Mandatory USC sex training tells students 'consent is never a blanket statement'

As students returned to campus for the fall semester, the University of Southern California rolled out a program set on instilling the concept of  “affirmative consent,” in hopes of making a “yes means yes” attitude the “standard in every sexual encounter at USC.”

Brenda Ingram, director of Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention and Services at USC Student Health, launched the initiative called “Trojans Respect Consent,” in which all incoming freshmen, were required, beginning Monday, to undergo 90 minutes of training on her concept of “affirmative consent,” according to a school news release.

[RELATED: 'Yes Means Yes' sexual education class provides P.E. credit]

“Though not all affirmative consent laws require verbal affirmation, the overarching idea is to shift the legal narrative from ‘no means no’ to ‘yes means yes,’” Ingram says in the release.

The director emphasizes that it is “critical” to “check in with your partner or partners every step of the way and continually assess whether they are able to provide rational, genuine consent.”

“Though by no means a comprehensive answer to the problem of assault, creating clearer parameters to the definition of consent can help move the needle on the larger mission of eliminating sexual violence,” Ingram said about her plan to impress upon students that “consent is never a blanket statement.”

Ingram advocates for both affirmative consent laws and university policies in order to “ensure that every participant is providing authentic, uncoerced, ongoing, voluntary permission to proceed at every step in a given sexual encounter.” 

[RELATED: U. of Minn. institutes new affirmative consent policy]

But the university says that even with these policies in place, “other factors can complicate the consensuality of a sexual encounter,” such as when one or both of the parties involved are intoxicated.

According to Ingram, “it is incumbent upon the person asking for consent to receive conscious and informed affirmation in order to proceed.” 

Campus Reform reached out to the university for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @celinedryan

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OPINION: Academia's anti-semitism brainwashes future leaders

This opinion editorial originally appeared in The Algemeiner and has been republished with permission. 

Editor's note: The views in this opinion editorial are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Campus Reform or of its parent organization, the Leadership Institute.


To the average American, the resurgence of antisemitism worldwide may come as a surprise. But it is no surprise to Jewish and pro-Israel university students. Our universities have unknowingly become propaganda machines for the most radical professors, and the silent acceptance of this new brand of antisemitism by educational institutions is brainwashing future leaders.

A significant number of Jewish-American college students experience antisemitism during their time on campus. University administrators at elite schools, such as UC Berkeley, the University of Michigan, Rutgers, NYU, and UCLA, have turned a blind eye towards this discrimination, and have allowed radical professors to normalize anti-Jewish racism.

Radical student groups with histories of antisemitism, such as Students for Justice in Palestine, are far less dangerous than the top-down and lecture-based indoctrination by academic authorities inside of the classroom.

Activist professors frequently use their platform to spread hate, knowing that only the most well-read and self-confident student would presume to be more knowledgeable than them or to challenge their assertions. Unfortunately, too often, students do not object to the lies, fearing reprisal in the form of lowered grades or other means.

[RELATED: OPINION: NRA labeled as terrorist organization while Planned Parenthood kills millions]

During the previous academic year, a professor at the University of Michigan refused to sign letters of recommendation on the basis of a study-abroad program’s location in Israel. Additionally, an NYU 2019 convocation speaker received applause after referring to Israel as an “aparthied state,” and praising the antisemitic BDS movement.

UC Berkeley, one of the top public universities in the world, is well known for its anti-Zionist and antisemitic radicals. It is also home to some of the most effective and active grassroots Zionist organizations, such as Tikvah: Students for Israel — a student-run club that has carefully documented antisemitic incidents on campus, and the responses from university administrators.

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FLASHBACK: NYU prof asks 'When did the memory of 9/11 become 'sacred'?'

Talia Lavin, a professor of journalism at New York University, came under fire for tweeting “When did the memory of 9/11 become ‘sacred’? In what way? And to whom?” on Saturday.

 Lavin’s remark came in the wake of the controversy over Minnesota Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar’s decision to refer to the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001, with “some people did something.” Many people across the country, including President Trump, have condemned Omar for her seemingly dismissive words.

“I meant this as a genuine question. it was indisputably tragic, world-changing, evil and despicable, and a turning point of history,” Lavin later remarked. “But ‘sacred’ is a particular word with its own religious meanings, and i wanted to pinpoint what it means to call such a day ‘sacred’ specifically.”

After President Trump tweeted a video alternating between Omar’s comments and scenes of the destruction caused by the attacks, Ms. Lavin responded by saying “the campaign to get ilhan omar murdered continues apace,” before then asking how the terrorist attack became regarded as a sacred memory.

According to CNN, 2,977 people died in the four attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001. The victims ranged from two years old to eighty-five years old and included 403 firefighters and police officers.

When Republican Rep. Dan Crenshaw criticized supporters of Rep. Omar for questioning his devotion to 9/11 victims, Ms. Lavin responded to his tweet on Friday, saying: “the real victim, captain shithead, speaks,” according to The Washington Examiner. 

the real victim, captain shithead, speaks

— Talia Lavin (@chick_in_kiev) April 13, 2019

[RELATED: Pro-Israel orgs slam Ilhan Omar amid widespread campus bias]

Rep. Crenshaw, a former Navy SEAL, lost an eye in an improvised explosive device (IED) blast while fighting in the Helmand province of Afghanistan in 2012, according to his website bio. He was medically retired from military service in 2016, and was awarded a Purple Heart, two Bronze Stars, including one with Valor, and the Navy Commendation Medal with Valor.

After Lavin drew criticism for her insult, however, she doubled down on her remark, tweeting: “actually ur right i should respect his rank…his name is lieutenant commander shithead.”

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Berkeley 'Bear Closet' course: Students share 'queer' experiences with middle schoolers for credit

A University of California, Berkeley course starting  September 19 will offer students the chance to share “queer-related stories” with local middle and high school students to encourage students who have not revealed their sexuality to pursue higher education.

Dubbed “Bear Closet,” the course “welcomes all students, whether LGBTQ, an ally, or just interested in learning.” The course, taught by a student but faculty-approved, is seeking enrollees who are looking for “sharing queer-related stories/ middle and high school classrooms, in hopes of motivating out or closeted youth to pursue college education with the assurance of a better future.”  

“Bear Closet” promises times allotted for discussions, as well as “bonding among its members” in order to instill values of community service. Students will complete 300-word narratives on three modules pertaining to “allyship,” Berkeley’s LGBTQ community, and fighting bullying.

[RELATED: STUDY: LGBT Asian Americans seen as ‘more American’ than those who are straight]

Course participants will be able to collaborate with the Pacific Center, a local Berkeley LGBT center, to hold a cumulative presentation as well as host lectures at local middle and high schools. 

“We hope to inspire youth to take pride in their own identity and fight for a stronger, more inclusive future,” Bear Closet’s mission states. 

The group did not respond to a request for comment from Campus Reform in time for publication. 

Campus Reform spoke with Berkeley College Republicans Chair Matt Ronnau about the course offering. 

[RELATED: Schools shelling out tens, maybe HUNDREDS of thousands for LGBT staff]

"The Berkeley College Republicans are concerned with the notion that left-wing students will be traveling to middle and high school classrooms to impose their social views on impressionable youth,” Ronnau said. “Furthermore, the people who would likely enroll in a class such as this one are likely the most radical of the student body here at Berkeley."

Dan Mogulof, UC-Berkeley assistant vice chancellor of communications spoke of the DeCal program, in general, in a statement to Campus Reform, saying, "the campus administration has no connection to or control over these [course] offerings."

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