Title IX

Health and safety

Sexual Health and Educational Resources

  • It's Your (Sex) Life: The content for this online Sexual Education/Health booklet was provided by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation as part of an ongoing public education partnership with MTV.
  • The Kinsey Institute is a reputable source for up-to-date information on human sexuality.
  • Scarleteen Scarleteen is an independent, grassroots sexuality and relationships education and support organization and website. Scarleteen contains over 2,000 original comprehensive sexuality, health and relationship articles, guides, factsheets and in-depth advice answers, extensive external resource lists for each topical section of the site and a collective blog.

Shifting Social Culture and Keeping Each Other Safe

Bystander Intervention Strategies

It is important to determine as a bystander whether there is a safe and reasonable way to intervene, and to act in a way to assist a person whether it is before, during, or after an incident takes place.
First things first – be safe. Take action only if you feel that it is safe to do so. Determine what actions you feel comfortable taking based on the situation. Choose the best method to intervene based on the circumstances, including your own personal safety:

  • Direct: Intervene directly. By intervening in the moment, bystanders may give the concerned person a chance to get to a safe place or leave a situation
  • Distract: Distract either party
  • Delegate: Bring in someone else to help
  • Delay: Check in later. Bystanders can reach out to those affected to link them with resources or offer emotional support
  • Document: Document the interaction by recording on your phone, taking a photo of the individual causing harm, or writing notes. Afterwards, ask the person who experienced harm what they would like to do with the documentation.

Suggestions for Safe and Positive Bystander Actions


  • Take steps to stop a friend who chooses to use violence.
  • Take the initiative to help friends who aren’t thinking clearly avoid becoming targets of violence
  • Prevent an intoxicated person from going to a private location with a friend or acquaintance.
  • Recognize if a friend is in a relationship that involves fear or physical pain and voice your concerns where appropriate and assist them in getting help.
  • Avoid situations where intoxicated people may be unable to consent.
  • Talk to your friends about safety precautions and what to do if one is at risk.
  • Contact the Vice President of Human Resources, the Deans, Security, or another person of authority who can assist. Please see below for contact information.


  • Don’t leave a friend or acquaintance alone at a party or bar.
  • Don’t escalate the situation.
  • Don’t remain silent or stand by if there is something you can safely do to intervene.
  • Don’t assume someone else has taken action to intervene.

Alcohol and Sexual Violence

Intoxication versus Incapacitation

Consent cannot be given by a person who is incapacitated. Therefore, it is imperative to be able to determine the difference between incapacitation and intoxication. Incapacitation is a state beyond drunkenness or intoxication.

Some signs of intoxication include, but are not limited to:

  • Slurred speech
  • Weaving or stumbling while walking
  • Exaggerated Emotions

Some signs of incapacitation include, but are not limited to:

  • Inability to speak coherently
  • Confusion on basic facts (day of the week, birthdate, etc.)
  • Inability to walk unassisted
  • Passing out

If your partner is showing signs of incapacitation, STOP.

The College considers sexual contact while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or other substances to be high-risk behavior. Alcohol and drug use impair a person’s decision-making capacity, awareness of the consequences, and ability to make informed judgments. Being intoxicated or impaired by drugs or alcohol is never an excuse for gender-based misconduct and does not excuse one from the responsibility to obtain consent.

Responsible Citizen and Medical Amnesty Policies

In support of the College's efforts to cultivate a culture of support and reporting the College's Responsible Citizen and Medical Amnesty Policies allow students who have witnessed or experienced medical emergencies, including sexual assault, to report to the College without concern for disciplinary consequences of minor policy violations. This includes reporting instances of sexual assault or gender-based misconduct while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.

Consent and Intoxication

Affirmative Consent means an informed, affirmative, conscious, voluntary, and mutual agreement to engage in sexual activity. It is the responsibility of each person involved in the sexual activity to ensure that they have the Affirmative Consent of the other participant(s) to engage in the sexual activity. Sexual activity includes but is not limited to kissing, touching intimate body parts, fondling, intercourse, penetration of any body part, and oral sex.

Affirmative Consent cannot be given by a person who is incapacitated. A person is unable to consent when they are asleep, unconscious or is incapacitated due to the influence of drugs, alcohol or medication in a state wherein they can not understand the fact, nature or extent of the sexual activity. A person is incapacitated when they lack the physical and/or mental ability to make informed, rational decisions. Whether an intoxicated person (as a result of using alcohol or other drugs) is incapacitated depends on the extent to which the alcohol or other drugs impact the person’s decision making ability, awareness of consequences, and ability to make informed judgements. A person’s own intoxication or incapacitation from drugs or alcohol does not diminish that person’s responsibility to obtain Affirmative Consent before engaging in sexual activity.

Drugs and Other Substances

Drugs Often Used in Drug-facilitated Sexual Violence

Whether you are on-campus or off-campus, at a party or a bar, being aware of the symptoms of substances and their impact on the body, and actions steps you can take if you think you or a friend have been exposed can help ensure the safety of our community, friends, and neighbors.

What are date rape drugs?

The term “date rape drugs” refers to drugs that are sometimes used to assist in committing acts of sexual violence. These drugs can affect a person’s physical and cognitive state, making them unable to consent to sexual activity. The drugs often have no taste, smell, or color which makes them easy to add to someone’s drink without their knowledge.

Below are three commonly used date rape drugs:

  • GHB (gamma hydroxybutyric acid)

  • Rohypnol (flunitrazepam)

  • Ketamine (ketamine hydrochloride)

Although commonly referred to as "date rape drugs," these drugs have been used to help people commit other crimes, like robbery or physical assault, and have been used on persons of any gender.

What do the drugs look like?

GHB has a few forms: a liquid with no odor or color, white powder, and pill. It may have a slightly salty taste.

Rohypnol is a pill and dissolves in liquids. New pills turn blue when added to liquids. However, the old pills, with no color, are still available.

Ketamine is a white powder.

What effects do these drugs have on the body?

The drugs can affect someone as quickly as 5 minutes after ingestion with the impacts often lasting up to three hours. Although the length of time that the effects last varies based on factors like how much of the drug is consumed and if the drug is mixed with other substances, like alcohol. Alcohol can worsen the drug's effects and can cause more health problems.

Symptoms of Date Rape Drugs:

The state of being incapacitated by drugs can often be mistaken for intoxication. Predators want individuals to attribute the effects of the drugs to alcohol consumption, but being aware of the following symptoms can help you distinguish if you or a friend (or a stranger) may be in need or urgent help. Please review the following:


GHB can have the following symptoms:

  • Relaxation

  • Drowsiness

  • Dizziness

  • Nausea

  • Problems seeing

  • Unconsciousness (black out)

  • Seizures

  • Memory loss

  • Problems breathing

  • Tremors

  • Sweating

  • Vomiting

  • Slow heart rate

  • Dream-like feeling

  • Coma

  • Death


Rohypnol can have the following symptoms:

  • Memory Loss

  • Low blood pressure

  • Drowsiness

  • Muscle relaxation or loss of muscle control

  • Drunk feeling

  • Nausea

  • Problems talking

  • Difficulty with motor movements

  • Loss of consciousness

  • Vision problems

  • Dizziness

  • Confusion

  • Stomach problems


Ketamine can have the following symptoms:

  • Hallucinations

  • Lost sense of time and identity

  • Distorted perceptions of sight and sound

  • Feeling out of control

  • Impaired motor function

  • Problems breathing

  • Convulsions

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Out of body experiences

  • Memory loss

  • Dream-like feeling

  • Numbness

  • Aggressive or violent behavior

  • Slurred speech

Other symptoms:

  • If you feel a lot more intoxicated than your usual response to the amount of alcohol you consumed.

  • If you wake up very hungover in comparison to what is normal for your body, feeling "fuzzy" experiencing memory lapse, and can't account for a period of time.

  • If you remember taking a drink but cannot recall what happened for a period of time after you consumed the drink.

If you think that you or someone you are with has been drugged:

  • Get to a safe place with someone you trust. Don’t be afraid to tell a friend you need to leave or that you need help.

  • Report the situation to a campus official immediately. Even if you don’t want to disclose the reason for your request you can request transportation from Campus Safety to the hospital for tests to preserve evidence and identify any drugs currently in your system.

  • The drugs leave your system quickly. Rohypnol leaves your body 72 hours after you take it, GHB leaves the body in 12 hours.

  • If you are concerned about an act of sexual violence in relation to any of the above utilize one of our on or off-campus resources, including the Title IX Office, to learn more about your reporting options and rights.

Being Safe While Being Social

  • Have a plan to periodically check-in on the people you go out with.
  • Don’t drink anything with an unusual taste or appearance (e.g., overly salty flavor, excessive foam, unexplained residue or powder). Throw out a drink that has been left unattended.

  • If someone offers you a drink from the bar at a club or a party, accompany the person to the bar to order your drink, watch the drink being poured, and carry the drink yourself.

  • If a friend is not acting how they normally would, even under the influence of alcohol, it’s time to go.

  • If one of your friends appears very intoxicated, gets sick after drinking a beverage, passes out and is difficult to waken, seems to be having trouble breathing, or is behaving in an uncharacteristic way, take steps to insure your friends safety. If necessary, call 911 for emergency medical assistance.

  • Don’t let someone leave with a stranger. Even if you are helping someone you don’t know - call 911 or Campus Safety. Help them call a cab or ride-share from their own phone.

  • If you see someone "dosing" or drugging a drink or a punch bowl, intervene. If you do not feel comfortable confronting the person, notify the bartender, security, party host and/or individual with the drink. Discard a drink/drinks if you see it’s been drugged - yes, even if it’s not yours.

If you need emergency transportation or medical attention call Campus Safety at (518) 388-6911 or call 911.

On-campus Confidential Resources:

  1. Wicker Wellness Center: (518) 388-6120
  2. Eppler-Wolff Counseling Center: (518) 388-6161
  3. Union College Sexual Assault Resource Hotline – 24/7: (518) 388-6600

Off-campus Confidential Resources:

  1. Sexual Assault and Crime Victims (Planned Parenthood): (518) 346-2266
  2. Schenectady County YWCA Domestic Violence Hotline: (518) 374-3386
  3. Ellis Hospital Emergency Room: 1101 Nott Street, Schenectady, (518) 243-4121

Remember: the use of date rape drugs is a violation of your body. If you are drugged, it is not your fault and there are people here to help and support you. Together, we can make sure that date rape drugs are not a part of our return to social activities and events.

To report a concern related to date rape drugs or other forms of gender-based misconduct use THIS FORM.