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Student Handbook
Student Conduct

Alcohol and Consent

Consent—A Prerequisite for Sexual Activity

Alcohol is often referred to as a social lubricant; it allows some people to feel more at ease in social settings. They can become more talkative and inhibitions relax. Nothing wrong with that.

It is disturbing, however, to learn that approximately 80% of reported sexual assaults occurring on college campuses involve alcohol consumption.

All sexual activity should be preceded by consent. 

Consent is knowing, voluntary and clear permission by word or action, to engage in mutually agreed upon sexual activity. Since individuals may experience the same interaction in different ways, it is the responsibility of each party to make certain that the other has consented before engaging in the activity. For consent to be valid, there must be a clear expression in words or actions that the other individual consented to that specific sexual conduct.

A person cannot consent if he or she is unable to understand what is happening or is disoriented, helpless, asleep or unconscious for any reason, including due to alcohol or other drugs. An individual who engages in sexual activity when the individual knows, or should know, that the other person is physically or mentally incapacitated, has violated University policy. 

It is not an excuse that the individual accused of sexual misconduct was intoxicated and, therefore, did not realize the incapacity of the other. Incapacitation is defined as a state where someone cannot make rational, reasonable decisions because they lack the capacity to give knowing consent (e.g., to understand the "who, what, when, where, why or how" of their sexual interaction). University policy also covers a person whose incapacity results from mental disability, involuntary physical restraint and/or from the taking of incapacitating drugs.

Butler University addresses allegations of sexual misconduct involving students through the Equity Grievance Process as described in the Civil Right Equity Grievance Policy (in the Rights and Responsibilities section of the Student Handbook).

Assistance is available to Butler students with questions/concerns about sexual violence situations through our Victim Advocate.

Additional Resources

About Title IX (Butler University specific)

Respect and It's On Us

Civil Rights Equity Grievance Policy and Process