Members of the Texarkana College 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. The College believes in a zero tolerance policy for gender-based misconduct. When an allegation of misconduct is brought to an appropriate administration’s attention, and a respondent 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.
The college reserves the right to take whatever measures it deems necessary in response to an allegation of sexual misconduct in order to protect students’ rights and personal safety. Such measures include, but are not limited to, modification of living arrangements, interim suspension from campus pending a hearing, and reporting the matter to the local police. Not all forms of sexual misconduct will be deemed to be equally serious offenses, and the college reserves the right to impose different sanctions, ranging from verbal warning to expulsion, depending on the severity of the offense. The college will consider the concerns and rights of both the complainant and the person accused of sexual misconduct.
Sexual Misconduct Offenses
Sexual misconduct offenses include, but are not limited to:
- Sexual Harassment
- Non-Consensual Sexual Contact (or attempts to commit same)
- Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse (or attempts to commit same)
- Sexual Exploitation
1. Sexual Harassment
Sexual Harassment is unwelcome, gender-based verbal or physical conduct that is, sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that it, has the effect of unreasonably interfering with, denying or limiting someone’s ability to participate in or benefit from the college’s educational program and/or activities, and is based on power differentials (quid pro quo), the creation of a hostile environment, or retaliation. Examples include: an attempt to coerce an unwilling person into a sexual relationship; to repeatedly subject a person to egregious, unwelcome sexual attention; to punish a refusal to comply with a sexual based request; to condition a benefit on submitting to sexual advances; sexual violence; intimate partner violence, stalking; gender-based bullying.
2. Non-Consensual Sexual Contact
Non-Consensual Sexual Contact is any intentional sexual touching, however slight, with any object, by a man or a woman upon a man or a woman, which is without consent and/or by force. Sexual Contact includes: intentional contact with the breasts, buttock, groin, or genitals, or touching another with any of these body parts, or making another touch you or themselves with or on any of these body parts; any intentional bodily contact in a sexual manner, though not involving contact with/of/by breasts, buttocks, groin, genitals, mouth or other orifice.
3. Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse
Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse is any sexual intercourse however slight, with any object, by a man or woman upon a man or a woman, which is without consent and/or by force. Intercourse includes: vaginal penetration by a penis, object, tongue or finger; anal penetration by a penis, object, tongue, or finger; and oral copulation (mouth to genital contact or genital to mouth contact), no matter how slight the penetration or contact.
4. Sexual Exploitation
Occurs when a student takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for his/her own advantage or benefit, or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited, and that behavior does not otherwise constitute one of other sexual misconduct offenses. Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to: invasion of sexual privacy; prostituting another student; non-consensual video or audio-taping of sexual activity; going beyond the boundaries of consent (such as letting your friends hide in the closet to watch you having consensual sex); engaging in voyeurism; knowingly transmitting an STI or HIV to another student; exposing one’s genitals in non-consensual circumstances; inducing another to expose their genitals; sexually-based stalking and/or bullying may also be forms of sexual exploitation
Additional Applicable Definitions
Consent is clear, knowing and voluntary. Consent is active, not passive. Silence, in and of itself, cannot be interpreted as consent. Consent can be given by words or actions, as long as those words or actions create mutually understandable clear permission regarding willingness to engage in (and the conditions of) sexual activity.
- Consent to any one form of sexual activity cannot automatically imply consent to any other forms of sexual activity.
- Previous relationships or prior consent cannot imply consent to future sexual acts.
- In order to give effective consent, one must be of legal age.
Force is the use of physical violence and/or imposing on someone physically to gain sexual access. Force also includes threats, intimidation (implied threats) and coercion that overcome resistance or produce consent (“Have sex with me or I’ll hit you. Okay, don’t hit me, I’ll do what you want.”).
Coercion is unreasonable pressure for sexual activity. Coercive behavior differs from seductive behavior based on the type of pressure someone uses to get consent from another. When someone makes clear to you that they do not want sex, that they want to stop, or that they do not want to go past a certain point of sexual interaction, continued pressure beyond that point can be coercive.
Incapacitation is a state where someone cannot make rational, reasonable decisions because they lack the capacity to give knowing consent (e.g., to understand the “who, what, when, where, why or how” of their sexual interaction).
- Sexual activity with someone who one should know to be — or based on the circumstances should reasonably have known to be — mentally or physically incapacitated (by alcohol or other drug use, unconsciousness or blackout), constitutes a violation of this policy.
- This policy also covers a person whose incapacity results from mental disability, sleep, involuntary physical restraint, or from the taking of rape drugs. Possession, use and/or distribution of any of these substances, including Rohypnol, Ketamine, GHB, Burundanga, etc. is prohibited, and administering one of these drugs to another student is a violation of this policy. More information on these drugs can be found at http://www.911rape.org/
- Use of alcohol or other drugs will never function as a defense to a violation of this policy.
NOTE: There is no requirement that a party resists the sexual advance or request, but resistance is a clear demonstration of non-consent. The presence of force is not demonstrated by the absence of resistance. Sexual activity that is forced is by definition non consensual, but non-consensual sexual activity is not by definition forced.
- Any student found responsible for violating the policy on Non-Consensual or Forced Sexual Contact (where no intercourse has occurred) will likely receive a sanction ranging from probation to expulsion, depending on the severity of the incident, and taking into account any previous campus conduct code violations.
- Any student found responsible for violating the policy on Non-Consensual or Forced Sexual Intercourse will likely face a recommended sanction of suspension or expulsion.
- Any student found responsible for violating the policy on sexual exploitation or sexual harassment will likely receive a recommended sanction ranging from warning to expulsion, depending on the severity of the incident, and taking into account any previous campus conduct code violations.
Reporting Allegations of Sexual Misconduct
For more information please see the Student Welfare – Freedom from Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation policy.