Consent is the act of willingly agreeing to engage in sexual contact or conduct. Individuals who consent to sex must be able to understand what they are doing. Under this policy, “No” always means “No,” and the absence of “No” may not mean “Yes”.
- Consent is informed, 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 permission regarding the conditions of sexual activity.
- Consent to one form of sexual activity cannot imply consent to other forms of sexual activity.
- Previous relationships or consent does not imply consent to future sexual acts.
- Consent cannot be procured by use of physical force, compelling threats, intimidating behavior, or coercion. Coercion is unreasonable pressure for sexual activity.
- In order to give effective consent, one must be of legal age and have the capacity to consent. Incapacity may result from mental disability, intellectual disability, unconsciousness/sleep, age, or use of alcohol, drugs, medication, and/or other substances. Consent given by someone who one should know to be, or based on the circumstances, reasonably should have known to be, mentally or physically incapacitated, is a policy violation. Incapacitation is a state where someone cannot make rational, reasonable decisions because he or she lacks capacity to give knowing consent. Note: indications of consent are irrelevant if the initiator knows or should reasonably have known of the incapacity of the other person.
Examples of when a person should know the other is incapacitated include, but are not limited to:
- The amount of alcohol, medication or drugs consumed,
- Imbalance or stumbling,
- Slurred speech,
- Lack of consciousness or inability to control bodily functions or movements, or vomiting, or
- Mental disability or incapacity.
- Use of alcohol, medications, or other drugs will not excuse behavior that violates this policy.