Role of Alcohol and Other Drugs

While alcohol use is not the cause of sexual assault, it is often a major contributing factor in sexual assault incidents. Alcohol and drugs impair a person’s decision-making capacity, awareness
of 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.

The use of alcohol or other drugs does not minimize an initiator’s responsibility for perpetrating sexual assault or sexual misconduct. Being under the influence of alcohol or any other drug does not excuse behavior. In particular, it does not mitigate or nullify a charge of sexual assault or sexual misconduct.

The College provides disciplinary amnesty to victims and third-party reports of sexual violence. Amnesty is given, in lieu of sanction, to encourage survivors to seek out support services and report act of sexual violence or other forms of gender-based discrimination.   See our Amnesty/Bystander Intervention policy for more details.