Important Language and Definitions


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Important Language and Definitions

Accommodations

The University will do its best to make appropriate accommodations for the complainant victim/survivor to end or prevent the reoccurrence of the conduct. These accommodations will be as confidential as possible. Accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

No contact ordersAlternative or safe housingAcademic accommodations/class schedule changes
Change housing of accused studentRestriction of activitiesChange in work assignment
Change housing of victim/survivorNo trespass noticeInterim Suspension(s)


Consent: 

A determination about the existence of consent is a critical element in the investigation of a sexual assault. University policy requires affirmative consent between individuals engaging in sexual activity. Affirmative consent is defined as "informed, freely and affirmatively communicated willingness to participate in sexual activity that is expressed by clear and unambiguous words or actions." Clear and unambiguous words or actions are those that are freely and actively given by informed individuals that a reasonable person in the circumstances would believe communicate a willingness to participate in a mutually agreed upon sexual activity. The following factors will be considered when determining consent:

  • It is the responsibility of each person who wishes to engage in the sexual activity to obtain consent.
  • A lack of protest, the absence of resistance and silence do not indicate consent.
  • The existence of a present or past dating or romantic relationship does not imply consent to future sexual activity.
  • Consent must be present throughout the sexual activity and may be initially given, but withdrawn at any time.
  • When consent is withdrawn all sexual activity must stop. Likewise, where there is confusion about the state of consent, sexual activity must stop until both parties consent again.
  • Consent to one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity.
  • Consent is not obtained where:
    • There is physical force, threats, intimidation or coercion.
    • There is incapacitation due to the influence of drugs or alcohol.
    • There is the inability to communicate because of a physical or mental condition.
    • An individual is asleep, unconscious or involuntarily physically restrained.
    • An individual is unable to understand the nature or extent of the sexual situation because of mental or physical incapacitation or impairment.
    • One party is not of legal age to give consent pursuant to Minnesota state law.


Force: 

Force is the use of physical violence and/or imposing on someone physically to gain sexual access. Force also includes threats, intimidation (implied threats) and coercion that overcome resistance or produce consent (“Have sex with me or I’ll hit you. Okay, don’t hit me, I’ll do what you want.”). Coercion is unreasonable pressure for sexual activity. Coercive behavior differs from seductive behavior based on the type of pressure someone uses to get consent from another. When someone makes clear to you that they do not want sex, that they want to stop, or that they do not want to go past a certain point of sexual interaction, continued pressure beyond that point can be coercive.

NOTE: There is no requirement that a party resists the sexual advance or request, but resistance is a clear demonstration of non-consent. The presence of force is not demonstrated by the absence of resistance. Sexual activity that is forced is by definition non-consensual, but nonconsensual sexual activity is not by definition forced.

Incapacitation: 

Incapacitation is a state where someone cannot make rational, reasonable decisions because they lack the capacity to give knowing consent (e.g., to understand the “who, what, when, where, why or how” of their sexual interaction). Sexual activity with someone who one should know to be -- or based on the circumstances should reasonably have known to be -- mentally or physically incapacitated (by alcohol or other drug use, unconsciousness or blackout), constitutes a violation of this policy.

This also covers a person whose incapacity results from mental disability, sleep, involuntary physical restraint, or from the taking of rape drugs. Possession, use and/or distribution of any of these substances, including Rohypnol, Ketomine, GHB, Burundanga, etc. is prohibited, and administering one of these drugs to another student is a violation of this policy. More information on these drugs can be found at http://www.911rape.org/