Consent is the basis for an appropriate sexual encounter. Consent must be present before an individual initiates a sexual encounter or moves on to a different kind of sexual activity during a sexual encounter. Individuals should speak openly and clearly to each other about their expectations and actions before engaging in sexual activity.
Consent is defined in this policy as the voluntary, unambiguous, and affirmative agreement to engage in a specific sexual activity during a sexual encounter. An individual who is asleep, or mentally or physically incapacitated, either because of the effects of alcohol or drugs, or for any other reason, is unable to give consent. In addition, an individual who participates in sexual activity because of force, the threat of force, duress, intimidation, or coercion is unable to give consent.
Consent may not be taken for granted because of the existence of a prior or current relationship or because of prior sexual activity.
Consent must take the form of clearly understandable words or actions. These words or actions must state the individual’s agreement to engage in a specific sexual activity. While an individual may consent to one level of sexual activity (e.g., kissing), consent must also be present to take this sexual activity to a more intimate level (e.g., the touching or stroking of a partner’s genitals).
Consent should not be implied because of the way a person dresses, because someone has agreed to go on a date, or because of an invitation to return to a residence hall or fraternity/sorority sleeping room.
Alcohol may impair an individual’s ability to make voluntary and clearly understood choices. It is very important that before engaging in any form of sexual activity, a partner’s intoxication level be taken into account. It is always the responsibility of the person initiating the sexual activity to ensure consent has been effectively communicated, and the participating individual retains the ability to provide consent before and during the sexual activity. Engaging in sexual activity while under the influence of alcohol or with a partner who is under the influence of alcohol may lead to bad things happening: things that may ruin an individual’s college experience or career plans.
Complainant is defined as a student, visitor, guest, or program participant who reports they have been the victim of sexual misconduct.
The Respondent is defined as a student who is alleged by the Complainant to have committed an act or acts of sexual misconduct.
- Sexual Misconduct
Sexual misconduct is a broad term that includes sexual violence, sexual harassment, creating a hostile environment, sexual exploitation, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, retaliation, and intimidation. Sexual misconduct is of a nonconsensual nature if the Complainant objected or clearly attempted to object to the conduct, or if his or her capacity to consent was substantially impaired by reason of physical force, threat, or intimidation, lack of opportunity to object, physical or mental disability, drug or alcohol consumption, or other voluntary or involuntary cause.
- Sexual Assault
Sexual assault refers to any actual, attempted, or threatened form of nonconsensual sexual intercourse or other sexual conduct of a forcible, threatening, or otherwise nonconsensual nature. This includes rape, attempted rape, deviant sexual conduct, sexual battery or forcible fondling, deviant sexual behavior, incest, and statutory rape.
- Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment creates a hostile, intimidating, or offensive environment. It can include, but is not limited to, unwelcome sexual advances, requesting, offering, or suggesting a trade of sex for a desired result. Sexual harassment also includes verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature if the conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive to interfere with or limit a student or a member of the University communities’ ability to participate in or benefit from the academic, educational, extra-curricular, athletic, or other programs of the University.
Some examples of sexual harassment include:
- Sexually explicit profanity
- Sexual humor or sexually suggestive language
- Unnecessary remarks about parts of the body
- Obscene gestures
- Cyberbullying that is based on gender or sexual activity
- Unwelcome touching
- Sexual assault or violence
- Inappropriate remarks about a person’s gender or sexual orientation
- The display of sexual pictures or images
- Forced sexual activity
- The use of electronic media (like e-mail or text messaging) to send sexually charged words, images, or messages
All forms of sexual misconduct identified in this policy are also prohibited forms of sexual harassment.
- Sexual Exploitation
Sexual exploitation refers to any situation in which sexual advantage of another person is taken without that individual’s consent. This includes voyeurism and recordings (photo, audio, or video) of sexual activity (sometime referred to as “revenge porn”), administering alcohol or drugs without consent, exposure of one’s genitals, buttocks, or breasts, and providing opportunities for others to view consensual sexual activity without the knowledge and consent of all parties to the consensual sexual activity.
- Domestic Violence
Domestic violence is defined as student-on-student violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the complainant, by a person with whom the complainant shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the complainant as a spouse, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the complainant under the domestic or family violence laws of Indiana.
- Dating Violence
Dating violence is defined as violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the complainant. The existence of such a relationship is determined based on the reporting party’s statement and with consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of inter-action between the persons involved in the relationship. For the purposes of this definition, dating violence would include, but would not be limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse.
Stalking is defined as a knowing or an intentional course of conduct involving repeated or continuing harassment of another person that would cause a reasonable person to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, or threatened and that actually causes the complainant to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, or threatened. The term does not include statutorily or constitutionally protected activity.
Intimidation occurs when a person communicates in any manner a threat to another person with the intent that the other person engages in sexual conduct against the other person’s will.
Retaliation occurs when an effort is made to get back at any person because he or she reports sexual misconduct or opposes sexual misconduct or who is involved in an investigation of reported sexual misconduct. Retaliation is also prohibited against any member of the investigative team, witnesses, or individuals involved with the investigation or adjudication of a report or complaint of sexual misconduct. Retaliation includes intimidating, threatening, coercing, or in any way discriminating against a person because of their complaint or involvement in the complaint process. The University will take prompt and appropriate action to investigate retaliation, and it will take strong responsive action against anyone who engages in retaliation. This prohibition against retaliation should be seriously considered by the respondent and the friends and family of the respondent.