Queen’s approves sexual violence policy

Board of Trustees approves university-wide policy with understanding that further revisions may be required

Credit: 
Journal File Photo

For an issue that’s attracted a great deal of concern over the past year and a half, the release of the long-awaited sexual violence policy was oddly anti-climactic.

On Friday evening, the Queen’s Board of Trustees approved a university-wide sexual violence policy. The draft passed by the Board had been released in December for a two-month feedback period.

The policy comes more than a year after Queen’s was featured heavily in a Toronto Star investigation that found that only nine out of 78 Canadian universities had a sexual assault policy. The Star’s feature story, which was released in November 2014, stated that Queen’s along with other Canadian universities were failing sexual assault victims.

The approval of a sexual violence policy makes Queen’s the third university to create a policy out of the six “major” universities that the Star noted lacked policies. Ryerson and York University have since implemented sexual assault policies, while McGill, the University of Toronto and University of British Columbia have not.

At the Board meeting, Chair of the Audit & Risk Committee Trustee Mary Wilson Trider gave a brief introduction to the policy, stating that her committee, along with others, have been working on this policy for quite a while.

Wilson Trider told the Board that the committee has taken the provincial action plan against sexual violence released last year into account and has worked to align the University’s policy with potential future legislation.

She also informed the Board that it’s possible that the policy will require later revisions, as she anticipates a new version of the provincial legislation on sexual violence to be introduced in the not-so-distant future. 

The Board approved the December draft of the sexual violence policy unanimously with little discussion.

Read the full policy here. The Journal will report further on the policy this coming week.

Sexual Assault Policy at Queen's: A Timeline

To see the timeline in full screen, click here.

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