New York State Standard for Affirmative Consent
Sexual misconduct or contact in the absence of affirmative consent violates the University’s policies. Sexual misconduct includes any sexual act perpetrated against someone’s will. Sexual violence includes rape, an attempted nonconsensual sex act, abusive sexual contact (i.e., unwanted touching), non-contact sexual abuse (e.g., threatened sexual violence, exhibitionism, verbal sexual harassment), dating violence, domestic violence and stalking. All types involve victims who do not consent, or who are unable to consent due to incapacitation.
Pursuant to New York State law:
Affirmative consent is a knowing, voluntary, and mutual decision among all participants to engage in sexual activity. Consent can be given by words or actions, as long as those words or actions create clear permission regarding willingness to engage in the sexual activity. Silence or lack of resistance, in and of itself, does not demonstrate consent. The definition of consent does not vary based upon a participant's sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.
a. Consent to any sexual act or prior consensual sexual activity between or with any party does not necessarily constitute consent to any other sexual act.
b. Consent is required regardless of whether the person initiating the act is under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.
c. Consent may be initially given but withdrawn at any time.
d. Consent cannot be given when a person is incapacitated, which occurs when an individual lacks the ability to knowingly choose to participate in sexual activity. Incapacitation may be caused by the lack of consciousness or being asleep, being involuntarily restrained, or if an individual otherwise cannot consent. Depending on the degree of intoxication, someone who is under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or other intoxicants may be incapacitated and therefore unable to consent.
e. Consent cannot be given when it is the result of any coercion, intimidation, force, or threat of harm.
f. When consent is withdrawn or can no longer be given, sexual activity must stop.
The health and safety of every student at St. Lawrence University are of utmost importance. St. Lawrence strongly encourages students to report domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault to institution officials. A bystander acting in good faith or a reporting individual acting in good faith that discloses any incident of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault to St. Lawrence’s officials or law enforcement will not be subject to St. Lawrence’s code of conduct action for violations of alcohol and/or drug use policies occurring at or near the time of the commission of the domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault.
Resources and Questions
This website offers the University’s complete policies, procedures, and resources for sexual violence response.
If you wish to report confidentially, in which case your identity will not be revealed to University officials, nor will the University be able to act on your report), contact:
On Campus Confidential Resources
- Diana B. Torrey '82 Health and Counseling Center (315-229-5392) information provided (for St. Lawrence University students only)
- Chaplain’s Office (315-229-5256) (for St. Lawrence University students only)
- St. Lawrence University Advocates Program and Sexual Violence Advocates Hotline: 315-244-5466
Off Campus Confidential Resources
- Renewal House (315-379-9845) information provided (for all victims)
*Note: Off-campus “safe housing” and Family Court Orders of Protection may be facilitated through Renewal House.
- Reachout 24/7 Crisis Hotline (315-265-2422) (for all victims)
- NYS Crime Victim’s Board (800-247-8035) (for all victims)
- Employee Assistance Program (800-327-2255) (for St. Lawrence University employees)
- AIDS Community Resources (315-386-4493) (for all victims)
- Planned Parenthood of NNY (315-386-8821) (for all victims)
- Canton-Potsdam Hospital (315-265-3300)
On Campus Official Resources
If you wish to report officially (whether formally seeking an investigation) or informally (seeking other resolution) or with other questions, contact:
Security: 229-5555 (always available, 24/7)
VP and Dean of Students
Assistant Vice President
Associate Dean of Student Life
Off-campus Official Resources
You have the right to file a report with local law enforcement, the Canton Police Department (386-4561 or 911] or the New York State Police Sexual Assault Hotline (844) 845-7269). Campus Safety can assist you in contacting law enforcement. While you are not required to report instances of sexual assault to law enforcement, you are encouraged to do so.
If you are the survivor of sexual violence:
- Go to a safe place—your own room, a friend’s room, or anywhere you will feel safe.
- Call someone you trust. No matter how late it is, you should not be alone.
To discuss confidentially:
- If you wish to maintain your confidentiality at this point, call a close friend, your roommate, or an Advocate (315-244-5466). Advocates are St. Lawrence University students committed to providing a safe and confidential resource for individuals need of support and information around sexual assault, stalking, dating violence, domestic violence, and other personal violations. They are available 24/7.
You can also contact a counselor. Counselors are confidential resources who can help you sort through your immediate needs, provide emotional support, and help you to connect with other emergency resources. All members of the counseling staff have training and experience with individuals in crisis. There is always a counselor on call through Safety and Security, x5555. Simply say “I need a counselor on call.” You don't need to disclose the nature of your emergency; provide a phone number at which you can be reached.