1991 | Yellow Springs, OH

Sexual Politics

The Antioch student handbook establishes rules of consent.

All sexual contact and conduct on the Antioch College campus and/or occurring with an Antioch community member must be consensual. When a sexual offense, as defined herein, is committed by a community member, such action will not be tolerated.

(1) For the purpose of this policy, “consent” shall be defined as follows: the act of willingly and verbally agreeing to engage in specific sexual contact or conduct.

(2) If sexual contact and/or conduct is not mutually and simultaneously initiated, then the person who initiates sexual contact/conduct is responsible for getting verbal consent of the other individual(s) involved.

(3) Obtaining consent is an ongoing process in any sexual interaction. Verbal consent should be obtained with each new level of physical and/or sexual contact/conduct in any given interaction, regardless of who initiates it. Asking “Do you want to have sex with me?” is not enough. The request for consent must be specific to each act.

Aura, by Chris Fraser, 2015. © Chris Fraser, courtesy of the artist and Gallery Wendi Norris, San Francisco.

(4) The person with whom sexual contact/conduct is initiated is responsible to express verbally and/or physically her/his willingness or lack of willingness when reasonably possible.

(5) If someone has initially consented but then stops consenting during sexual interaction, she/he should communicate withdrawal verbally and/or through physical resistance. The other individual(s) must stop immediately.

(6) To knowingly take advantage of someone who is under the influence of alcohol, drugs, and/or prescribed medication is not acceptable behavior at Antioch College.

About This Text

From the Antioch College student handbook. Reactions varied when the college, founded by Horace Mann in 1852, issued this policy, originally drafted by a feminist group called Womyn of Antioch. Saturday Night Live mocked it with a quiz show called “Is It Date Rape?” and a New York Times article worried about “legislating kisses.” But over the next two decades, these rules of consent were adopted by many other colleges. In 2014 California passed a law that mirrored Antioch’s language; New York followed suit in 2015.