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Maine’s Public Universities Adopt New Sexual Assault Policy and Training Standard

Affirmative Consent New Expectation at Maine’s Public Universities

PORTLAND, MAINE — The University of Maine Board of Trustees adopted a systemwide sexual assault policy today that changes the definition of consent and mandates training for members of the university community. The policy change brings the system into compliance with new federal regulations, signals an effort to change the culture on campuses, mandates sexual assault training, and positions the University System to be a leader in raising awareness across Maine.

The new board policy can be viewed here: http://www.maine.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Tab-19.2-REVISED-Sex-Assault-Harassment-Policy-Procedures-CLEAN-COPY-1.pdf

Section V. of the new policy offers new definitions for consent. According to the policy:

“Consent is agreement to engage in sexual contact. Consent must be informed, freely and actively given, and consist of a mutually agreeable and understandable exchange of words or actions. Consent is clear, knowing and voluntary. Consent is active, not passive. Consent may be withdrawn at any time.”

During the course of the presentation several campus presidents discussed the outreach and awareness initiatives underway on their campuses to make students aware of changes in policy and the resources available to help those in need.

The Board of Trustees approved and ratified the new policy on sexual assault unanimously.