The Horror of Affirmative Consent at Stanford

Posted: Oct 21, 2014 5:00 PM

In light of my earlier posts on California's new Affirmative Consent law, a Stanford student forwarded me the below Stanford Daily write-up of the school's recent Full Moon on the Quad (FMOTQ) event.

Now mind you, as someone who grew up going to California Golden Bear football games, I view everything that Stanford students do on The Farm as per se morally reprehensible, but it does appear that thanks to the new Affirmative Consent focus, this year's FMOTQ was a lot less rowdy than years passed:

The event concluded without a single transport [link added for context], a rarity in recent FMOTQ history, and without any reports of sexual assault.
This year’s planning committee placed emphasis on Title IX issues because of the University’s new affirmative consent policy, which stems from the recently passed California Senate Bill 967. SB-967 threatens to withhold federal funding from California colleges and universities that do not have adequate sexual misconduct policies, including an affirmative consent standard.
Jordyn Irwin ’16, a Peer Health Educator (PHE) in Rinconada House, attended FMOTQ with one eye on how students, particularly freshmen, were handling affirmative consent. She said she did not hear of any problems regarding sexual misconduct that night, nor did she witness much conduct at all.

“It seemed like not as many people were kissing as I remembered it being like my freshman year, and I was thinking about how that very well could be a product of all of the talk about affirmative consent,” she said. “I think mostly because when it becomes on people’s radars, they start to realize how awkward it seems to kiss a total stranger.”

Freshmen, with only secondhand accounts of past events to compare this year to, still noticed fewer people kissing than was hyped. Harry Elliott ’18 attended his first Full Moon this year and was surprised by the relatively low level of kissing, a tradition that goes hand in hand with the annual event.

“I was expecting a glorified makeout session, essentially just people wildly kissing each other,” he said. “No more than half of the people there were seriously engaged in making out.”

In year’s past, a countdown to midnight more or less commenced the kissing, while this year’s event, running only from 10:45 p.m. to 12:15 a.m., omitted the countdown and began and ended earlier, limiting the window for kissing but also, as Irwin noticed, for pre-gaming.
“The fact that nobody got transported this year is just sheer luck,” Kannappan said. “There’s not much we can do in terms of planning the event to stop people from pre-gaming. I do think something that helped this year was making the event time run shorter than it has in the past.”

So, to recap, the Affirmative Consent policy, coupled with a shorter run time for the event, led to less drinking, fewer drunken hook ups, and, for the first time in years, no one going to the hospital. 

What is so bad about this policy again?