A message from Louise Cowin, Vice-President, Students, Lisa Castle, Vice-President, Human Resources and Hubert Lai, Q.C., University Counsel
The UBC Board of Governors has approved a new policy, known as Policy #131 — Sexual Assault and Other Sexual Misconduct.
Today’s approval follows a significant period of consultation within the UBC community, which began in June 2016. Over the course of this time, feedback was solicited on earlier drafts of the policy, and a series of information sessions were held, alongside meetings with key stakeholders.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who contributed to the policy development, including the University Sexual Assault Panel and the Steering Committee on Sexual Assault. We would particularly like to recognize the significant contribution made by members of the Sexual Assault Policy Committee, who reviewed and considered all of the feedback received through the consultation process, in order to draft a new policy.
Policy #131: Sexual Assault and Other Sexual Misconduct sets out UBC’s commitments with regard to sexual misconduct, and provides clarity on the support services and structures available to respond to disclosures and reports of sexual misconduct. It also describes the new Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Office, and sets out the investigation process that will take place when a report of sexual misconduct is made to UBC. Furthermore, the policy ensures that UBC is in compliance with the new BC legislation (Bill #23: Sexual Violence and Misconduct Policy Act).
Policy #131: Sexual Assault and Other Sexual Misconduct will come into effect on May 18, 2017.
The creation of Policy #131: Sexual Assault and Other Sexual Misconductsignals UBC’s unwavering commitment to addressing this important issue. This has been an important and deeply felt consultation process which involved many stakeholder groups. It has demonstrated that, together, we can improve and strengthen our university.
Looking ahead, we have begun the process of establishing a Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Office on each of the UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan campuses, which includes the recruitment of a Director, Sexual Violence Response and Prevention Office for each campus. We have also begun the process of recruiting a Director of Investigations for each campus. We hope to have the Directors in place within the next few months, and will provide further updates in the coming weeks (including any interim arrangements).
In the meantime, we encourage you to read Policy #131: Sexual Assault and Other Sexual Misconduct.
We would like to reiterate our thanks to all those who submitted comments, or joined the conversation via an information session or a stakeholder meeting. We would also like to thank the Board of Governors for their ongoing support of this important policy.