The State University of New York will soon adopt a uniform set of sexual assault response and prevention policies for the system, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday. The policies, passed by the SUNY Board of Trustees, will apply to all of the system's 64 campuses.
The new policies include creating a uniform amnesty policy that grants immunity for drug, alcohol, and other violations of the student code for students reporting sexual violence; conducting statewide training for campus police and college administrators; assessing campus climate with uniform surveys; undertaking a statewide public awareness campaign; publicizing a Sexual Assault Victim's Bill of Rights; implementing a uniform confidentiality and reporting protocol; and adopting a uniform definition of consent. That definition reads: "Consent is clear, knowing and voluntary. Consent is active, not passive. Silence, in and of itself, cannot be interpreted as consent. Consent can be given by words or actions, as long as those words or actions create mutually understandable clear permission regarding willingness to engage in (and the conditions of) sexual activity. Consent to any one form of sexual activity cannot automatically imply consent to any other forms of sexual activity. Previous relationships or prior consent cannot imply consent to future sexual acts."
Cuomo said he plans on proposing the same policies legislatively for all of New York's private colleges, as well.