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Consent

Consent is a crucial component of the Caltech policy. Consent is the affirmative, conscious, and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity.

  • It is the responsibility of each person involved in the sexual activity to ensure that they have the affirmative consent of the other or others to engage in the sexual activity.
  • Lack of protest or resistance does not mean consent, nor does silence mean consent.
  • Affirmative consent must be ongoing through a sexual activity and can be revoked at any time.
  • The existence of a dating relationship between the persons involved, or the fact of past sexual relationship between them, should never by itself be assumed to be an indicator of consent.

It is not a valid excuse that the respondent believed that the complainant affirmatively consented to the sexual activity if the respondent knew or reasonably should have known that the complainant was unable to consent to the sexual activity under any of the following circumstances:

  • The complainant was asleep or unconscious
  • The complainant was incapacitated due to the influence of drugs, alcohol, or medication, so that the complainant could not understand the fact, nature or extent of the sexual activity
  • The complainant was unable to communicate due to a mental or physical condition.

It is not a valid excuse to alleged lack of affirmative consent that the respondent believed that the complainant consented to the sexual activity under either of the following circumstances:

  • The respondent’s belief arose from the intoxication or recklessness of the respondent.
  • The respondent did not take reasonable steps, in the circumstances known to the respondent at the time, to ascertain whether the complainant affirmatively consented.