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Relevant Definitions

Throughout the Columbia College Title IX and Sexual Harassment Policy as well as the Columbia College, the term "sexual harassment" is used as an umbrella term that collectively refers to quid pro quo sexual harassment, hostile environment sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking.

Specific definitions of each of the above terms may be found within the Columbia College Title IX and Sexual Harassment Policy.

In all of the mentioned terms, the concept of "consent" is often paramount. At Columbia College, consent is defined as permission to act. Lack of consent is a critical factor in determining whether sexual assault has occurred. This must be an unambiguous and voluntary agreement to engage in a specific sexual conduct. A person who is incapacitated is not capable of giving consent. Although consent can be given by words or actions, those words or actions must be clear and mutually understood. Consent should meet all of the following standards:

  • Active, not passive.
  • Given freely.
  • Provided knowingly.
  • Specific.

For further information about what consent looks like in real life, please visit the following:

Consent: It's Simple as Tea [clean version] 

RAINN's article, "What Consent Looks Like." 


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