What is Consent?
Consent is knowing, voluntary and clear permission by word or action, to engage in mutually agreed upon sexual activity. Since individuals may experience the same interaction in different ways, it is the responsibility of each party to make certain that the other has consented before engaging in the activity. For consent to be valid there must be a clear expression in words or actions that the other individual consented to that specific sexual conduct.
A person cannot consent if the person is unable to understand what is happening or is disoriented, helpless, asleep or unconscious for any reason, including due to alcohol or other drugs. An individual who engages in sexual activity when the individual knows, or should know, that the other person is physically or mentally incapacitated has violated the College's policy. It is not an excuse that the individual responding party of sexual misconduct was intoxicated and, therefore, did not realize the incapacity of the other.
Incapacitation is defined as a state where someone cannot make rational, reasonable decisions because of the lack of capacity to give knowing consent (e.g., to understand the “who, what, when, where, why or how” of the sexual interaction). The College's policy also covers a person whose incapacity results from mental disability, involuntary physical restraint, and/or from the taking of incapacitating drugs.
Consent to some sexual contact (such as kissing or fondling) cannot be presumed to be consent for other sexual activity (such as intercourse). A current or previous dating relationship is not sufficient to constitute consent. The existence of consent is based on the totality of the circumstances, including the context in which the alleged incident occurred and any similar previous patterns that may be evidenced. Silence or the absence of resistance alone is not consent.
A person can withdraw consent at any time during sexual activity by expressing in words or actions that the person no longer wants the act to continue, and, if that happens, the other person must stop immediately.
A minor below the age of consent according to state law cannot consent to sexual activity. This means that sexual contact by an adult with a person below the age of consent is a crime as well as a violation of this policy, even if the minor appeared to have wanted to engage in the act.
In addition, Pennsylvania has designated a minimum age of 13 years where consent cannot be given under any circumstances. Consent is also lacking when a person engages in sexual intercourse with an individual under the age of 16 years and that person is four or more years older than the younger individual and the individuals are not married to each other.
What is Sexual Misconduct?
Sexual Misconduct is a term that encompasses:
Gender based harassment
Non-consensual sexual intercourse
Non-consensual sexual contact
Intimate partner violence, including domestic violence and dating violence
Sexual Misconduct may occur between strangers or acquaintances, including people involved in an intimate or sexual relationship. It may occur between people of the same or different sexes, gender identities or expressions, or sexual orientations.
What should I do if I've experienced sexual misconduct?
Get to a safe place: A friend’s room, your room or anywhere you feel safe! If you feel you are in imminent danger, call the Police by dialing 911 or call Campus Police at 610-437-4471 (or by dialing “0” if you are inside a building on campus). The blue light emergency call boxes also connect directly with the campus police office.
Contact someone for help and support: Cedar Crest College offers support services and resources to victims. Counseling services and the Title IX Coordinator and Deputy Coordinators are just some of the resources available.
Get medical attention: Whether the sexual misconduct happened on or off campus and whether or not you believe you were physically injured, you are encouraged to seek medical treatment. A hospital or medical facility can aid in the collection of evidence, which can only be collected for a short time after the misconduct occurs.
Seek emotional support: Victims are strongly encouraged to seek out assistance with dealing with the emotional aftermath of sexual misconduct.
Title IX Coordinator:
Lisa Garbacik, Director of Human Resources
Blaney Hall, Room 104
Cedar Crest College is committed to the health, safety and well being of all members of the College community, ensuring that everyone has a learning and working environment that is free from sexual misconduct and sexual harassment. Any acts of sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence or stalking are prohibited without exception. Cedar Crest College expects all members of the College community to share in the responsibility for ensuring that the College environment is free from any form of abuse, violence or verbal or physical intimidation.
Protocol | Title IX
What should I do if I witness sexual misconduct?
Witnesses are encouraged to report sexual misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator, Campus Police or to other College employees with supervisory or leadership responsibilities, including Resident Advisors (RAs). Bystander intervention can also be a powerful deterrent to sexual misconduct before it ever happens. The Step Up! Bystander Intervention model includes:
Notice the event
Interpret it as a problem
Assume personal responsibility
Know how to help
What if a friend tells me they have experienced sexual misconduct?
Believe your friend and tell them that it’s not their fault.
Encourage your friend to report to Campus Police or law enforcement, the Title IX Coordinator or Health Services, etc. If your friend does not want to make a report, respect their decision.
Do not pry to get information out of your friend. Just be ready to listen when they are ready to talk.
If you learn of the perpetrator’s identity, don’t suggest physical violence or any other form of retaliation.
Know available resources, listen and be patient.
Crime Victims Council of the Lehigh Valley
801 Hamilton Street, Suite 300,
Allentown, PA 18101
Turning Point of Lehigh Valley
RAINN (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network)
National Domestic Violence
Lehigh Valley Health Network
• 1200 S. Cedar Crest Blvd.
• 1627 Chew St.
• 2545 Schoenersville Road
St. Luke’s University Health Network
• 1736 Hamilton Street
• 801 Ostrum Street
Services, education and prevention on campus
Cedar Crest College emphasizes personal safety and the need to institute proactive measures to reduce the risk of becoming a victim of a crime, including incidents of sexual misconduct. Campus programs and services include, but are not limited to:
Campus Crime Alerts/Timely Warnings: Crime alerts are sent to the campus community in the event a situation arises, either on or off campus, which involves an immediate, ongoing or continuing threat. The warning is issued through email, E2 Campus text messaging, and notices in residence halls and other buildings.
Escort Services: Campus Police provide escort services to the College community for those desiring an escort from one campus destination to another. Call “0” from any on campus phone to arrange an escort.
Emergency Call Boxes: Boxes are strategically placed throughout campus and connect directly to Campus Police.
Orientation: Sexual misconduct prevention programs are offered to all new students during new student orientation.
Rape Aggression Defense Program (R.A.D.): This program focuses on prevention, risk reduction and avoidance of sexual misconduct while progressing on to the basics of self defense. Classes are offered periodically throughout the year.
Campus and Residence Life Programs: During floor meetings and throughout the year on campus, programs are offered to promote awareness of sexual misconduct and may include education sessions, movies, guest speakers and other resources.
What if I’m not ready to make a report?
Are there confidential resources available?
If you are not prepared to make a report, are unsure of what happened or are seeking information and support, there are several legally protected confidential resources available.
Health and Counseling Services: 610-606-4640
Curtis Hall Room 106
Director: Nancy Crane-Roberts, PhD, CRNP, RN, Director
Nurse Practitioner: Pamela Prisaznik, CRNP, RN
Counselors: Jacquelyn Economopoulos, M.Ed., LPC
& Amber Wilson, LCSW
Individual counseling sessions and medical appointments are available to traditional students. Counseling Services will assist with referring adult students to resources in their local community.
Employee Assistance Services are available for employees of the College. Preferred EAP can be reached at 610-433-8550 or via email at email@example.com or by using the following link: www.preferredeap.org/for-employees.aspx
Faculty and staff not listed above who receive a report of sexual misconduct are obligated to report the information.
What additional off campus resources are available?
Additional off-campus resources can be found in the Resources section of the Student Handbook.
Where do I report Sexual Misconduct within the College?
Title IX Coordinator:
Lisa Garbacik, Director of Human Resources
Blaney Hall, Room 104
Deputy Title IX Coordinators:
Mary Alice Ozechoski, Vice President of
Student Affairs & Traditional Enrollment
Kelly Steinmetz, Director of Community
Standards and Residence Life
Calley Stevens-Taylor, Dean of Student Success
What happens once I make a report?
The Title IX Coordinator (or a Deputy Coordinator), the Cedar Crest official who coordinates the College’s response to all sexual misconduct reports, will contact you for a follow up meeting.
Formal resolutions (through a hearing board) and informal resolutions (individual/community remedies) are available. Filing a report does not obligate you to participate in a formal investigation or a conduct hearing.
The College must conduct an adequate, reliable and impartial investigation.
Interim measures and accommodations may be implemented, including changes in academic schedule, on-campus housing and working arrangements.
The College must provide appropriate remedies and sanctions.
The College will act with sensitivity, dignity and respect for the individuals involved.
The individuals involved may file a written appeal of formally resolved situations.