Thomas Jefferson Statue

Consent requires unambiguous communication and mutual agreement concerning the act in which the participants are engaging.

  • A sexual interaction is considered consensual when individuals willingly and knowingly engage in the interaction.
  • Someone who is incapacitated (by alcohol or drug use, unconsciousness, disability, or other forms of helplessness) cannot consent.
  • Consent cannot be procured by the use of physical force, compulsion, threats, intimidating behavior, or coercion.
  • Consent to one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity. Previous relationships or previous consent for sexual activity is not consent to sexual activity on a different occasion.
  • Consent to engage in sexual activity with one person does not imply consent to engage in sexual activity with another.
  • Silence or the absence of resistance is not the same as consent.
  • Consent can be withdrawn at any time.
  • Previous consent does not mean ongoing consent. (For example, consent to certain acts at one point in an evening does not mean consent to the same acts later in the same evening.)
  • How drugs and alcohol affect consent: Individuals should be aware of, and carefully consider, the potential consequences of the use of alcohol or drugs. Alcohol and other drugs can lower inhibitions and create an atmosphere of confusion over whether consent is freely and affirmatively given. If there is a question about whether someone consented to sexual activity after consuming drugs or alcohol, RSU will examine the issue from the perspective of a reasonable person. Specifically, RSU will consider whether the respondent reasonably should have known about the impact of alcohol and other drugs on the complainant’s ability to give consent.
  • The use of alcohol or drugs does not justify or excuse behavior that constitutes gender-based misconduct.
  • The use of alcohol or other drugs never makes someone at fault for experiencing gender-based misconduct.