The University of Southern California has issued an apology for including questions about students' sexual history in a sexual assault training course required for registration.
In a statement to the Washington Examiner, USC Senior Vice President for Administration Todd Dickey apologized for the questions and said they have been removed from the training.
"USC apologizes for any offense or discomfort caused by optional questions included as part of a mandatory on-line training for students on sexual consent, misconduct and other important issues," Dickey said. "These questions have been removed from our online-training module."
"All colleges and universities are required by law to provide such training, and our training was a standardized module being used by hundreds of colleges and universities across the country," he added.
The training materials had been developed by Campus Clarity, and are used by more than 500 colleges and universities across the country, according to their website. They, too, issued a response to Tuesday's reports that students were asked how many times they had sex in the past three months and with how many people.
Campus Clarity wanted to clarify that no student was "required" to answer such questions and that schools were free to come up with their own questions as part of the training course.
"Schools have the option of including short surveys that are interspersed throughout the course. In these surveys, students are asked about their behaviors, attitudes, and beliefs regarding sexual activity and substance use," Campus Clarity wrote. "But students can choose not to answer these questions."
Each question reportedly has a "no comment" option for students who don't feel comfortable providing the information. Campus Clarity also insisted that students' identities were not linked to their answers.
The training is required as part of the Campus Save Act, which went into effect last year prior to the fall semester.
Campus Clarity also took specific issue with a student's comment that the course insisted that if a man and women were both drinking, that only the man would be responsible for obtaining consent. The organization provided its own summary of the scenario included in the training
"A man and a woman have been drinking together. Later they start kissing. The woman decides to stop and pushes the man away. She tells the man that she wants to go home because she is feeling sick from the alcohol she drank. The man convinces her to stay, she passes out, and the man then has sex with her while she is unconscious," Campus Clarity wrote. "This is rape. The woman is incapacitated from alcohol and is unconscious when the man has sex with her."
Campus Clarity did not respond to any specific questions from the Examiner about why accused students are told to just admit they are at fault and that the accuser's feelings "are valid." The training mentioned nothing about an accused student potentially being not responsible.
Ashe Schow is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.