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9.19.15 | Sarah Elliott
The start of a new school year is always a time to get reacquainted with campus life. Pepperdine has seen several changes entering the 2015-2016 term, but do not get too distracted by the shiny new appliances in the George Page apartments.
One of the most important updates is the new sexual misconduct policy.
In an email sent Friday to the Pepperdine student body, Dean of Student Affairs Mark Davis wrote about the importance of the policy.
“Pepperdine University views everyone as a person of infinite worth, created by God, deserving to be treated with dignity and respect. Thus, the university prohibits its students, employees, vendors or guests from engaging in any form of sexual misconduct.”
According to the new policy, “sexual misconduct can be committed by men or women, and it can occur between people of the same or different sex.”
Sexual assault in particular has become a national topic of concern ever since the rise of several high-profile cases brought to the media’s attention, such as Emma Sulkowicz’s performance art piece “Carry that Weight.”
Many of these cases took place on college campuses, spotlighting the need for better judicial policies and resources for victims.
Nearly a year ago, the California State Senate approved the “Yes Means Yes” legislation, which most notably redefined sexual assault as an absence of explicit affirmative consent from either party, instead of the previous definition that required the presence of any indication of a lack of consent.