A Great Lakes Colleges Association initiative supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Affirmative Consent: The History of the Sexual Offense Prevention Policy at Antioch College

Project Statement

When Antioch College implemented the Sexual Offense Prevention Policy (SOPP) in 1990, it was a radical change in how the school dealt with sexual offenses. Prior to the implementation, a group of students, frustrated with the college’s lack of disciplinary action for sexual assaults and rapes, took it upon themselves to hold demonstrations, draft the policy, and present it to the Administration.
I interviewed those students who drafted the policy and presented it to the administration for a detailed history of this policy. Their stories are very important as they were some of the first women who were changing the definition of consent from “no means no” to “yes means yes”. Antioch’s Sexual Offense Prevention Policy (SOPP) set a standard for sexual offense policy on college campuses. Many college’s asked for the policy and many implemented their own version of the SOPP in later years. Thirty years on, the conversations around consent are still catching up to what these women worked to achieve. I gathered their stories, thoughts, and arguments on the implementation of this policy and their current thoughts on consent in modern times.

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