The Duke Blue Devils had better remain chaste. As national champions, they are unable to have consensual sex with other students under Duke’s new “sexual misconduct” policy, warns the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). A person seen as “powerful” — such as a varsity athlete — may “create an unintentional atmosphere of coercion,” the policy states. For the “powerful,” it’s not just that “no” means no and silence means no. “Yes” means no too.
In addition, sex with someone who’s been drinking — not like that ever happens — is considered a form of rape because the policy considers any level of intoxication makes a student unable to consent to sex. FIRE, which is challenging the policy, writes:
Duke’s new policy transforms students of both sexes into unwitting rapists simply because of the “atmosphere” or because one or more students are “intoxicated,” no matter the degree. The policy also establishes unfair rules for judging sexual misconduct accusations.
Even a couple who’ve engaged in consensual sex need explicit permission for every sexual act every time.
The policy will be impossible to enforce fairly or equitably, said Adam Kissel, Director of FIRE’s Individual Rights Defense Program. “As a result, this policy effectively trivializes real sexual misconduct, which is a gravely serious crime.”