All NY colleges to adopt 'yes means yes' sex assault policy

Reuters News
Posted: Jul 07, 2015 2:06 PM

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Legislation requiring universities in New York state to adopt a uniform affirmative sexual consent policy was signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday.

The so-called "yes means yes" standard defines sexual consent between people as an affirmative, conscious and voluntary understanding to engage in sexual activity. It is part of a nationwide movement aimed at curbing sexual assaults on college campuses.

"Why is sex assault on college campuses such a problem? Because we let it go on too long," Cuomo said at New York University, where he spoke to a crowd of the bill's supporters.

The legislation expands regulations that apply only to State University of New York schools.

The signing followed a similar move in California in September, when the state required public universities to adopt a "yes means yes" policy.

New York's legislation also provides more money for state police investigations into campus sex crimes and resources for victims, such as abuse hotlines. It provides amnesty to students reporting cases of sexual violence.

U.S. House of Representatives Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and singer Lady Gaga were among the bill's biggest supporters.

(Reporting by Laila Kearney)