Regents push back new consent policy

University leaders will further discuss the proposal in September. 

by Christopher Aadland

University of Minnesota leaders are asking for more discussions before implementing the proposed revamp of the school’s sexual consent policy.

University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler agreed to postpone enactment of the revised policy — which would require all parties engaged in a sexual act to give consent beforehand and also changes language about relationship violence and sexual assault —  after the Board of Regents requested more time to talk about the proposed changes at Wednesday’s meeting.

“There’s a lot of confusion,” Regent Michael Hsu, who first suggested the board should further examine the plan, said. “I just think we need to take some time to make sure everyone knows what we’re doing.”

The policy, which was in its 30-day review period, was drafted as an administrative policy — a type of decision that regents aren’t required to sign off on.

While Kaler decided to push back the policy’s implementation, he said he thinks the board overstepped its role.

“The policy itself is excellent,” he said. “I’d argue that this is a little bit of overreach but I’m willing to have a conversation.”

Created to eliminate gray areas when it comes to consent, the proposal was modeled after affirmative consent legislation in California and policies at other colleges and universities nationwide.