October 4th, 2011 | University

Miller announces new undergraduate regulations

In a University-wide email to students Tuesday afternoon, Dean Miller released an updated version of Yale College’s Undergraduate Regulations, which includes major changes regarding hazing, sexual consent, and undergraduate organizations:

“This year, there are a number of significant changes to the regulations, especially as they relate to sexual misconduct, hazing, and the work of the University-Wide Committee on Sexual Misconduct. The major points are flagged on the Undergraduate Regulations website, linked above. I encourage you to familiarize yourself with the regulations and to understand the changes that have been made, which include both routine matters and very serious ones. Please remember that being unaware of a particular regulation is never an acceptable excuse.”

The new University-Wide Committee on Sexual Misconduct (UWC) will handle all complaints of sexual misconduct, rather than the Executive Committee that dealt with such complaints in years past. According to the Undergraduate Regulations, the UWC “provides an accessible representative and trained body to answer internal inquiries and fairly and expeditiously address formal and informal complaints of sexual misconduct. It has sole disciplinary authority over Yale College students charged with sexual misconduct and recommends penalties to the dean of Yale College.”

The new regulations also include amplified definitions of sexual misconduct, sexual consent and sexual harassment, which were first introduced during “sexual consent” workshops that freshmen were required to attend on September 1:

“Sexual activity requires consent, which is defined as clear, unambiguous, and voluntary agreement between the participants to engage in specific sexual activity. Consent cannot be inferred from the absence of a “no”; a clear “yes,” verbal or otherwise, is necessary. Although consent does not need to be verbal, verbal communication is the most reliable form of asking for and gauging consent, and individuals are thus urged to seek consent in verbal form. Talking with sexual partners about desires and limits may seem awkward, but serves as the basis for positive sexual experiences shaped by mutual willingness and respect.”

The regulations go on to define hazing as any action that violates Connecticut hazing law, and add stricter, Yale-specific rules. Under the new regulations, hazing includes “initiation or affiliation activities that intentionally or recklessly endanger physical or mental health; that intimidate, denigrate, or humiliate persons pledging or seeking membership, or seeking to retain membership, in a registered or unregistered student organization or on an athletic team; or that intimidate, denigrate, or humiliate third parties who are witness to or subject to such activities.”

The regulations specify that all undergraduate student organizations, whether registered or unregistered, are required to follow these rules, and that groups as well as individuals could be penalized for infractions. In addition, three officers from every undergraduate organization must now attend training in hazing and sexual misconduct prevention. A new rule states that unregistered student organizations are required to furnish basic information, such as the group’s name and the names of three officers, to the Yale College Dean’s Office and certify that they will abide by the Undergraduate Regulations.

Check back for more details.

  • The Anti-Yale

    *Consent cannot be inferred from the absence of a “no”; a clear “yes,” verbal or otherwise is necessary*

    Consent given can be denied *ex post facto* by the consenter. A third party (a witness) would be necessary in a trial or administrative hearing to establish consent as having been given.
    (A witness is a definite wet-blanket to romantic energy).
    This new policy solves nothing.

  • attila

    PK has no personal experience of this. Nobody with any kind of sex life, past or present (excluding solo), would spend as much time as he does boring the entire world with his “past.”

  • eli1

    If I was still at Yale I would be petrified to engage in any type of sexual activity with a girl. Sounds like all you need is a he said/she said situation with the wrong girl to get the boot. I can almost guarantee that this marks the end of due process when it comes to sexual misconduct at Yale. I can’t wait to see what happens when the first dude is expelled after being falsely accused.

  • Branford73

    From the regs:

    > Where . . . there is ambiguity about
    > whether consent has been given, a
    > student can be charged with, and found
    > guilty of, committing a sexual assault
    > or another form of sexual misconduct.

    Combined with a “preponderance of evidence” standard instead of “clear and convincing” a he said/she said situation equals ambiguity. The burden would seem to shift to the accused. Good luck gentlemen.

    > Threatening speech, which is
    > sufficiently serious to constitute
    > sexual harassment, for example, will
    > constitute sexual misconduct.

    No more vulgar chants, whatever the purpose. Looks like a win for those who would kick out the previous chanters.

  • The Anti-Yale

    So drinking daters at Yale will now need a Designated Duena to tell them they are too drunk to say “yes”. This a new twist on Victorianism.

  • The Anti-Yale

    attila:

    I grew up in a time when polite people did not talk about such things. Shame on you.

    PK

  • ldffly

    eli1, you have it right. I suspect that the new consent policy will ultimately require forms in triplicate to hold up within the halls of inquisition.

    Frankly, I would not go near a Yale female anywhere near the Yale campus. Keep everything under control, study like a monk while on the campus, use your time off to get well away from that campus. Maybe this will bring back the old road trips to Smith and Vassar.

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