Section I will discuss the background on colleges and their responsibility to address sexual misconduct on their campuses. This begins with a discussion regarding the relationship colleges share with their students and the government. Next, the background will discuss the federal laws that govern colleges and how they are expected to address campus sexual misconduct, including the Clery Act, Title IX as interpreted and defined by the Dear Colleague Letter of 2011, the Campus SaVE Act, and the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013. Finally, this section concludes by reviewing California laws addressing campus sexual misconduct, including the California Education Code and the California “Yes Means Yes” bill, which amended the California Education Code.
Section II explains how the federal laws operate and affect colleges, providing baseline standards for all colleges to use in their adjudicatory processes. Next, the argument will discuss how the California “Yes Means Yes” bill not only affects how colleges in California adjudicate sexual misconduct on their campuses, but also how the affirmative consent standard changes views of sex and relationships on college campuses. The discussion includes how this bill shifts the conversation on sex and rape within adjudications as well as generally for students. Finally, it will discuss additional challenges that still exist within the college sexual misconduct adjudication processes with recommendations for how to address them.
California’s “Yes Means Yes” Standard: A Starting Point for College Sexual Assault Policy Reform, 47 Golden Gate U. L. Rev. 205