Lewis & Clark College is committed to providing a learning environment free of all forms of abuse, assault, harassment, and coercive conduct, including sexual misconduct. This sexual conduct policy includes definitions of terms, prevention information, procedures, and resources available in the event of sexual harassment, sexual assault, or rape. Students, faculty, staff, and consultants continually evaluate the College’s practices and procedures regarding inappropriate sexual conduct.
Lewis & Clark College does not tolerate sexual misconduct in any form. Sexually abusive behavior within the college community is harmful to both the learning environment and the sense of community the college is trying to foster among students, faculty, staff, and administrators. All members of the College community have an obligation to act responsibly in the realm of sexuality. This includes accepting personal responsibility for choices made about alcohol and drug consumption which might lead to behavior which violates another person. Additionally, all members of the College community have the responsibility to recognize and challenge any sexual misconduct.
College students, often away from home for the first time, may be unsure of how to handle situations such as rapidly expanding social circles and a lack of parental restrictions. Date/acquaintance rape happens most frequently at or after parties. Unfortunately, college age students traditionally take the fewest precautions to prevent rape. The information that follows is designed to provide a clear understanding of expectations and outcomes regarding sexual conduct on this campus.
At Lewis & Clark College, rape is any sexual intercourse (anal, oral or vaginal), however slight, with any object, by a man or a woman, without effective consent.
At Lewis & Clark College, sexual assault is any sexual touching, however slight, with any object, by a man or a woman, without effective consent.
At Lewis & Clark College, sexual harassment is unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when (please also refer to the Harassment/Anti-harrassment policy):
- Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or academic advancement.
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for employment or academic decisions affecting such individual, and/or,
- Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working, campus living, or academic experience.
At Lewis & Clark College, sexual exploitation occurs when a student takes non-consensual, unjust, or abusive sexual advantage of another; for his/her own advantage or benefit; or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited; and that behavior does not otherwise constitute non-consensual sexual contact (sexual assault), non-consensual sexual intercourse (rape) or sexual harassment.
Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to:
- Videotaping without knowledge and consent of all parties
- Going beyond the boundaries of consent in any form
- Peeping Tommery
- Transmission of HIV or STD
- Inducing incapacitation with the intent to rape or sexually assault—This type of sexual exploitation occurs regardless of whether sexual activity actually takes place
At Lewis & Clark College, effective consent is informed; freely and actively given; mutually understandable words or actions; which indicate a willingness to do the same thing, at the same time, in the same way, with each other.
Lewis & Clark strongly encourages its students who choose to engage in sexual behavior to talk about their actions, and to communicate as clearly and verbally as possible with each other.
In the absence of mutually understandable words or actions (a meeting of the minds on what is to be done, where, with whom, and in what way), it is the responsibility of the initiator, or the person who wants to engage in the specific sexual activity to make sure that he or she has consent from their partner(s). Consent to some form of sexual activity does not necessarily imply consent to other forms of sexual activity. Mutually understandable consent must be obtained by the initiator at every stage of sexual interaction.
Mutually understandable consent is almost always an objective standard. Consent is mutually understandable when a reasonable person would consider the words or actions of the parties to have manifested a mutually understandable agreement between them to do the same thing, in the same way, at the same time, with one another. The only context in which mutually understandable consent may be considered in its subjective sense is in the context of long-term relationships where couples have established patterns of communicating consent that alter/replace the definition elaborated here.
Consent which is obtained through the use of fraud or force (actual or implied) whether that force be physical force, threats, intimidation, or coercion, is ineffective consent:
Physical force exists, for example, when someone acts upon you physically, such as hitting, kicking, restraining or otherwise exerting their physical control over you through violence.
Threats exists where a reasonable person would have been compelled by the words or actions of another to give permission to sexual contact they would not otherwise have given, absent the threat. For example, threats to kill you, themselves, or to harm someone you care for are sufficient to constitute threats.
Intimidation exists where someone uses their physical presence to menace you, though no physical contact occurs, or where your knowledge of prior violent behavior by an assailant, coupled with menacing behavior, places you in fear as an implied threat.
Coercion exists when a sexual initiator engages in sexually pressuring and/or oppressive behavior that violates norms of respect in the community, such that the application of such pressure or oppression causes the object of the behavior to engage in unwanted sexual behavior. Coercion may be differentiated from seduction by the repetition of the coercive activity beyond what is reasonable, the degree of pressure applied, and the initiator’s knowledge that the pressure is unwanted.
Consent may never be given by a minor to an adult.
Mentally disabled persons cannot give consent to sexual activity if they cannot appreciated the fact, nature, or extent of the sexual situation in which they find themselves. The mental disability of the party must be known or reasonably knowable to the non-disabled sexual partner, in order to hold them responsible for the violation. Therefore, when mentally disabled parties engage in sexual activity with each other, such knowledge may not be possible.
Physically incapacitated persons cannot give consent. One who is physically incapacitated as a result of alcohol or other drug consumption (voluntary and involuntarily), or who is unconscious, unaware, or otherwise physically helpless, is incapable of giving consent. One may not engage in sexual activity with another who one knows or should reasonably know to be physically incapacitated. Physically incapacitated persons are considered incapable of giving effective consent when they lack the ability to appreciate the fact that the situation is sexual, and/or cannot rationally and reasonably appreciate the nature and extent of that situation.
A person who is the object of sexual aggression is not required to physically or otherwise resist a sexual aggressor.
Silence, previous sexual relationships, and/or current relationship with the respondent (or anyone else) may not, in themselves, be taken to imply consent. Consent cannot be implied by attire, or inferred from the buying of dinner or the spending of money on a date.
Intentional use of alcohol/drugs by the respondent is not an excuse for violation of the sexual conduct policy.
Consent to sexual activity may be withdrawn at any time, as long as the withdrawal is communicated clearly (because you cannot be expected to read the mind of your sexual partner(s)), and all sexual activity must cease.
Consent has an expiration date. Consent lasts for a reasonable time, depending on the circumstances.
Attempts to commit sexual assault or rape are also prohibited under this policy, as is aiding the commission of sexual misconduct as an accomplice.