On Sexual Assault

For all of its members, Widener University seeks to foster and maintain a community of mutual respect and concern.

There can be no greater violation of the terms of that community, or of the essential dignity of any member of it, than an act of sexual assault. Rape, attempted rape, and other sexual crimes constitute the deepest affront to university standards and will be treated accordingly. A student accused of sexual assault can be prosecuted under state or federal law and disciplined by Widener University. Note: Even if governmental authorities choose not to prosecute, the university can pursue strong disciplinary action through its own channels; in appropriate cases, the university will take into account the wishes of the victim. Violations of this policy may result in suspension, dismissal, or expulsion from the university. Thus, the university will not tolerate sexual assault in any form.

A “sexual assault” is a violation of any provision of state or federal law relating to sexual offenses, including, without limitation, rape, statutory sexual assault, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault, indecent assault, indecent exposure, or any sex offenses reportable under the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics Act.

In general, and without limiting the controlling definitions set forth in the applicable state or federal laws, a sexual assault is any sexual physical contact (intercourse, penetration of the genitals, or indecent contact) by a person without the consent of the complainant (the individual to whom the contact is directed). It also includes sexual physical contact that involves any of the following:

  1. Forcible compulsion
  2. Threat of forcible compulsion that would prevent resistance by a complainant of reasonable resolution
  3. The complainant is unconscious or the person knows that the complainant is unaware that the intercourse, penetration, or indecent contact is occurring
  4. The person has substantially impaired the complainant’s power to appraise or control his or her conduct by administering or employing, without the knowledge of the complainant, drugs, intoxicants, or other means for the purpose of preventing resistance
  5. The complainant is unable to consent due to temporary or permanent incapacity or impairment, mental or physical. “Incapacity” or “impairment” includes, but is not limited to, being under the influence of alcohol or drugs to a degree that renders the person incapable of consent.

Sexual exploitation is an act or omission to act that involves a student or students taking nonconsensual, unjust, humiliating, or abusive sexual advantage of another, either for his or her own advantage or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited. Examples of sexual exploitation include but are not limited to the following:

  1. Creating a picture(s), movie(s), webcam, tape recording(s), graphic written narrative(s) or other means of memorializing sexual behavior or a state of undress of another person without the other’s knowledge and consent
  2. Sharing items described in paragraph (i) above and beyond the boundaries of consent where consent was given. For example, showing a picture to friends where consent to view it was given for oneself only.
  3. Observing or facilitating observation by others of sexual behavior or a state of undress of another person without the knowledge and consent of that person.
  4. “Peeping Tom”/voyeuristic behaviors
  5. Engaging in sexual behavior with knowledge of an illness or disease (HIV or STD) that could be transmitted by the behavior
  6. Engaging in or attempting to engage others in “escort services” or “dating services” that include or encourage in any way sexual behavior in exchange for money
  7. Surreptitiously providing drugs or alcohol to a person for the purpose of sexual exploitation
  8. Causing another person to be exposed to pornographic material without the person’s advance knowledge or consent