Following news that the University of Minnesota's president agreed to delay implementation of a "yes means yes" sexual consent policy, a small percentage of the student body protested.
Student body president Joelle Stangler started a petition on Change.org requesting the policy be implemented before students return in the fall. At the time of this writing, the petition has gained nearly 1,500 signatures. If every one of those signatures is a U of M student, that would account for about 3 percent of the student population.
Stangler's reasoning behind delaying the policy until the middle of the school year does make sense though. "By delaying the policy, we will forgo a clean implementation at the beginning of the academic year and risk attempting to educate people about two different policies and miss out on the optimal time frame to educate new and returning students," she wrote.
Of course, not implementing the policy at all would solve that problem as well.
Stangler describes yes means yes policies as "common practice." But these policies are anything but common practice. People don't have sex by asking "May I kiss you?" "May I touch you here?" etc.
Further, the policy broadly defines sexual assault to include everything from a stolen kiss to rape. Really, anything the accuser decides later they didn't like can become grounds for an accusation. And if the accuser was drinking, consent is automatically negated, even if the accused had been drinking as well (and would presumably therefore be unable to consent). The policy shifts the burden of proof onto the accused, meaning they have to prove a crime didn't happen, which, short of a video recording, is impossible in a he said/she said situation.
Naturally, Stangler makes no mention of any of this in her petition, and she has so far not responded to a Washington Examiner request for comment.