The body, assembled by the Campus Security Committee, defined consent, coercion and sexual assault and revisited their previous definitions.
The members’ discussion revolved around a definition of consent offered by UNC-Pembroke, which would serve as a starting block for the committee’s definitions.
“Consent is not to be inferred from silence, passivity or lack of resistance and relying on non-verbal communication may result in a violation of this policy,” the UNC-Pembroke policy said.
The body worked to incorporate various universities’ policies into their drafted definitions.
“I think most of these differences are matters of nuance and maybe they’re informed by some particular case that happened on a particular campus,” said Barbara Krause, deputy general counsel for Appalachian State University.
Each member analyzed UNC-Pembroke’s policy and offered suggestions for alterations or clarifications.
For subcommittee member Ronette Gerber, UNC-Pembroke’s director of Title IX and Clery Compliance, providing definitions that would minimize ambiguities to help students behave safely was particularly important.
“This is a tough conversation for students to have with each other in the moment,” she said. “And I get the sense when I’m talking with students that they’re trying to figure out how to consent without saying ‘I want to have sex’ or ‘I don’t want to have sex.’”