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Jul 10 2016
by Jenna Ciccotelli

The College of New Jersey Has Redefined Consent

By Jenna Ciccotelli - Jul 10 2016
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In a time where consent is a line that is crossed more often than ever in college, the College of New Jersey has redefined their policy to help strengthen the definition of consent.

According to nj.com, the new policy states:

Students cannot grant their consent for sexual activity if they are sleeping or incapacitated. 

The new definition replaces the word "intoxicated" with "incapacitated."

The policy was explained by nj.com:

The policy states that effective consent 'is informed, freely and actively given mutually understandable words or actions which indicate a willingness to participate in mutually agreed upon sexual activity.'
A person may be unable to give consent because of his or her age, or 'because the person is physically helpless, mentally incapacitated, or incapacitated from alcohol or other drugs.'

The college also defines "incapacitated" as lacking control over physical movements and inability to communicate.

"We wanted to make sure there was no confusion about a person's ability to give consent," Jordan Draper, the college's Title IX coordinator, told nj.com.

TCNJ is also changing its policy for investigation of sexual assault cases, according to nj.com. In the past, the victim and assailant would be present in the same room while facts were presented to faculty, students, and administrators. The new policy introduces an investigator who will collect information from both sides privately and present a report to administration.

"I think in order for us to do our job as educators we need to have the conversation with our students about consent and what it means to be under the influence and attempt to get somebody's consent," said Amy Hecht, the college's vice president of student affairs, to nj.com. "We want them to make smart, informed decisions about any type of sexual activity." 

In a time when the policies of colleges are critical for the safety of the students, as well as colleges making their students aware of these policies, the College of New Jersey has taken a step forward toward making consent understood by their students in order to protect them.

Lead Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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Jenna Ciccotelli - Northeastern University

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