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What is consent?

The university’s Student Sexual Violence Policy and Procedures define consent as “the active, ongoing, informed and voluntary agreement to engage in physical contact or sexual activity. Consent cannot be given by someone who is incapacitated (such as by drugs or alcohol), unconscious, or otherwise unable to understand and voluntarily give consent.”

Consent is as easy as FRIES:

Freely Given

Consent is an active, direct, voluntary, unimpaired, and conscious choice and agreement to engage or continue in sexual activity. Consent to one act does not mean consent to another.

Understanding consent is critical to recognizing and preventing sexual violence. A culture of consent is one where communication and consent are the norm. In such a culture, individuals are respected and not objectified, and have autonomy over their bodies.


  • Is never assumed or implied.
  • Is not silence or the absence of ‘no’.
  • Cannot be given if the person is impaired by alcohol or drugs, or is unconscious.
  • Is required regardless of the parties’ relationship status or sexual history together.
  • Can be taken back, either through words (e.g. saying no) or body language (e.g. pushing someone away).
  • Can never be obtained through threats or coercion.
  • Cannot be given if the other person abuses a position of trust, power, or authority.

Learn more about the university’s #WeGetConsent campaign, which shares and reinforces the message of consent across our campus.