New Jersey is the latest state to consider implementing an “affirmative consent” or “yes means yes” requirement on college campuses, ABC News reported on Nov. 23.
This means both parties engaging in sexual intercourse would need to give verbal consent. California and New York have already implemented similar requirements in their state-funded colleges and universities, according to ABC.
This comes at a time when the University of Virginia is under police investigation shortly after Rolling Stone published an article on Nov. 19 about a gang rape involving a fraternity. NPR reported on Nov. 22. that University president, Teresa A. Sullivan, suspended all Greek life activity until Jan. 9 in response to the rape allegations.
Dr. Tracy Gottlieb, vice president of Student Services, said she “welcomes” the conversation that the New Jersey legislature could bring about this issue.
“It will continue to raise awareness on college campuses,” she said in an email. “Since the issue of sexual assault on college campuses has become part of the national news agenda this year, we fully expect that our education efforts will result in more reported instances of sexual assault.”
Dr. Gottlieb added that the University takes sexual assault cases very seriously.
“The Division of Student Services has intensified our student education around the topics of sexual assault and sexual misconduct,” she said. “We are paying increased attention to making our campus aware of bystander intervention techniques that teach students to help their friends and fellow students.”
Seton Hall currently does not have an affirmative consent standard, according to Dr. Gottlieb.
Tiffany Do can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.