Sexual misconduct policy

Policy and procedures on sexual and gender-based misconduct and other forms of interpersonal violence


Bluffton University (“university”) affirms the principle that students, faculty and staff have the right to be free from all forms of sexual misconduct, examples of which can include acts of sexual assault, sex/gender harassment, sex/gender discrimination, sexual exploitation and indecent exposure.

Oftentimes, incidents of sexual misconduct also involve other prohibited conduct such as bullying/intimidation, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking and retaliation. The university prohibits such conduct, regardless of whether it is related to an instance of sexual misconduct. All of the conduct referenced in the prior sentences will be referred to collectively throughout this policy as “prohibited conduct.”

Bluffton University, as an educational community, will promptly and equitably respond to all reports of sexual misconduct in order to eliminate the misconduct, prevent its recurrence and address its effects on any individual and/or the community.

This policy applies to all members of the university community, including students, employees, volunteers, independent contractors, visitors and any individuals regularly or temporarily employed, studying, living, visiting, conducting business or having any official capacity at the university. 


Notice of Prohibition of Sex Discrimination

Bluffton University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, gender, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity, national origin, age, disability or any status protected by law in its education programs, employment or activities.

The Bluffton University Policy and Procedures on Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct and other Forms of Interpersonal Violence (Policy) addresses all forms of sexual discrimination, including sexual misconduct and sexual harassment. Bluffton University does not discriminate on the basis of sex or gender identity in its educational, extracurricular, athletic or other programs or in the context of admissions or employment in accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.

Title IX is a federal law that provides, “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”



The policy applies to all of the following areas:

  • On the Bluffton University campus including the Nature Preserve
  • Off campus, including online or electronic conduct if the conduct occurs:

In houses owned by the university in which faculty, staff or students may be living.

In connection with a university-related program or activity including university-sponsored study abroad, internships and athletic contests.

When the behavior may pose a serious threat of harm to any member(s) of the university community.

When the behavior may have the effect of creating a hostile environment for any member(s) of the university community.

Regardless of when or where the conduct occurs, the university will offer resources and assistance to community members who experience and/or are affected by prohibited conduct. In those instances when this policy does not apply, the university will assist the reporting party or Complainant in identifying and contacting external law enforcement.