With heightened awareness of campus sex crimes sweeping the nation, it is important for students here in Indiana to be cognizant of their conduct on college campuses. Recent alarming data from the Chronical of Higher Education reports that the number of reported sex crimes on college campuses has more than tripled between 2001 through 2015.

Of course, this does not necessarily mean that college campuses have become three times as dangerous since the turn of the century. Actually, this alarming uptick is largely due to college campuses focusing heavily on reform. The federal government started enforcing Title IX infractions much more heavily in 2011. Essentially, it is less that campuses have become more dangerous, and more that infractions are more likely to be reported. College sex crimes used to be more likely to go unreported and unnoticed.

What does this mean for the average college student? It means that being accused of a campus sex crime can have far-reaching consequences. There are, of course, potential legal consequences attached to being accused of a sex crime. However, those in college will not only have to portend with the law, but also with student disciplinary bodies on college campuses.

Depending on the nature of the offense and the outcome of the disciplinary committee’s decision, there can be several actions taken against a person accused of a campus sex crime. These can involve required counseling, suspension, or expulsion from the university.

With these consequences in mind, it is more important than ever to ensure that full consent is obtained before any sexual contact is made. It is also a good idea to ensure mutual sobriety before engaging in sexual contact.