Sexual Assault Policy Update

In recent months UBC has made significant strides to improve its policies and practices for addressing and responding to sexual assault.

Recognizing the importance of this issue, I wanted to share some updates around progress and next steps. These include an extension of the consultation process and a series of information sessions.

In January 2016, President Martha Piper requested that the University Counsel convene a committee to develop a new Sexual Assault Policy. As I embark on my new role as President of UBC, I would like to take this opportunity to commend Dr. Piper, the Policy Committee and members of the university community for the excellent work they achieved within a very tight timeline.

Following the Board of Governors meeting in June, the Office of the University Counsel published the draft Sexual Assault Policy and began actively soliciting input. The committee has already received a significant amount of feedback and I encourage you to continue submitting your written comments to university.counsel@ubc.ca or through the confidential feedback survey: https://survey.ubc.ca/s/sexual-assault-policy/

In parallel to the work of the Policy Committee, Dr. Piper also commissioned a University Sexual Assault Panel to review sexual assault and to make recommendations for university policy and practice.

I want to thank the panel for its report and share it with you today: https://sites.olt.ubc.ca/files/2016/09/USAP-Report-20-June-Submitted.pdf

I have provided the panel’s report to the Policy Committee and asked them to consider it as part of their process. I am also asking a small working group to make recommendations to the UBC Executive regarding the appropriate processes, infrastructure and resources to best serve our community, support survivors, and ensure that the education, prevention and awareness work that UBC undertakes makes us a leader in Canada.

It is important that we allow the appropriate time for these processes to take place, as well as providing sufficient opportunities for students, faculty and staff to submit their comments.

In light of this, the University Counsel is extending the period of consultation for the draft Sexual Assault Policy until October 31, 2016. This extension will allow new and returning students, faculty and staff to reflect on the panel’s report and provide feedback to the Policy Committee.

In addition, the Policy Committee is hosting Sexual Assault Policy Information Sessions on both campuses this fall to provide an overview of the draft policy and answer related questions.

To learn more and register for the UBC Vancouver information sessions on September 20 or October 13 visit http://equity.ubc.ca/2016/09/07/sexual-assault-policy-info-sessions/. For the October 11 at UBC Okanagan visit http://equity.ok.ubc.ca/2016/09/07/sexual-assault-policy-info-session/

As I have stated in previous messages, engagement is vital if we are to improve and strengthen our university. I hope that you will engage in this worthwhile and important process.

Professor Santa J. Ono

President and Vice-Chancellor