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Davis, California

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Hell yes on Yes Means Yes

University sexual assault awareness initiatives a step in the

right direction

Last year ASUCD passed Senate Bill No. 67, reimplementing

the Sexual Assault Awareness & Advocacy Committee (SAAAC) to be

comprised of seven voting members, nine ex-officio members and two

ASUCD senators. The committee intends to improve the educational

programs that address rape culture by collaborating with ASUCD and

several campus departments.

SB 67 cites personnel issues for their inability to get the committee’s

feet off the ground last year, but ASUCD hopes to reinstate the committee

in the coming month with some added structural changes. We commend

ASUCD for recognizing the urgency of the issue and taking initiative to

combat the prevalence of sexual assault.

The University of California Student Association (UCSA) kicked off

the UConsent campaign this August, encouraging students from all UC

campuses to join together to build on President Obama’s recent “It’s On

Us” campaign. UC Davis endorsed the national efforts Monday.

Gov. Jerry Brown has also begun to tackle the issue on Sept. 28

by signing Senate Bill No. 967. The bill, commonly known as the “Yes

Means Yes” bill, addresses the issue of sexual assault on California college

campuses and is the first of its kind to lay out a clear definition of consent.

Additionally, it will affect how all California universities and community

colleges address rape and sexual assault accusations. It states that the

standard of “affirmative consent” would require both participants to actively

and verbally consent to sexual activity.

It is imperative that the rest of the nation follow suit in defining

consent, especially as in this past year, several sexual assault survivors

spurred the U.S. Department of Education to conduct an investigation of 55

colleges for violating Title IX regulations, which detail how schools handle

sexual assault cases.

We hope to see more action taken by ASUCD in the future. The

SAAAC is certainly a step in the right direction to bring awareness to sexual

assault on our campus. It is pleasing to see that the UC regents, along

with the state of California, are taking a hard look at the current realities

of sexual assault and making serious attempts to educate and provide

resources to students.


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