Queen’s University approved a campus-wide sexual violence policy on Friday, March 4. This follows a Toronto Star investigation conducted in 2014 that looked at 102 Canadian colleges and universities lacking in sexual assault policies.
According to the investigation, only nine of the 78 Canadian universities had a sexual violence policy. Since the investigation, Queen’s is the third university, following Ryerson University and York University, to have created a policy for sexual assault; McGill University, the University of Toronto, and the University of British Columbia have yet to produce conclusive policies.
Queen’s University’s sexual assault policy has been a work in progress for almost 15 months. It includes an explanation of options available to witnesses and survivors of sexual violence, and it outlines the university’s responsibilities regarding treatment of sexual assault. A list of definitions, a statement on the university’s commitment to survivors, and a statement on maintaining annual statistics are also featured in the policy.
The first draft of the policy was completed in June 2015 and was presented to the Queen’s Senate, alongside a report on campus sexual assault and related issues. After unanimous approval by the Queen’s Board of Trustees, it was released in December for a two-month feedback period.
According to Mary Wilson Trider, chair of the Audit & Risk Committee, it is still possible that the policy may be subject to further changes.
With files from The Queen’s Journal