New college policies aim to eliminate claims made by accused attackers that they were confused
By CAROLYN THOMPSON
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Administrative policy may be the new pillow talk on college campuses across New York.
A universal “affirmative consent" standard is now part of a sexual assault prevention policy adopted across the state's public university system, spelling out for students that only “yes" — not silence or a lack of resistance — is the cue for sexual activity.
The so-called “Yes Means Yes" standard could spread to private campuses next year by way of legislation favored by Gov. Andrew Cuomo as states face pressure to improve their handling of campus sexual assaults.
Joseph Storch, SUNY associate counsel
Supporters say it takes away the ability of someone accused of assault to claim confusion about the accuser's wishes, while reminding and empowering students to talk about consent before engaging in sex.
“It's not about policing, it's about educating," said Andrea Stagg, an associate counsel for the State University of New York who was on the working group that wrote the sexual violence prevention policy for the system's 64 campuses.