Update on UBC sexual assault policy and action plan

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UBC is undertaking several coordinated strategies to improve policies and practices that address sexual assault and sexual harassment in our community. Highlighted below are the actions being taken by the University Sexual Assault Panel and the Sexual Assault Policy Committee.

University Panel Consultations

The President has appointed the University Sexual Assault Panel to lay the groundwork for a UBC-wide sexual assault action plan. The volunteer panel, chaired by Professor Janine Benedet of the Allard School of Law, is working independent of university administration to outline action items in relation to prevention, response, institutional accountability and the overall UBC climate around sexual violence.

They are seeking reflections on the following questions by May 8, 2016:

1. What are the features of an ideal response by UBC to the problem of sexual assaults involving members of the university community?

2. What is required for members of the UBC community to have confidence in UBC’s institutional accountability on the issue of sexual assault?

Students, faculty and staff may send their thoughts via email to: usap@allard.ubc.ca.

In addition, the panel is gathering materials about sexual assault at UBC and other universities. If you have produced related materials, please send links to: usap@allard.ubc.ca.

Sexual Assault Policy Development

The Sexual Assault Policy Committee is developing a sexual assault policy, a draft of which will be delivered to the Board of Governors in June 2016. Led by Kimberley Beck, Legal Counsel from the Office of the University Counsel and me, the committee includes eleven members from both campuses. The university community will be invited to give feedback on the draft policy starting in July.

For more information and updates on the sexual assault policy development and action plan: http://equity.ubc.ca/sexual-assault-policy-development/

The collective aim of these strategies is to foster a safe and respectful environment at UBC and a supportive environment on campus for survivors. As we work to improve our policies and processes I want to remind you about the resources available on campus and in the community should you need assistance for yourself or for someone you know.

For Vancouver students, resources can be found at http://students.ubc.ca/livewell/topics/sexual-assault. Okanagan students see http://students.ok.ubc.ca/health-wellness. Faculty and staff see http://www.hr.ubc.ca/health/safety/sexual-assault-resources/.

Sara-Jane Finlay
Associate Vice President
Equity and Inclusion