All colleges in New York state will be mandated to adopt uniform affirmative consent policies, including private schools, Reuters reports. Governor Cuomo signed the bill on Tuesday during a rally at NYU, saying “Why is sex assault on college campuses such a problem? Because we let it go on too long.”
“The so-called ‘yes means yes’ standard defines sexual consent between people as an affirmative, conscious and voluntary understanding to engage in sexual activity,” according to Reuters. The policies are meant to stop rape culture and cut down on sexual assaults on campus. “Under the law, silence can never be interpreted as consent,” notes Brooklyn Magazine.
In addition to defining affirmative consent, the bill also allocates more money for state police investigations into campus sex crimes and for victims resources like abuse hotlines, and provides amnesty to students reporting cases of sexual violence.