Dean of Students
Sexual Misconduct

What is Consent?

  • Consent : A central concept to understanding what constitutes a sexual offense under this policy is consent.

    Consent is the equal approval, given freely, willingly, and knowingly of each participant to desired sexual involvement in accordance with age of consent laws. A person compelled to engage in sexual contact by force, threat of force, or coercion has not consented to contact. Lack of mutual consent is the crucial factor in sexual offenses. Consent cannot be given if a person is unable to resist or consent because of a mental or physical condition or incapacitated due to drugs or alcohol or a reasonably perceived power differential that substantially impacts the person’s ability to resist the sexual contact. Providing alcohol or drugs to facilitate sexual activity is a violation of this policy. Use of alcohol or other drugs will not excuse behavior that violates this policy.

    The University will not recognize consent if the complainant is:

    • unconscious or asleep,
    • frightened,
    • physically or psychologically pressured or forced,
    • intimidated,
    • incapacitated because of a psychological condition,
    • incapacitated by use of drugs or alcohol 

    Consent to one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity. Similarly, previous relationships or previous consent do not imply consent to future sexual activity. In the absence of mutually understandable words or actions, it is the responsibility of the initiator or the person who wants to engage in the specific sexual activity to make sure that he/she has the consent from the other person(s). Mutually understandable consent must be obtained by the initiator at every stage of sexual interaction. The requirements of this policy apply regardless of the sex, sexual orientation and/or gender expression or identity of individuals engaging in sexual activity.

    Under applicable Washington law, the Washington State Criminal Code, RCW 9A.44.010(7) Definitions, "Consent" means that at the time of the act of sexual intercourse or sexual contact there are actual words or conduct indicating freely given agreement to have sexual intercourse or sexual contact.