Any kind of gender-related aggression, disrespect, or sexual violence hurts our whole community. It’s on us—all of us—to make Sewanee the kind of community we want to live in and where everyone can be successful.

A situation might be concerning if:
  • Someone is pressured to drink alcohol or use other drugs

  • Someone is physically rough with another

  • Someone is deliberately trying to intoxicate, isolate, or corner someone else

  • Someone ignores another person’s request to stop or to go home

  • Someone is being disrespected

  • Someone feels afraid of someone else

In situations when something doesn’t seem right to you, think about how you can intervene to make it safe for everyone:
  • Talk to your friends honestly and openly about sexual violence

  • Don’t just stand by—if you see something, do something, in any way you can, to change the situation

  • Be direct—ask someone who looks like they may need help if they’re okay

  • Get someone to help you if you see something—look at all the great resources in the resource section for more guidance.

Remember that we hold two values relevant to this challenge:
  1. Demonstrate self-control, and

  2. Develop trusting relationships.

If everyone manages these two values, we will all effectively demonstrate care for each other. To understand healthy relationships, first, everyone needs to know some basic expectations related to respect, consent, and sexual activity.

Rules to Remember:
  • The person desiring to initiate sexual activity is responsible for obtaining effective consent.

  • In order to obtain consent, permission must be given prior to or simultaneously with the sexual activity in question.

  • Effective consent should never be assumed. Lack of protest or resistance does not constitute effective consent. “No” means no, but nothing (silence, passivity, inertia) also means no. A verbal “No,” even if it sounds indecisive or insincere, should always be treated as a denial of effective consent.

  • If there is confusion as to whether effective consent is present (e.g., words, gestures, or other indications of hesitation or reluctance), the parties should stop the sexual activity immediately and verbally communicate with each other to resolve the confusion.

  • A prior sexual relationship or prior sexual activity does not constitute consent to subsequent sexual activity. Past consent does not imply future consent.

A few definitions...Consent is clear, knowing, and voluntary. Consent is active, not passive. Silence, in and of itself, cannot be interpreted as consent.

Sexual misconduct offenses include: non-consensual sexual contact, non-consensual sexual intercourse, sexual exploitation, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking. Each term is more explicitly defined in the Title IX policy. It’s important to know the terms and expectations.

Intervening

In situations when something doesn’t seem right to you, think about how you can intervene to make it safe for everyone.

  • Talk to your friends honestly and openly about sexual violence
  • Don’t just stand by—if you see something, do something, in any way you can, to change the situation.
  • Be direct—ask someone who looks like they may need help if they’re okay.
  • Get someone to help you if you see something—enlist a friend, a Proctor, a faculty member, or the police or a parent. Be fearless in asking for help.
Reporting

University reports can be made online or in person to the Title IX Coordinator, Dr. Sylvia Gray. Criminal reports can also be made to the Sewanee police department (931.598.1111 or using LiveSafe) or to the Franklin County sheriff's department (dial 911).

Our Commitment

Sewanee stands firmly for the principle that its employees, students, and participants of university-sponsored programs have a right to be free from discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran/reserve/national guard status, pregnancy and childbirth, and genetic information, and free from sexual misconduct in its educational programs and activities and with regard to employment.

The University is committed to sustaining a community in which the dignity of every individual is respected. Key to this value are efforts to nurture an environment of civility and mutual respect and to foster a culture of reporting concerns so that the University can respond promptly and equitably whenever an incident occurs. All employees, students, and participants of university-sponsored programs also have the right to be free from harassment and retaliation. More information is available here.