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Lady Gaga Joins Campaign to End Sexual Assault on Campuses

Lady Gaga

She’s penned a joint op-ed with Cuomo about the ‘epidemic of sexual violence’ on college campuses. 

Lady Gaga and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo have published an open letter in Billboard addressing sexual violence on college campuses.

The editorial touts Cuomo's Enough is Enough campaign and calls for lawmakers to pass a bill that will compel private universities across New York state to adopt the affirmative-consent policy enacted on New York's public campuses last year.

"Every fall, young men and women head off to colleges across the country, dreaming of bright futures and the experience of a lifetime," begins the op-ed. "They've worked hard for the chance to become a part of their new campuses, and they set out full of hope and excitement."

"Unfortunately, for thousands of these students that dream turns into a nightmare because of the unacceptable epidemic of sexual violence that is currently plaguing colleges and universities. It is a shocking reality that many in academia, government, and society in general still refuse to acknowledge."

The bill, which Gaga, a sexual assault surviver herself, and Cuomo are trying to pass, would extend the policy adopted at all SUNY campuses to private institutions. It requires students to practice "affirmative consent" during sex, which is defined as "clear, unambiguous, knowing, informed, and voluntary agreement between all participants to engage in sexual activity. Consent is active, not passive." Thus silence is not consent.

"By passing legislation such as the bill currently before the New York State legislature, we can turn the tide on this issue so that students can realize their dreams on campuses that are safe spaces," concludes the letter. "That's why we are joining together to take a stand against sexual assault on college campuses. Quite simply, enough is enough."

The bill is expected to be debated soon, before the state legislature ends this year's session on June 17.

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