- Amanda and Sam meet at a party. They spend the evening dancing and getting to know each other. Sam convinces Amanda to come up to Sam’s room. From 11:00 p.m. until 3:00 a.m., Sam uses every possible line to convince Amanda to have sex with Sam, but she adamantly refuses. Sam keeps at her, and begins to question her religious convictions, and accuses her of being “a prude.” Finally, it seems to Sam that her resolve is weakening, and Sam convinces her to touch Sam’s genitals. Amanda would never had done it but for Sam’s incessant advances. Sam feels that he/she/zi successfully seduced her, and that she wanted to do it all along, but was playing shy and hard to get. Why else would she have come up to his/her/hir room alone after the party? If she really didn’t want it, she could have left. Sam is likely responsible for violating the college Non-Consensual Sexual Contact policy. It is likely that the College Hearing Board would find that the degree and duration of the pressure Sam applied to Amanda are unreasonable. Sam coerced Amanda into performing unwanted sexual touching. Where sexual activity is coerced, it is forced. Consent is not effective when forced. Sex without effective consent is sexual misconduct.
- Alex comes to Elizabeth’s residence hall room with some mutual friends to watch a movie. Alex and Elizabeth, who have never met before, are attracted to each other. After the movie, everyone leaves, and Alex and Elizabeth are alone. They hit it off, and are soon becoming more intimate. They start to make out. Alex verbally expresses her/his/hir desire to have sex with Elizabeth. Elizabeth isn’t ready to do it with Alex, since they just met. But, she likes Alex and doesn’t want to scare her/him/hir off either. She decides to satisfy Alex orally, hoping they can get to know one another better later before engaging in intercourse. Perceiving the oral sex as foreplay, Alex stops Elizabeth, lays her back on the bed, takes off her clothes, and engages in intercourse with her. Elizabeth is unresponsive during the intercourse. This behavior by Alex would likely violate the sexual misconduct policy. Engaging in one form of sexual behavior does not necessarily imply consent to another. Clearly, Elizabeth consented by her actions to oral sex with Alex. But Alex had no mutually understandable indication from Elizabeth that she consented to sexual intercourse. Some verbal or clear overt action would be necessary to show Alex that Elizabeth wanted to have more than oral sex with him.
- Pat and Amy are at a Harris party. Pat is not sure how much Amy has been drinking, but is pretty sure it’s a lot. After the party, Pat walks Amy to her room, and Amy comes on to Pat, initiating sexual activity. Pat asks her if she is really up to this, and she says yes. Clothes go flying, and they end up in Amy’s bed. Suddenly, Amy runs for the bathroom. When she returns, her face is pale, and Pat thinks she may have thrown up. Amy gets back into bed, and they begin to have sexual intercourse. Pat is having a good time, but can’t help but notice Amy seems pretty groggy, and he/she/zi thinks Amy may have even passed out briefly during the sex, but Pat does not let that stop him/her/hir. When Pat runs into Amy the next day, he/she/zi thanks Amy for the wild night. Amy remembers nothing, and decides to make a complaint to the Dean. This is a possible violation of the Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse Policy. Pat should have known that Amy was incapable of making a rational, reasonable decision about sex. Even if Amy seemed to consent, Pat was well aware that Amy had consumed a large amount of alcohol, and Pat thought Amy was physically ill, and passed out during sex. Pat should be held accountable for taking advantage of Amy in her condition. This is not the level of respectful conduct expected of Grinnell students.
- Terry and Floyd meet in the library and frequently see each other as they study. They begin to go to parties and hang out together. One night Terry and Floyd go out drinking. After the bar closes, they go to Terry’s room. Terry is very drunk and engages in sex with Floyd, despite Floyd’s protests. Floyd is not as drunk as Terry and he wants to remain faithful to a significant other from his hometown. Terry argues that even if she/he/zi might have had non-consensual sex with Floyd, it was not her/his/hir fault because of how drunk Terry was. Terry believes that she/he/zi was so drunk that she/he/zi didn’t even know she/he/zi was having sex with Floyd. After all, Terry reasons, every person faced with the possibility of having sex never says no. Is this a policy violation? This is possibly a violation, as intoxication (even to the point of incapacity) of an initiating party is no excuse for violation of the sexual misconduct policy. If it were, drunken people could be excused for drunk driving because they were so drunk they didn’t realize they were driving. Further, sexual misconduct is not intent-based. Whether or not Terry intended to commit non-consensual sexual intercourse is irrelevant. The fact that Terry had sex with Floyd without his consent could be sufficient to satisfy the elements of the offense. This is a good place for a reminder about resistance. None is required under this policy, and this is as true regardless of one’s gender.