- Any student found responsible for violating the policy on Non-Consensual or Forced Sexual Contact (where no intercourse has occurred) will likely receive a sanction ranging from probation to expulsion, depending on the severity of the incident, and taking into account any previous campus conduct code violations.*
- Any student found responsible for violating the policy on Non-Consensual or Forced Sexual Intercourse will likely face a recommended sanction of suspension or expulsion.*
- Any student found responsible for violating the policy on sexual exploitation or sexual harassment will likely receive a recommended sanction ranging from warning to expulsion, depending on the severity of the incident, and taking into account any previous campus conduct code violations.*
*The conduct body reserves the right to broaden or lessen any range of recommended sanctions in the case of serious mitigating circumstances or egregiously offensive behavior. Neither the initial hearing officers nor any appeals body or officer will deviate from the range of recommended sanctions unless compelling justification exists to do so.
- Amanda and Bill meet at a party. They spend the evening dancing and getting to know each other. Bill convinces Amanda to come up to his room. From 11:00pm until 3:00am, Bill uses every line he can think of to convince Amanda to have sex with him, but she adamantly refuses. He keeps at her, and begins to question her religious convictions, and accuses her of being “a prude.” Finally, it seems to Bill that her resolve is weakening, and he convinces her to give him a “hand job” (hand to genital contact). Amanda would never had done it but for Bill’s incessant advances. He feels that he successfully seduced her, and that she wanted to do it all along, but was playing shy and hard to get. Why else would she have come up to his room alone after the party? If she really didn’t want it, she could have left. Bill is responsible for violating the university Non-Consensual or Forced Sexual Contact policy. It is likely that a university hearing board would find that the degree and duration of the pressure Bill applied to Amanda are unreasonable. Bill coerced Amanda into performing unwanted sexual touching upon him. Where sexual activity is coerced, it is forced. Consent is not effective when forced. Sex without effective consent is sexual misconduct.
- Jiang is a junior at the university. Beth is a sophomore. Jiang comes to Beth’s dorm room with some mutual friends to watch a movie. Jiang and Beth, who have never met before, are attracted to each other. After the movie, everyone leaves, and Jiang and Beth are alone. They hit it off, and are soon becoming more intimate. They start to make out. Jiang verbally expresses his desire to have sex with Beth. Beth, who was abused by a baby-sitter when she was five, and has not had any sexual relations since, is shocked at how quickly things are progressing. As Jiang takes her by the wrist over to the bed, lays her down, undresses her, and begins to have intercourse with her, Beth has a severe flashback to her childhood trauma. She wants to tell Jiang to stop, but cannot. Beth is stiff and unresponsive during the intercourse. Is this a policy violation? Jiang would be held responsible in this scenario for Non Consensual Sexual Intercourse. It is the duty of the sexual initiator, Jiang, to make sure that he has mutually understandable consent to engage in sex. Though consent need not be verbal, it is the clearest form of consent. Here, Jiang had no verbal or non-verbal mutually understandable indication from Beth that she consented to sexual intercourse. Of course, wherever possible, students should attempt to be as clear as possible as to whether or not sexual contact is desired, but students must be aware that for psychological reasons, or because of alcohol or drug use, one’s partner may not be in a position to provide as clear an indication as the policy requires. As the policy makes clear, consent must be actively, not passively, given.
- Kevin and Amy are at a party. Kevin is not sure how much Amy has been drinking, but he is pretty sure it’s a lot. After the party, he walks Amy to her room, and Amy comes on to Kevin, initiating sexual activity. Kevin asks her if she is really up to this, and Amy says yes. Clothes go flying, and they end up in Amy’s bed. Suddenly, Amy runs for the bathroom. When she returns, her face is pale, and Kevin thinks she may have thrown up. Amy gets back into bed, and they begin to have sexual intercourse. Kevin is having a good time, though he can’t help but notice that Amy seems pretty groggy and passive, and he thinks Amy may have even passed out briefly during the sex, but he does not let that stop him. When Kevin runs into Amy the next day, he thanks her for the wild night. Amy remembers nothing, and decides to make a complaint to the Dean. This is a violation of the Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse Policy. Kevin should have known that Amy was incapable of making a rational, reasonable decision about sex. Even if Amy seemed to consent, Kevin was well aware that Amy had consumed a large amount of alcohol, and Kevin thought Amy was physically ill, and that she passed out during sex. Kevin should be held accountable for taking advantage of Amy in her condition. This is not the level of respectful conduct expected of students.
Other Misconduct Offenses (Will fall under Title IX when sex or gender-based)
- Threatening or causing physical harm, extreme verbal abuse, or other conduct which threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person;
- Discrimination, defined as actions that deprive other members of the community of educational or employment access, benefits or opportunities on the basis of gender;
- Intimidation, defined as implied threats or acts that cause an unreasonable fear of harm in another;
- Hazing, defined as acts likely to cause physical or psychological harm or social ostracism to any person within the university community, when related to the admission, initiation, pledging, joining, or any other group-affiliation activity (as defined further in the Hazing Policy);
- Bullying, defined as repeated and/or severe aggressive behavior likely to intimidate or intentionally hurt, control or diminish another person, physically or mentally (that is not speech or conduct otherwise protected by the 1st Amendment).
- Violence between those in an intimate relationship to each other1;
- Stalking, defined as repetitive and/or menacing pursuit, following, harassment and/or interference with the peace and/or safety of a member of the community; or the safety of any of the immediate family of members of the community.
Explore other topics:
- Overview of Policy Expectations with Respect to Physical Sexual Misconduct
- Overview of Policy Expectations with Respect to Consensual Relationships
- Sexual Violence – Risk Reduction Tips
- Confidentiality, Privacy and Reporting Policy
- Questions and Answers
1 The definition provided here is model policy language from ATIXA. The state legal definition of consent may be different but the university is not required to evaluate campus complaints using state legal standards. A listing of all state consent definitions is here: https://atixa.org/resources/consent-statutes-by-state/