Students Need an Education in Sexual Assault – Before College

May 9, 2014

By Sandy Banks at Los Angeles Times

At seemed funny 20 years ago when Antioch College unveiled a sexual offense prevention policy so prescriptive that students weren't allowed to kiss without receiving explicit permission.

The small Ohio campus became the butt of national jokes, including a parody on "Saturday Night Live" mocking the question-and-answer process that student trysts required.

The code's premise was simple: Every sexual encounter, from first kiss to post-coitus snuggle, must be agreed upon by both parties.

"Silence is not consent," the policy decreed. Also: "Body movements and … moans are not consent," and "Grinding on the dance floor is not consent."

The person initiating the sexual activity had to ask for consent. The person asked was required to respond verbally. Each new level of intimacy called for another verbal agreement.

It's easy to dismiss that checklist approach as rigid or naive. But it did deliver the sort of clarity that we are lacking now, as activists, politicians and students weigh in on the charged topic of sexual violence on campus.

The Antioch code provided an explicit primer on sexual consent. It focused not just on punishment, but on preventing misconduct. It required both parties to consider and declare their intentions, promoting a deliberative approach to an often impulsive act...