Occidental College Sexual Assault Policies

By August 1, 2013

Relevant excerpt, with PDF of full policy embedded below:

Incapacitation: Incapacitation is a state where an individual cannot make an informed and rational decision to engage in sexual activity because s/he lacks conscious knowledge of the nature of the act (e.g., to understand the who, what, when, where, why or how of the sexual interaction) and/or is physically helpless. An individual is incapacitated, and therefore unable to give consent, if s/he is asleep, unconscious, or otherwise unaware that sexual activity is occurring.

Incapacitation may result from the use of alcohol and/or drugs. Consumption of alcohol or other drugs alone is insufficient to establish incapacitation. The impact of alcohol and drugs varies from person to person, and evaluating incapacitation requires an assessment of how the consumption of alcohol and/or drugs impact an individual’s:

  • decision-making ability;
  • awareness of consequences;
  • ability to make informed judgments; or
  • capacity to appreciate the nature and the quality of the act.

Evaluating incapacitation also requires an assessment of whether a Respondent knew or should have known, that the Complainant was incapacitated.

Alcohol and Other Drugs: In general, sexual contact while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs poses a risk to all parties. Alcohol and drugs impair a person’s decision-making capacity, awareness of the consequences, and ability to make informed judgments. It is especially important, therefore, that anyone engaging in sexual activity be aware of the other person’s level of intoxication. If there is any doubt as to the level or extent of the other individual’s intoxication or impairment, the prudent course of action is to forgo or cease any sexual contact or activity.

Being intoxicated or impaired by drugs or alcohol is never an excuse for sexual harassment, sexual violence, stalking or intimate partner violence and does not diminish one’s responsibility to obtain consent.

Download file "Policies & Procedures _ Occidental College _ The Liberal Arts College in Los Angeles"

Schools: Occidental College Cases: Occidental College: Student Found Guilty of Sexual Assault After Incapacitation Standard Is Misapplied