Ontario’s Colleges to Publicize New Sexual Assault Policies by March 31, 2015

Ontario’s Colleges to Publicize New Sexual Assault Policies by March 31, 2015

Ontario’s colleges have begun local consultations to finalize a new stand-alone Sexual Assault and Sexual Violence Policy and Protocol that will be publicly promoted at all colleges by March 31.

The presidents of the 24 colleges endorsed the framework for the Sexual Assault and Sexual Violence Policy and Protocol at a meeting in Toronto last week.

The colleges and representatives from Colleges Ontario (the advocacy organization for the colleges) are now consulting with student leaders, government officials, the Ontario Women’s Directorate, OPSEU and others on the policy and protocol. The feedback will be incorporated into the materials as they are finalized for the end of March.

The comprehensive materials were developed by a task force that included senior college leaders, a student representative and legal experts. Building on existing policies and practices at the colleges, the materials include recommendations for promoting greater awareness at colleges and establishing a clear protocol for responding to cases of sexual assault and violence.

The materials also include information about protecting people’s privacy and the steps that should be taken if someone witnesses a sexual assault or has learned about a sexual assault.

As well, the colleges are seeking provincial changes to better support victims of sexual assault. For example, the colleges are recommending the provincial government take steps to ensure that victims throughout the province have immediate access to 24-hour emergency hotline services.

The provincial government is also being asked to consider regulatory changes that might allow colleges and the police to share more information in certain circumstances. The colleges’ proposals might help inform the Wynne government’s action plan on sexual assault that will be developed by March 8, which is International Women’s Day.

Quotes

“The protection of students and visitors to campus is essential. Cambrian College promotes a culture of safety on campus, and is actively engaged in the education of current and prospective students regarding appropriate behaviour. This new policy will be another way for us to ensure clear information is widely available and that there is immediate help for victims of sexual assault.”

Bill Best, President, Cambrian College

“Collège Boréal is committed to providing a healthy and safe work and learning environment for all. We look forward to working with our students and others to ensure the policy and protocol are easily accessible and clearly understood. Promoting awareness and support will be an ongoing effort.”

Pierre Riopel, President, Collège Boréal

Quick facts

About Cambrian College

Cambrian College has been a leading postsecondary institution in northern Ontario from the time its first classes were held in 1967. The College has a vibrant community of more than 11,000 full- and part-time learners and offers 80 full-time and nearly 900 part-time courses/programs. It provides programming at three campuses and online, serving a student population that is reflective of the rich diversity of today’s global workplaces. For more information, please visit www.cambriancollege.ca.

About Collège Boréal

Established in 1995, Collège Boréal is a French-language postsecondary institution dedicated to the development and growth of French communities throughout the province. Collège Boréal offers a wide variety of services in 35 access centres in 25 communities across the province. Furthermore, Collège Boréal has developed and implemented over 40 articulation agreements with other postsecondary institutions. To find out more about Collège Boréal programs and services, please visit our website at www.collegeboreal.ca and follow us on Facebook and Twitter @collegeboreal.

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