Affirmative Consent

Affirmative consent means an active, clear and voluntary agreement by a person to engage in sexual activity with another person. Affirmative consent is informed, freely and actively given, and communicated through mutually understandable words or actions that indicate a willingness to participate in mutually agreed upon sexual activity. It is the responsibility of each person to ensure that he or she has the affirmative consent of all persons engaged in the sexual activity and that such consent is sustained throughout the sexual activity. Consent may never be given by minors, mentally disabled persons, those who are incapacitated, and those who are by law unable to give consent. If a person is mentally or physically incapacitated or impaired so that such person cannot understand the fact, nature, or extent of the sexual situation, there is no consent; this includes impairment or incapacitation due to alcohol or drug consumption that meets this standard or being asleep or unconscious.

Consent obtained by fraud or force (actual or implied) is not consent, whether that force is physical force, threats, intimidation, or verbal coercion. A lack of verbal or physical resistance alone does not meet the affirmative-consent standard and does not of itself indicate consent. Past consent on its own cannot be construed as current/future consent. Moreover, consent may be withdrawn at any time. Consent to engage in sexual activity with one person does not imply consent to engage in sexual activity with another person. Consent to engage in one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to engage in other forms.

References to “consent” in this policy should be construed as meaning “affirmative consent.”