- Associated Press - Monday, September 29, 2014

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - Freshmen at the University of Alaska Southeast are learning about what constitutes consent when it comes to sex.

It is part of a renewed focus on cracking down on sexual violence at college campuses nationwide. New guidelines from the federal government require that colleges talk to students about consent.

At a recent orientation, student-conduct administrator Lori Klein said no means no. But she said there are also situations where yes does not mean yes, such as when someone is drunk or incapacitated. Yes to one thing does not mean yes to anything else, she said.

“Consent for holding hands is not consent for a kiss. Consent for sex once is not consent for sex twice,” Klein said.

She also said that consent must be “active, sober, enthusiastic, informed, mutual, honest and verbal.”

Faculty and staff also were required to undergo training to learn to recognize the signs of trauma related to sexual assault, KTOO reported (https://bit.ly/1oqjp7i ).

Senior Barb Dagata, who also works at the university, said she feels empowered by the new information.

“I’ve had some friends who’ve had roommates get involved with bad relationships or just bad situations. And it was hard for me to give any advice to my friend on what she should do with her roommate. And I always felt at a loss for how involved should I be,” Dagata said. “And after going through the training, I kind of look back and I wish I would’ve said something. I wish I would’ve come to campus and said, ‘Hey, this girl needs some help.’ “

The university had one report of sexual assault in 2012 and 2013. So far for this year, there have been two reports.

Mandy Cole, direct-services manager with the domestic violence and sexual assault nonprofit group AWARE in Juneau, said sexual assaults are often underreported. “I think that we can say with surety that those numbers are less than the numbers of sexual assaults that actually occur,” she said.

The University of Alaska system is on a list of 79 U.S. colleges and universities that are being investigated because of complaints made to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights or as part of compliance reviews. Federal officials plan to visit University of Alaska campuses to see how they are handling complaints about sexual violence.


Information from: KTOO-FM, https://www.ktoo.org

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