Gender-based and Sexual Misconduct Policy

Introduction

Members of the University community, guests, and visitors have the right to be free from sexual violence. All members of the campus community are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that does not infringe upon the rights of others. Goodwin University believes in a zero tolerance policy for gender-based and sexual misconduct. When an allegation of misconduct is brought to an appropriate administrator’s attention, and a complaintant is found to have violated this policy, serious sanctions will be used to reasonably ensure that such actions are never repeated. This policy has been developed to reaffirm these principles and to provide recourse for those individuals whose rights have been violated. This policy is intended to define community expectations and to establish a mechanism for determining when those expectations have been violated.

Overview of Policy Expectations with Respect to Physical Sexual Misconduct

The expectations of our community regarding sexual misconduct can be summarized as follows: In order for individuals to engage in sexual activity of any type with each other, there must be clear, knowing, and voluntary consent prior to and during sexual activity. Consent is sexual permission. Consent can be given by word or action, but non-verbal consent is not as clear as talking about what you do and do not want sexually. Consent to one form of sexual activity cannot be automatically taken as consent to any other form of sexual activity. Silence — without actions demonstrating permission — cannot be assumed to show consent.

Additionally, there is a difference between seduction and coercion. Coercing someone into sexual activity violates the University's gender based and sexual misconduct policy in the same way as physically forcing someone into sex. Coercion happens when someone is pressured unreasonably for sex.

Because alcohol or other drugs use can place the capacity to consent in question, sober sex is less likely to raise such questions. When alcohol or other drugs are being used, individuals will be considered unable to give valid consent if they cannot fully understand the details of a sexual interaction (who, what, when, where, why, or how) because they lack the capacity to reasonably understand the situation. Individuals who consent to sex must be able to understand what they are doing. Under this policy, "No" always means "No," and "Yes" may not always mean "Yes." Anything but a clear, knowing, and voluntary consent to any sexual activity is equivalent to a "No."

Please refer to the Student Handbook for further information on violations, definitions, and sanctions. For questions or concerns or to report a violation of this policy, contact Madison Yates, Title IX Coordinator, at (860) 913-2141 or myates@goodwin.edu.