August 9th, 2013 | University

Admins clarify sex misconduct policies in FAQs

In response to criticism surrounding the fourth semi-annual report of sexual misconduct complaints, administrators have released a set of Frequently Asked Questions on Yale’s Title IX and sexual misconduct response websites.

The FAQs addressed questions regarding the use of the term “non-consensual sex” in the report. According to the FAQs, nonconsensual sex includes encounters which did not include clear, unambiguous consent at every stage, but may not involve the coercion, force or threat of force associated with rape. In addition, administrators said in the FAQs that the University-Wide Committee on Sexual Misconduct considers a full range of penalties, starting with expulsion, in sexual misconduct cases.

A Change.org petition started by Samuel Ward-Packard ’14 on August 4 calling for administrators to punish all instances rape and “so-called ‘non-consensual sex’” in response to the semiannual report has over 500 signatures, as of press time. University President Peter Salovey responded to petition signees the next day reiterating Yale’s intolerance for sexual violence and promising to publish more informative documents by September 1 — specifically, a set of scenarios to illustrate nonconsensual scenarios and potential penalties.

Ward-Packard said more details about the relationship between punishment and circumstances are still needed to evaluate the sanctions the University handed out in the semiannual report.

“The key thing we need to move forward is information about how the variables mentioned in the FAQ actually influence the punishment handed down,” Ward-Packard said. “At present, we’re still being asked to take the university at its word that its punishments are proportional to the circumstances of the case.”

The FAQs reiterated the University’s promise to publish a set of scenarios and welcomed student input for the process.