New York’s SUNY system has adopted a policy called “Yes Means Yes” to decrease sexual violence on campuses across the state.
The new definition of sexual consent requires a clear agreement between partners. They said silence cannot be interpreted as permission to engage in sexual contact and consent may be withdrawn at any time. The standard goes on to say that a prior relationship does not consent to future sexual activity.
Some people criticize the policy and its usefulness. Critics said it won’t stop rapists from committing the crime. Those in support of the policy said it will reduce sexual misconduct if it is explained to students correctly.
Some of the other efforts that the SUNY system is taking to curb this violence is better training for law enforcement and a bill of rights for victims. Also, students will be given immunity for any drug or alcohol violations in this situation to encourage victims to come forward to report the crime.
This policy only pertains to SUNY schools at this time. Governor Andrew Cuomo is working to extend the policy to private colleges across the state.