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Notification requirement in Sexual Violence Policy suspended pending further consultation

Public meetings to discuss the implementation of the policy are planned for Oct. 17 and Oct. 23.

Changes to the Policy on Sexual Violence Involving Queen’s Students were introduced in May 2019, in an effort to better ensure that any student who experiences sexual violence is offered full university support.  For this reason, the policy dictates that employees (excepting health care providers) who receive a disclosure of sexual violence from a student must notify Queen’s Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Coodinator (SVPRC).

To further ensure that all students who disclose an incident of sexual violence to a university employee receive trained guidance and are made aware of the full range of supports available to them, the university established a requirement for faculty and staff to provide the SVPRC with the name and email address of the student who disclosed.  The intent of this requirement was to better support students; however, the university has received feedback from many concerned employees and students who fear that the requirement may have the unintended effect of further traumatizing the student, and may ultimately dissuade students from disclosing at all.

As the safety of students was the driving impetus behind the university’s decision, the university considers it prudent to suspend the requirement to provide the student’s name and email to the SVPRC while further community consultation is conducted.  Until this additional consultation has been completed, Queen’s employees should continue to notify the SVPRC that they have received a disclosure, but should not provide identifying information unless the student has provided their explicit consent to do so.  Employees who receive a disclosure are expected to inform the student of the supports available to them through the SVPRC, and are encouraged to ask the student to consider allowing their contact information to be shared so that proactive outreach can be initiated.  The balance of the policy remains in force.

Public meetings to discuss the implementation of the policy are planned for Thursday, Oct. 17 from 5-6 pm, and Wednesday, Oct. 23 from 10-11 am.  Both meetings will be held in Robert Sutherland Hall, Rm. 202.

Questions can be directed to Deputy Provost (Academic Operations and Inclusion), Teri Shearer, at provost@queensu.ca.