Ohio University will implement new guidelines beginning fall quarter that outline sanctions for students who are found responsible for a sexual assault offense.
Vice President for Student Affairs Kent Smith had commissioned Dean of Students Ryan Lombardi to work with a task force of faculty, staff and students to develop the guidelines in light of the increased number of reported sexual assault cases that had been presented to University Judiciaries over the past year. The new guidelines were then presented to and endorsed by the Review and Standards Committee, the Student Affairs Sexual Assault Task Force, GAMMA (Greeks Advocating the Mature Management of Alcohol), Graduate Student Senate and Student Senate.
Under the new guidelines, students found in violation of a sexual assault according to the Student Code of Conduct will be sanctioned to a suspension of at least one quarter. If there is physical contact, the length of the suspension increases to at least one year, while penetration of any kind will result in expulsion from the university.
According to Smith, the new guidelines are an important step toward fostering a more positive climate for students.
"I want to thank all of the students, faculty and staff who have worked tirelessly to draft these guidelines," he said. "I appreciate their important work in helping to define the values of OHIO and working to keep all of our students safe."
Smith stressed that the university will not change the way that University Judiciaries handles allegations of sexual assault. Instead, once a student has been found in violation of a sexual assault offense, then the guidelines will be considered.