The Elizabethtown College Student Handbook defines consent as sexual permission. Consent is informed, freely and actively given, and requires clear communication between all persons involved in the sexual encounter. Consent is active, not passive. Consent can be communicated verbally or by actions, but non-verbal consent is less clear than talking about what is acceptable or allowable. Consent, in whatever way it is communicated, must be mutually understandable. Silence, in and of itself, cannot be interpreted as consent. It is the responsibility of the initiator of sexual contact to make sure they understand fully what the person with whom they are involved wants and does not want sexually. Consent to one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity. Previous relationships or consent does not imply consent to future sexual acts. Consent can be withdrawn at any time. Consent cannot be procured by use of physical force, compelling threats, intimidating behavior, or coercion. Effective consent cannot be given by minors, mentally disabled individuals or persons incapacitated as a result of drugs or alcohol. Being intoxicated or impaired by drugs or alcohol is never an excuse for sexual harassment, misconduct or violence and does not diminish one’s responsibility to obtain consent.
Incapacitation is a state where an individual cannot make a rational, reasonable decision because they lack the ability to understand the who, what, when, where, why or how of their interaction.
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.