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Senate Bill 967 on student safety and sexual assault issues on campus

Will SB-967 Student safety: sexual assault.(2013-2014) pass into law here in California? Introduced by Senators De León and Jackson (Principal coauthor: Assembly Member Lowenthal) (Coauthors: Senators Beall, Cannella, Evans, Galgiani, Monning, Pavley, Torres, and Wolk, (Coauthors: Assembly Members Ammiano, Fong, Gonzalez, Quirk-Silva, Skinner, Ting, and Williams), this new California bill would require consent before sex on college campuses. You may wish to check out the June 5, 2014 news article, "New Calif. Bill Would Require Consent Before Sex On College Campuses." Or you might check out the original bill online with all its corrections at the website, "Bill Text - SB-967 Student safety: sexual assault." There's also the article, "Bill Mandating Formal Pre-Sex Consent On California Campuses."

Senate Bill 967 on student safety and sexual assault issues on campus.
Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images

What the potential new law could change is the way college students engage in sexual activity on campus. But not all such recreational sex is enacted on college campuses. However, the new senate bill introduced known as SB 967 would establish affirmative consent on all state-run college campuses in California. It’s defined as “an affirmative unambiguous and conscious decision by each participant to engage in mutually agreed upon sexual activity…Lack of protest or resistance does not mean consent. Nor does silence mean consent.” Who gets informed first when assault happens, student groups handling health or counseling issues or the police, when sexual assault on campus is a felony?

Would you need a pre-coitus agreement similar to a pre-nuptial agreement in writing so you won't be accused of assault?

Students who want to have sex would have to reach a mutual agreement, either verbally or on paper, first. The bill says affirmative consent cannot be given by anyone who’s incapacitated by alcohol, drugs or a mental or physical condition. Once given, consent can be revoked at any time, says the article, "New Calif. Bill Would Require Consent Before Sex On College Campuses."

And silence is not a 'yes' answer. Being drunk is not a yes answer because an intoxicated person on drink, smoke, or drugs legally can't give consent to mutual recreational 'sport' sex either. You can check out the statistics that notes one out of five women on a college campus will be sexually assaulted, according to state Senator Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles), who co-authored the bill as a way to prevent sexual assault.

The purpose of introducing such a bill is to have a culture respecting women. You have marches of "Women Take Back the Night," but in most large cities and other areas, if a woman walks the sidewalk at night, or jogs early in the morning the chances are high she'll be followed, molested, or raped are relatively high. See, "Modesto Teen Abducted At Gunpoint, Raped During Morning Jog," or "Police: Woman Sexually Assaulted At Knifepoint While Jogging In Fells Point." Or check out the article, "Sacramento State police investigating acquaintance rape on campus."

Women are tired of being strangled, attacked, raped, and assaulted for simply walking either on campus, getting home from work, or any other time they're in a public area. See, "Compare College Rape Statistics - Campus Safety - FindTheData " and "Quarter of UC population had bad experiences on campus, survey." Or check out, "Woman raped near Downtown Davis | The Aggie."

Sexual assault on campuses isn't anything knew. It happened to people in the 1950s and 1960s, but back then, the problem stemmed from women being followed from one destination to another such as when returning home from school and followed from public transportation or seen walking home. Sometimes a woman would take a taxi and be assaulted by the cab driver. The problem can occur after a woman leaves the campus of any college (or high school).

The federal government is currently investigating 55 colleges and universities

SB 967 will change the equation so the system is not stacked against survivors by establishing an affirmative consent policy to make it clear that only ‘yes’ means ‘yes.’” Students support the bill in various schools, for example, at Cal State University Los Angeles, according to the article, "New Calif. Bill Would Require Consent Before Sex On College Campuses."

Those against the bill may feel that the issue of consent and sexual assault allegations should be left to law enforcement, such as the police. On the other hand, a woman might sue someone who didn't take no for an answer. In the case of silence, someone too afraid to say anything may be silent. Or the person may not say anything. That still does not mean consent. The critics of the bill are concerned about students bringing sexual assault or rape to student affairs officers instead of calling the police, since sexual assault is a crime. But as far as the bill, it's currently in the Assembly. Will it pass? College campuses should be safe, at least that's what parents want. Some ask questions such as should the consent be in writing and notarized? Chances are that's not going to happen at parties on campus. But what about students who live off campus and their right to say no and to expect their word to be respected?

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