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Consent

What You Need to Know

Per WSU policy, consent is defined as: 

“Consent - Affirmative and freely given permission to engage in sexual activity. A person can affirm consent, or lack of consent, through words or conduct. Consent can be withdrawn at any time, irrespective of the consent which may have been given previously. Silence or absence of resistance does not, necessarily, imply consent. A complainant has not consented when the complainant is under the age they can legally consent; unconscious; unaware that the act is occurring; physically unable to resist; overcome by force, violence, concealment, or surprise; or lacks the understanding to make rational decisions or engage in responsible actions due to alcohol or other drugs, or because the complainant is temporarily or permanently impaired by a disability. 

Being intoxicated or incapacitated does not diminish one’s responsibility to obtain consent and will not be an excuse for sexual harassment and misconduct.

The University adopts other circumstances identified in Utah law as standards for determining consent as in Utah Code Ann. §76-5-406. However, criminal prosecution of offenses is subject only to standards in applicable law. 

The University considers unconsented conduct as unwelcome conduct although consent, alone, does not necessarily indicate that conduct was welcomed.” 

Remember that consent is:  

  • Clear: consent is active. Consent is no silent, the absences of "no" or a "maybe." Consent is a yes
  • Coherent: people incapacitated by drugs or alcohol cannot consent. 
  • Willing: consent is never given under physical/verbal pressure or coercion. 
  • Ongoing: consent must be granted every time and for every act. 

If you hear a "no": 

There are many reasons why someone might not want to be intimate. It’s always the responsibility of the person initiating the sexual activity to ask about consent.

  • DO: thank them for feeling comfortable enough to set boundaries with you and ask them what they want to do instead. 
  • DO NOT: make them feel bad for saying no, rise to anger, or try to change their mind.