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Comprehensive report addresses sexual assault on campus

The Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Working Group releases a detailed report that includes recommendations to guide the university in addressing sexual assault, as well as a draft policy.

The university’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Working Group (SAPRWG) has released a detailed report that includes recommendations to guide the university in addressing sexual assault, as well as a draft sexual misconduct policy for the university. A team will be established to exercise oversight of, and set priorities and timelines for, the implementation of the report’s recommendations, working in consultation with the working group and its policy sub-committee.

“The university takes sexual assault extremely seriously, and I am pleased that the working group has been able to expedite its report,” says Principal Daniel Woolf. “I want to thank the members of the working group and the policy sub-committee for their efforts. The work, however, does not stop here – a team will now be assembled and tasked with prioritizing the recommendations and developing an implementation plan. I expect this process will also be conducted expeditiously.”

The report includes 11 strategic objectives, from integrating and profiling support and advocacy services, to improving institutional and public accountability.

Recommendations associated with the objectives include:

  • Establishing a central, visible and welcoming sexual assault centre;
  • Raising the profile of all sexual assault support services;
  • Clarifying and communicating the roles of various university personnel responsible for first response;
  • Standardizing academic accommodations processes;
  • Broadly targeting our diverse student body with more effective prevention education programming;
  • Incorporating educational opportunities for academic and non-academic departments; and
  • Developing a comprehensive, stand-alone sexual assault policy.

“The report, recommendations and draft policy represent the culmination of months of research, planning, and consultation with the Queen’s community, and examination of best practices across the sector,” says Arig al Shaibah, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs (Student Life and Learning) and chair of the SAPRWG.

The policy builds on an interim Sexual Assault Support and Response Protocol, established by the working group in December 2014. The policy will go through the university’s governance approval process, first to the Senate and then to the Board of Trustees, likely in the fall. Releasing the policy as a draft will allow the university to gather feedback from the university community.

Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) Alan Harrison is establishing the team that will prioritize recommendations and set timelines for next steps.

In addition, the policy sub-committee will continue its work on the sexual misconduct procedures over the summer, with the goal of having them approved and in place by the end of 2015.

The university is also well positioned to meet the requirements of the provincial government’s Provincial Action Plan to Stop Sexual Violence and Harassment and any associated legislation.

Click here to read the SAPRWG report.

Click here to view the SAPRWG website.