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Examples of Student-to-Student Sexual Misconduct
The hypothetical scenarios below are intended to illustrate some behaviors that are violations of the Student-to-Student Sexual Misconduct Policy. These are only examples, and this is not an exhaustive list. The scenarios provide basic facts. Additionally, although the gender of the survivor and offender are noted, these could be shifted (he for she, she for he) and the incident would remain a Student-to-Student Sexual Misconduct Policy violation. To report an incident of student-to-student sexual misconduct, a student could contact Campus Police (x2121), the Dean of Students, Debra DeMeis (firstname.lastname@example.org, x2322, 244 Green Hall) or the Associate Dean of Students, Michelle Lepore (email@example.com, x2322, 244 Green Hall), or the College’s Title IX Coordinator, Katherine Stewart (firstname.lastname@example.org, x2214, 136 Green Hall). For information about the resources available for survivors of sexual misconduct, see Wellesley College Resources for Student Survivors of Sexual Misconduct. (The term survivor is being used to refer to a student who has experienced sexual misconduct.)
- Pat and Kris have been in an ongoing relationship for a year-and-a-half and have engaged in consensual sex. One night while becoming intimate, Pat stops and says she doesn’t feel like having sex that night. Kris continues to touch her, saying that she’s now excited and it’s unfair to be led on like that. Again Pat says she does not want to have sex, and then is silent. Kris decides Pat has given in, and proceeds in sexual engagement.
This is a violation of the Student-to-Student Sexual Misconduct Policy. Kris had sex with Pat without receiving consent from Pat. The fact that Pat has freely consented to sex with Kris in the past does NOT mean Pat consents to sex in this situation.
- Erin is talking to several of her friends at a crowded party. Also at the party is Ryan -- a male student spending a semester at Wellesley on the Twelve College Exchange Program whom Erin knows from chemistry class. Ryan comes up behind Erin and places his arms around her waist. She says hi to Ryan and continues her conversation. After a while, Erin realized that Ryan has moved his hands down to her butt. She turns to him and tells him to stop, saying she doesn’t want to be touched in that way and that he should have more respect for her. Ryan laughs, tells Erin she takes herself too seriously, and again begins to grope her.
This is a violation of the Student-to-Student Sexual Misconduct Policy. Ryan touched Erin in a sexual way without her consent, and continued to do so after she told him to stop. This behavior is a form of sexual misconduct.
- Kristen and Myra have been intimate for a few weeks. One night, Myra calls Kristen and asks her to come over. When she arrives, Myra kisses Kristen passionately and leads her into the bedroom. They each express their excitement and desire to “hook up,” and are soon making out heavily in Myra’s bed. After a while, Kristen tries to engage in oral sex with Myra. Myra tells Kristen that she really likes her, but that she doesn’t feel ready for that. Kristen tells Myra she’s just being shy, and ignores Myra when she repeats that she doesn’t feel ready. Finally, Kristen threatens to reveal on the Internet that Myra has intimate relationships with women. Because Myra has not yet come out to her friends and family, she becomes frightened and silent. Kristen proceeds to have oral sex with Myra.
This is a violation of the Student-to-Student Sexual Misconduct Policy. Because of Kristen’s intimidation and threats, Myra was afraid. Even though Myra did not object again, and was silent instead, she still did not give effective consent - consent cannot be obtained by threats or intimidation. Kristen did not receive consent from Myra and has committed sexual misconduct.
- Liz and Cathy have been together for six months. One night, Liz and Cathy engage in consensual sexual activity. Without Cathy’s knowledge, Liz sets up her digital camera to videotape them having sex. The next evening, Liz uploads the video to an online video-sharing site and discusses it with her friends online.
This is a violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy. Cathy’s consent to engage in sex with Liz did NOT mean Liz had obtained consent to videotape it. This is a form of sexual exploitation.
- Susan and Linda have been flirting with each other all night at a party. Around 12:30 a.m., Susan excuses herself to find a bathroom. Linda notices Susan slurring her speech, likely from alcohol intoxication. Linda wonders if Susan went to the bathroom to vomit. When Susan returns, the two begin flirting more heavily and move to a couch. As the conversation continues, the two become more relaxed and more physically affectionate. Linda soon suggests they go back to her room, and Susan agrees. As they walk down the stairs, Linda notices that Susan looks unstable and offers an arm for support and balance. When they get back to Linda’s room, Linda leads Susan to the bed and they begin to become intimate. Susan becomes increasingly passive and appears disoriented. Linda again thinks that Susan is drunk. Linda proceeds to have sex with Susan. The next morning, Susan thinks they had sex but cannot piece together the events leading up to it.
This is a violation of the Student-to-Student Sexual Misconduct Policy. Susan was clearly under the influence of and incapacitated by alcohol and thus unable to give effective consent to engage in sex with Linda. Although Linda may not have known how much alcohol Susan had consumed, she was aware of indicators from which a reasonable person would conclude that Susan was intoxicated, and therefore unable to give effective consent. Because Susan was incapacitated due to alcohol and unable to give consent, but Linda proceeded to have sex with her anyway, Linda has committed sexual misconduct.
- Hannah and Ashley have been dating for six months. One Friday night after a fun dinner in Cambridge and a relatively easy Senate bus ride back to campus, Hannah and Ashley decide to spend the night in Ashley’s single room. Hannah was always vocally exuberant while she was being sexually pleasured, and Ashley decided it would be fun to audio record Hannah on her iPhone, though she did not share that she was doing this with Hannah.
This is a violation of the Student-to-Student Sexual Misconduct Policy. Ashley made an audio recording of sexual activity without the knowledge or consent of Hannah.
A number of these scenarios have been adopted with permission from Duke University.
Scenarios were reviewed in the Spring of 2011 by the Wellesley College CG Cabinet and WC HPC.