Legal review of University’s updated affirmative consent policy completed

by Christopher Aadland

The University of Minnesota’s Office of the General Counsel has finished its review of the schools’ proposed affirmative consent policy after Board of Regents members expressed concerns about the proposal’s implications. 
The document was released to regents last week. Though the board requested that the counsel review the legality at a public meeting earlier this month to help guide its discussion on the topic, the University won’t make the findings public, University spokesperson Lacey Nygard said, citing attorney-client privilege. 
At the board meeting, University President Eric Kaler agreed to delay implementation of the “yes means yes” policy at regents’ request. The proposal was in a 30-day public comment period at the time. 
The school would have implemented the proposed change last week if regents had not requested the review. 
The policy would require parties engaged in a sexual encounter to give affirmative consent beforehand and would also update rules on relationship violence and sexual assault.
The change follows a push by some states and universities to revise their sexual assault rules. 
Regents declined comment on the review.
A date for the regents to discuss the policy hasn’t been finalized. The board’s next meeting is in September.