Tuesday, October 5, 2021

As you engage in social activities off campus, there has been an increase of concerns regarding sexual consent and personal safety, specifically as it relates to intoxication and unknowing consumption of controlled substances (sometimes referred to roofies or date rape drugs.) Many of these drugs mimic the effects of intoxication, so distinguishing between the two can be difficult. Alcohol is the most common substance used to facilitate sexual assault, but it is not the only one.

It is never acceptable to give someone else so much alcohol and/or other intoxicating substance/s that their capacity to function is impaired or they become incapacitated, and then proceed to have sexual contact with them. It is neveracceptable to engage in sexual activity with someone whose functioning is impaired or who is incapacitated as a result of having consumed alcohol and/or other intoxicating substances (no matter the source), or to stand by passively and allow someone else to do so.

While the person ultimately responsible for sexual violence is the perpetrator, as a campus community, we have the ability to intervene whenever we encounter vulnerable individuals in high-risk situations. If you experience any of the below or notice a friend who:

  • Appears more drunk than they should be considering the amount they consumed
  • Is unconscious
  • Is acting strangely, or appears confused or disoriented
  • Appears not in control of their body or actions

We encourage you to consider safely implementing the following behaviors:

  • Take care of each other – even if it might have negative social consequences
  • Help the person get to safety, whether that means getting medical attention or getting safely back home. Don’t leave them alone, stay with them and monitor the situation until you feel they are safe.
  • Be creative. There are lots of ways to have a good time in social situations without excessive use of alcohol and/or other intoxicating substances.
  • When hosting a social event, refrain from offering beverages from a communal source (like a pre-made punch), which can make it extremely difficult for others to manage their consumption and know with certainty what is in their cup.
  • Talk with your friends before you go out about how you can work together to make sure that everyone at the event can enjoy themselves without fear of being harmed. Make a pact to support each other in intervening whenever it is necessary, and talk about specific ways you can do this.
  • Make a plan with your friends before going out, including determining who wants to be part of the same group coming home and who thinks they might want to go their own way – and how they might communicate that as the night unfolds. Never abandon a friend.
  • Call 911 if you are worried for their or your own physical safety.

If you are concerned about past experiences you have had, or someone you care about has had, please consider reaching out to one of the confidential resources below for support.