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Sexual Misconduct and Gender-Based Violence Policies

Sexual Misconduct Policy

Members of the Vassar College community, guests, and visitors have the right to be free from sexual violence. Vassar College believes in a zero tolerance policy for gender-based sexual misconduct, and the college is committed to fostering a community that promotes the prompt reporting of sexual misconduct and timely and fair resolution of sexual misconduct complaints. The expectations of our community regarding sexual misconduct can be summarized as follows: In order for individuals to engage in sexual activity of any type with each other, there must be clear, knowing, and voluntary consent prior to and during sexual activity. This policy has been developed to reaffirm these principles and to provide recourse for those individuals whose rights have been violated. This policy is intended to define community expectations and to establish a mechanism for determining when those expectations have been violated. 

Sexual misconduct offenses include, but are not limited to, sexual harassment (see Policy against Discrimination and Harassment), non-consensual sexual contact (or attempts to commit same), non-consensual sexual intercourse (or attempts to commit same), and sexual exploitation. Use of alcohol or other drugs will never function as a defense to a violation of this policy. The college will consider the concerns and rights of both the reporting individual and the accused. 

—Adapted from the ATIXA Gender-Based and Sexual Misconduct Model Policy © 2011. National Center for Higher Education Risk Management (NCHERM) & Association of Title IXAdministrators (ATIXA). 

Dating/Domestic Violence 

The purpose of Vassar College’s Dating/Domestic Violence Policy is to define dating/domestic violence and to outline the student conduct process for charges of relationship abuse. All students, faculty, administrators, and staff are subject to this policy. 

Vassar College is a residential educational community bound by common standards of conduct and adherence to its educational missions. Dating/domestic violence interferes with the college’s educational mission and with students’ aspirations and abilities, individually and collectively by: 

  1. Causing emotional and/or physical harm to community members; 
  2. Contributing to an atmosphere of fear; 
  3. Offending the dignity and violating the autonomy of community members; and
  4. Disrupting the academic progress of affected community members. 

Gender-based Stalking

Students who think they are being stalked are encouraged to access the resources of the Sexual Assault and Violence Prevention (SAVP) program and are entitled to the same rights as outlined in the College Regulations Part K, II N. All incidents of stalking will be taken seriously. When the stalker is anonymous, the college will investigate as thoroughly as possible using all available resources.