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Yes Means Yes Going Into Effect At California Colleges, Universities

Andrew Nixon
Capital Public Radio
The California State Capitol Building in Sacramento (file photo)

The New Year brings a new way of dealing with sexual assault at many California colleges and universities. In the first part of our annual new law series, Katie Orr reports from Sacramento.

In 2015 any California college or university that receives state financial aid must begin using a “Yes Means Yes” approach toward sexual assault. That means both parties must give ongoing, affirmative consent during any sexual activity.

Rishi Ahuja is a senior at UC Berkeley and the student government’s Student Advocate. He says the change in approach has begun to permeate the student culture. 

Ahuja: “I think students have recognized this as a problem. Not one they are been able to articulate very cleanly. But I think they’ve seen it as a problem where people are engaging in activities that they don’t necessarily want to be and are unaware really of how to engage this topic.”  

Ahuja acknowledges colleges and universities are still figuring out exactly how to implement Yes Means Yes. He says the conversation likely varies depending on the school.