What is Consent?
Sexual activity requires consent. Consent refers to a clear, unambiguous and voluntary
agreement between participants to engage in sexual activity. A verbal "no," even
if perceived to be indecisive constitutes a lack of consent. A clear, verbal "yes"
is necessary evidence of consent.
- The person initiating sexual contact must have the other person's verbal consent.
Sexual contact without verbal consent is sexual assault.
- Consent may not be inferred from silence or passivity.
- It is the responsibility of the person initiating the sexual activity to obtain the
other party's consent throughout the duration of sexual activity. Consent to one form
of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity.
- Consent may be withdrawn at any time.
- Consent must be given freely, willingly and knowingly by each participant to any desired
- Consent cannot be obtained from someone who is asleep or otherwise mentally or physically
incapacitated, whether due to alcohol, drugs or some other condition. Consent cannot
be obtained by threat, coercion or force. Specifically, a person is not able to give
valid consent in the following situations:
- When an individual is incapacitated because of alcohol or other drugs: An individual
who is incapacitated cannot consent to sexual activity. An individual is incapacitated
if he/she is physically helpless, unconscious, or unaware, due to drug or alcohol
consumption (voluntarily or involuntarily) or for some other reason. Where alcohol
is involved, incapacitation is a state beyond drunkenness or intoxication. Some indicators
of incapacitation may include, but are not limited to, lack of control over physical
movements, being unaware of circumstances or surroundings, or being unable to communicate
for any reason.
- When an individual is sleeping or unconscious.
- Consent cannot be obtained when an individual's ability to freely, willingly and knowingly
consent is taken away by another. Specifically, a person is not able to give valid
consent in the following situations:
- When an individual is physically forced to participate.
- When an individual is intimidated, coerced, threatened – even a perceived threat –
isolated or confined.
- A person violates this Policy if he or she has sexual contact with someone he or she
knows or should know, to be mentally incapacitated or has reached the degree of intoxication
that results in incapacitation. The test of whether an individual should know about
another's incapacitation is whether a reasonable, sober person would know about the
incapacitation. An accused student cannot rebut a sexual misconduct charge merely
by asserting that he or she was drunk or otherwise impaired and, as a result did not
know that the other person was incapacitated. Alcohol, drugs or other intoxicants
do not dismiss the responsibility of an individual to obtain valid consent.
- Consent cannot be inferred from a current or previous dating or sexual relationship.
- Consent cannot be inferred from an individual's attire or physical appearance.
- Consent cannot be inferred from an individual's offer, acceptance or participation
in any form of non-physical sexual activity (e.g. social media forums, date/outing).
- For purposes of this Policy, conduct will be considered "without consent" if no clear
verbal consent is given.
What if Consent is Not Given?
Participating in sexual activity without freely given and verbal consent is considered,
by law, sexual assault. The University of Dallas takes the matter of rape, dating
violence, acquaintance rape, domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and any form
of harassment very seriously. UD is committed to making sure each member of the community
is able to function without fear or intimidation. Any student or employee found responsible
for any form of sexual misconduct may face any of the following disciplinary actions:
- • Loss of privileges
- • Fines
- • Permanent removal from living or work space
- • Mandatory assessment and treatment
- • Long-term intervention program
- • Removal or non-renewal of scholarships
- • Restraining order
- • Temporary suspension
- • Dismissal
- • Expulsion
The University of Dallas will adhere to the law--as described by the penal code Title 5, Chapter 22, Section 22.01 of the state of
Texas--when determining Sexual Assault.
- Texas Penal Code Title 5: Offenses Against The Person, Chapter 22: Assaultive Offenses
Red Lights: Signs You Should Stop
• You are too intoxicated to gauge or give consent (signs include slurred speech,
problems with balance, and impaired motor skills).
•Your partner is asleep or passed out.
•You hope you partner will say nothing and go with the flow.
•You intend to have sex by any means necessary.
•You are using physical force to have sex
•You don't think they would agree to have sex if they were sober.
•You have had sex before but they have said they're not interested tonight.
•You have coerced your partner in any way (asking repeatedly, putting pressure on
your partner, physically intimidating them, etc.).
Yellow Lights: Signs You Should Pause and Talk
- •You are not sure what the other person wants.
- •You feel like you are getting mixed signals.
- •You have not talked about what you want to do.
- •You assume that you will do the same thing as before.
- •Your partner stops or is not responsive.
Green Lights: Keep Communicating
- •Partners come to a mutual decision about how far to go.
- •Partners clearly express their comfort with the situation.
- •You feel comfortable and safe stopping at any time.
Adapted from American College Health Association, Shifting the Paradigm: Primary Prevention
of Sexual Violence Toolkit