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 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.
"I think students have recognized this as a problem. Not one they are been able to articulate very cleanly," he says. "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." Nancy Cantalupo is with the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators. She says colleges and universities need to take advantage of the new law.
"This is an opportunity for institutions of higher education to be educating their students and to be improving their prevention and response systems," she says.
Although several universities have adopted a "yes means yes" approach, California is the first state to make it a law.
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