New York to Follow California's Lead on Sexual Assault
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said on Thursday that he had instructed the State University of New York to overhaul its approach to preventing, investigating and prosecuting sexual assault, including making affirmative consent the rule on all 64 of its campuses.
Mr. Cuomo, announcing the change at a news conference in Manhattan, said SUNY’s new approach, which is to be put into effect in the next 60 days, would eventually lead to a statewide law regulating sexual assault policies at all New York colleges and universities.
Calling campus sexual assault a national epidemic, the governor said: “This is Harvard and Yale and Princeton, Albany and Buffalo and Oswego. It is not SUNY’s problem by origination. I would suggest it should be SUNY’s problem to solve and SUNY’s place to lead.”
SUNY’s approach resembles that recently set by California, by defining consent as an affirmative act, in which both partners must express their desire to engage in each sexual act. Previous consent is not sufficient, and people who are physically helpless, mentally incapacitated or asleep are considered unable to consent at all.