Presence of “yes” is significant in updated sexual assault policy

Due to recent guidelines put forth by the Montana University System’s Board of Regents, MSU is undergoing policy changes regarding sexual assault and harassment. A significant change in the policy includes a clear explanation that consent implies the presence of a “yes,” not the absence of a “no.”

While the university currently has reporting systems and disciplinary models in place for sexual assault and harassment crimes, the change is occurring in order to comply with new state and federal regulations.

These newly devised policies are intended to protect victims’ rights, while adequately responding to sexual assault and harassment.

In reference to the recent University of Montana sexual assault cases, Matt Caires, Dean of Students, said, “Obviously, UM is struggling with this — this is why [MSU needs] the right policies and the right procedures.” He added, “There are two sides to every story. It’s our job not to jump to conclusions, but to investigate.”