Western officials are seeking community feedback on an updated version of the Policy on Sexual Violence as the university continues to fine tune its procedures relating to sexual violence and harassment.
In September 2014, Western adopted its first standalone Policy on Sexual Violence. Prior to that, sexual violence was addressed by both the Code of Student Conduct and Non-Discrimination/Harassment Policy. Western was one of the first standalone policies in Canada.
In March 2016, the Ontario government passed Bill 132, the Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act, that required publicly assisted postsecondary institutions to have their own standalone sexual violence policies in place by Jan. 1, 2017.
Earlier this week, Laurentian University became the latest postsecondary institution to create a new sexual violence policy just under the deadline.
At Western, the Board of Governors approved a revised version of its policy earlier this month. That version is a significantly different document than the inaugural version. Following university community consultation and using provincial legislation as a guide, the policy now speaks more directly to reporting processes, investigative decision-making, where victims can go for access, among other topics.
Western community members are invited to read the new Policy on Sexual Violence and offer their thoughts by filling out a survey by Jan. 12, 2017.
The Sexual Violence Policy Working Group will present any further recommendations relating to the policy to the Board at its Jan. 26 meeting.