Rape is "sexual intercourse without consent" and "sexual assault" as "any engagement in sexual activity with another person without their consent." “Consent" requires "spoken words or behavior that indicates, without a doubt to either party, a mutual agreement to participate in sexual intercourse or other sexual activities. Indicators of consent do not include silence or past or present sexual relationships."
Consent is clear, knowing and voluntary. Consent is active, not passive. Silence, in and of itself, cannot be interpreted as consent. Consent can be given by words or actions, as long as those words or actions create mutually understandable clear permission regarding willingness to engage in (and the conditions of) sexual activity. Consent to any one form of sexual activity cannot automatically imply consent to any other form of sexual activity. Previous relationships or prior consent cannot imply consent to future sexual acts. Consent can also be withdrawn at any point in sexual activity.
Non-Consensual Sexual Contact (or attempts to commit same)
Any intentional sexual touching, however slight, with any object, by a man or woman upon a man or a woman that is without consent and/or by force. Sexual contact includes intentional contact with the breasts, buttocks, groin or genitals, or touching with any of these body parts, or making another touch you or themselves with or on any of these body parts; any intentional bodily contact in a sexual manner, though not involving contact with/of/by breasts, buttocks, groin, genitals, mouth or other orifice.
Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse (or attempts to commit same)
Any sexual intercourse, however slight, with any object, by man or woman upon a man or woman that is without consent and/or by force. Intercourse includes vaginal penetration by a penis, object, tongue or finger, anal penetration by a penis, object, tongue or finger and oral copulation (mouth to genital contact or genital to mouth contact), no matter how slight the penetration or contact.
Overview of Expectations on Consent
In order for individuals to engage in sexual activity of any type with each other, there must be a clear, knowing and voluntary consent prior to and during sexual activity. Consent is sexual permission. Consent can be given by word or action, but non-verbal consent is not as clear as discussing what is or isn’t sexually permissible. Consent to some form of sexual activity cannot be automatically taken as consent to any other form of sexual activity. Silence – without actions demonstrating permission – cannot be assumed to show consent. Consent can also be withdrawn at any point during sexual activity. Additionally, there is a difference between seduction and coercion. Coercing someone into sexual activity violates this policy in the same way as physically forcing someone into sex. Coercion happens when someone is pressured unreasonably for sex.
Because alcohol or other drug use can place the capacity to consent into question, sober sex is less likely to raise such questions. When alcohol or other drugs are being used, a person will be considered unable to give valid consent if he/she cannot fully understand the details of a sexual interaction (who, what, when, where, why or how) because he/she lacks the capacity to reasonably understand the situation. Individuals who consent to sex must be able to understand what they are doing. Anything but a clear, knowing and voluntary consent to any sexual activity is equivalent to a “No”.
Dating Violence is a pattern of assaultive and controlling behaviors that one person uses against another person in order to gain or maintain power and control in a relationship. The abuser intentionally behaves in ways that cause fear, degradation, and humiliation to control the other person.
Domestic Violence is any abusive, violent, coercive, forceful or threatening act or word inflicted by one member of a family or household on another.
Sexual activity with someone whom one should know to be – or based on the circumstances should be reasonably have known to be – mentally or physically incapacitated (by alcohol or other drug use, unconsciousness or blackout), constitutes a violation of this policy.
Incapacitation is a state where someone cannot make rational, reasonable decisions because he/she lacks the capacity to give knowing consent (e.g., to understand the “who, what, when, where, why or how” of their sexual interaction).
This policy also covers a person whose incapacity results from mental disability, sleep, involuntary physical restraint or from ingestion of rape drugs. Use of alcohol or other drugs will never function as a defense for any behavior that violates this policy.
Retaliating against any person who initiates a complaint, acts as a witness, assists with, or participates in the conduct process in any way is prohibited. Retaliating behaviors include, but are not limited to, actions meant to interfere with another’s participation in the conduct process or threaten after the fact due to such participation.
Sexual Misconduct – any intentional sexual touching or intercourse by a student of another student or other person without consent or under threat; or sexual coercion which occurs when a student takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for his or her own advantage or benefit or the advantage or benefit of another.
Treating Others Fairly
Sexual Harassment is a form of sex discrimination and the University is obligated to address unwelcome actions and behaviors by a student towards another student or other person based on sex is sufficiently severe or persistent so as to interfere with that student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the University’s programs.