. These will be full credit,
all-OSCA positions. Ideally there will be three female and one
male advocate. Ideally at least one advocate should be a person
of color. There should be no more than two advocates from each
co-op, and they will serve one-year terms.
- 1. The primary responsibility of the advocates is to help
OSCA members to deal with issues involving sexual offense.
- 2. Although the primary role of the advocate is not
counseling, advocates should be prepared to do at least some
initial counseling of the complainant before getting him/her to
a fully trained counselor.
- 3. Advocates are responsible for facilitating the process
of Tier One.
- 4. Advocates are responsible for helping both the
complainant and the respondent through Tier Two.
- 5. Advocates must be readily available to the OSCA
community. This means:
- a. All advocates are responsible for two regular office
hours per week. Office hours must be in the OSCA office.
There must be at least one hour of office hours scheduled
every day of the week. The advocates are responsible for
publicizing these office hours.
- b. Advocates shall publicize their phone numbers and
other ways of getting in contact with them, and be prepared
to handle situations outside of their office hours.
- c. Advocates should be present at co ops often.
- d. Advocates are responsible for permanent, accessible
postings of the policy itself, their office hours and phone
numbers, resources for survivors on and off campus, and
anything else that may be relevant to issues of sexual
- 6. Education. Advocates are responsible for educating the
OSCA community about this policy and about issues surrounding
sexual offenses. Additionally, advocates must educate and train
the relevant OSCA officials (OSCA Board, H&DLEC's, etc.) about
the policy and about basic issues relating to sexual
harassment, assault, and rape.
- 7. Advocates are responsible for keeping fun and complete
records. See Record keeping. 8. OSCA advocates must not be
advocates for the college Sexual Offense Policy
- 1. All advocates should be trained in mediation.
- 2. All advocates must be thoroughly familiar with this
policy and with its history, with the College policy, and with
legal and counseling resources both on and off campus.
- 3. SAST training (or something similar) is preferred
D. Intra-policy Responsibilities
- 1. Conduct an ongoing critical evaluation of this policy
and report any problems or glitches to the Board, with
suggestions for change.
- 2. Train future advocates.
- 3. Consult with SAST and the College about the Policy.
The most current, OSCA-approved version of this policy may vary
slightly from the version posted here. For an official copy of the
policy contact the OSCA office, Wilder Student Union Box 86,
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