We write to clarify statements in a recent Daily Princetonian article titled “U. modifies definitions of sexual assault.” The article reported on revisions to Rights, Rules, Responsibilities that were approved last week by the Council of the Princeton University Community. The article stated that certain kinds of sexual misconduct will henceforward “only” result in expulsion and that “suspension is no longer a possible punishment for serious sexual misconduct.” These statements are not correct.
The revised language makes it clear that the University takes all cases of sexual misconduct seriously. All such actions are regarded as serious offenses. The revised language does not change the fact that when a student is found responsible for sexual misconduct the full range of disciplinary penalties will continue to be available in each case based on its merits. But the revision does say that some cases, such as those involving force, duress, or inducement of incapacitation, or where the perpetrator has deliberately taken advantage of another person’s state of incapacitation, will be deemed especially egregious and may result in expulsion or termination of employment. The effect of this language is not to prescribe a particular penalty in any particular case, but to make it clear that students who commit these infractions are likely to receive very significant penalties.
The overall intention of the revised language is to clarify the definition of sexual misconduct and to convey to students and other community members that the University does not tolerate sexual misconduct of any kind.
Vice President for Campus Life
Vice Provost and Title IX Coordinator