Consent involves explicit communication. Affirmative consent is a knowing, voluntary, and mutual decision among all participants to engage in sexual activity. Consent can be given by words or actions, as long as those words or actions create clear permission regarding willingness to engage in the sexual activity. Silence or lack of resistance, in and of itself, does not demonstrate consent. The definition of consent does not vary based upon a participant's sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.
- A sexual encounter is considered consensual when individuals each willingly and knowingly engage in sexual activity. Consent cannot be obtained through the use of coercion. Coercion is the use of pressure, manipulation, substances force and disregarding objections of another party to engage in sexual activity. Consent must be clearly and unambiguously communicated.
- Consent to any one sexual act or prior sexual activity does not necessarily constitute consent to any other sexual act. Consent may be given initially but withdrawn at any time. When consent is withdrawn or can no longer be given, sexual activity must stop.
- One who is incapacitated (whether by alcohol or drug use, disability, unconsciousness, or is otherwise helpless) cannot consent to sexual activity. In this procedure, determining whether an individual was incapacitated may depend on the perspective of an objective and reasonable interpretation of events to consider whether a sober individual in the Respondent’s position could know or should have known that the Complainant was incapacitated.
- The person initiating each specific sexual act is responsible for obtaining affirmative consent, regardless of whether or not the initiator is under the influence of alcohol and/or other drugs.
Alcohol and Drug Amnesty. The health and safety of every student at Barnard is of utmost importance. Barnard recognizes that students who have been drinking and/or using drugs (whether such use is voluntary or involuntary) at the time that violence, including, but not limited to domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault occurs may be hesitant to report such incidents due to fear of potential consequences for their own conduct. Barnard strongly encourages students to report domestic violence, dating violence, stalking or sexual assault to College officials. A bystander acting in good faith or a reporting individual acting in good faith that discloses any incident of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking or sexual assault to College officials or law enforcement will not be subject to the College’s Code of Conduct action for violations of alcohol and/or drug use policies occurring at or near the time of the commission of the domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault. Find the College alcohol policy can be found on this page.
To request a confidential counselor, contact Barnard's Denise LeFrak Foundation Alcohol and Substance Awareness Program at (212) 854-2128.