May 17, 2016

Read More About 'Yes Means Yes'

Affirmative-consent rules are intended to set clear standards for what’s required of students. And they're changing how colleges adjudicate alleged assaults.

The standard of "affirmative consent" in sexual encounters has spread to many campuses, but students are still trying to figure out how to apply it.

Hundreds of colleges and a few states have adopted policies requiring affirmative consent. An unusual conference in Texas highlighted moral and philosophical objections to the new approach.

Affirmative consent is valuable as a guide for proper conduct, not as a standard for determining responsibility.

Affirmative-consent rules set clear standards for what’s required of students. They’re also changing how colleges adjudicate alleged assaults.

As New York institutions weigh a new "affirmative consent" law, it’s worth looking at how California’s similar one has shaped responses to sexual assault.

The question is pivotal as campuses try to strengthen their responses to sexual assault.

New legislation in California implies that campus sexual assaults are merely the result of misunderstandings. The law is a distraction that will not reduce the problem.

A newly signed bill requires colleges to adopt a “yes means yes” standard in handling sexual-assault cases. Here’s how that definition will play out.

Under the new law, students must have "affirmative consent" from partners for the duration of sexual activity.

Grinnell College adopted such a policy in 2012. While it might sound awkward, students say, it opens opportunity for dialogue and confronts assumptions.

Language varies widely from college to college, but pressure is growing to toughen the standards.