This is our campus. Have your say. | UBC’s new Sexual Assault policy under review.

This is our campus. Have your say.

In June 2016, UBC released its newly-drafted Sexual Assault policy to the campus community for consultation. This is the opportunity for students to give feedback, make our voices heard and ensure that this policy reflects the needs of our campus community.

The AMS and the Sexual Assault Support Centre have reviewed the policy to look for areas of improvement. We have put together a list of changes we would like to see (and some things that we like about the policy as well!)  but we want to hear from you  and want to make sure that your opinions are heard.

 

Policy Recommendations:

 

What we like:

  1. The policy acknowledges that reporting and disclosing are two different things and outlines the rights and accommodations for students who disclose experiencing a sexual assault without requiring them to file a formal report.
  2. The new policy is a great first step to mandate educational programming for campus to work towards culture change and ending violence on campus.
  3. The policy highlights the inclusive principles and values of our campus. It recognizes the complexities of violence and that, while anyone can be affected by sexual assault, certain populations are more at risk.

 

What we would like to see changed:

  1. The proposed policy refers to the Student Code of Conduct and the Non-Academic Misconduct Process for reporting, which is not a process designed to address the unique challenges of sexual assault and the needs of survivors. Through this process, a survivor may have to retell their story in front of other students or come face to face with their perpetrator. Other, more appropriate, reporting processes should be considered as options.
  2. Students have the right to choose how they report, and know exactly how their report will be handled. The draft policy refers students to the Student Code of Conduct rather than explaining the process for reporting and what expectations survivors are entitled to in that process. The expectations and procedure when making a report against a faculty or staff member is also not clearly outlined.
  3. Survivors may want to file a formal report but not feel comfortable making this report themselves. Third party reporting allows for a report of sexual assault to be made by someone other Although the policy talks about third party reporting, it is unclear to what extent the university will use these third party reports to ensure safer campus communities.
  4. Students need to know who in the campus community they can turn to for help and support in the event of sexual assault. The policy explains that UBC will provide training to a number of staff throughout the university but only lists a small number of staff as resources who will receive this training. For more clarity, a longer list would be helpful.

 

While the usage rates of the Sexual Assault Support Centre continue to increase year after year, statistics from the annual Student Discipline Summaries indicate that a negligible number of cases of sexual assault are brought before the President’s Advisory Committee on Student Discipline. This is the same reporting process that is referred to in the current draft of the sexual assault policy. What this shows is that students are clearly not comfortable accessing this process and that is not meeting the needs of the campus community.

Agree with us or have any other concerns? View the draft policy and give your feedback at http://survey.ubc.ca/s/sexual-assault-policy.

 

The AMS and SASC are also collecting written feedback on the policy that we will include in our report and recommendations. Drop off written feedback at the Speakeasy desk on Level 1 of the AMS Student Nest by September 21.

 

For more information about sexual assault and for support and advocacy, visit http://www.amssasc.ca.

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