Policy to be brought to Senate for adoption by end of calendar year 2016
Sexual violence on campus is a matter of preeminent importance, meriting a clear response and commitment to action. The adoption of a university policy and protocol is a significant step in ensuring a safe campus environment for all members of the McGill community.
The draft policy is presently available for consultation here. Earlier drafts of this policy were shared in recent months with various stakeholder groups across McGill. A campus-wide consultation is now underway with a view to bringing the policy for information to the McGill Senate in October 2016 and again for its adoption in November or December 2016.
All members of the McGill community are invited to express their feedback through an online form on or before 30th September 2016. This is a rolling consultation, so feedback at any time will be received, considered and valued. Feedback can be provided anonymously. It will be received by the Office of the Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic), Professor Christopher P. Manfredi, and will subsequently be carefully reviewed and considered with a view to its integration in the version of the policy that ultimately comes forward for adoption.
Credit for the development of this policy is owed to a group of McGill students that worked assiduously over two years on a sexual assault policy for the University. Their efforts and commitment are to be recognized for advancing conversations on this critical issue.
Three principles animate McGill’s present draft Policy against Sexual Violence:
- First, it must seek to educate the university community about sexual violence and its prevention.
- Second, it must be survivor-focused, seeking to ensure that those who disclose or report incidents of sexual violence are treated with respect for their confidentiality and dignity and with compassion.
- Third, it must ensure respect for procedural equity in responding to allegations of sexual violence at a disciplinary level, as set out by other University policies, regulations and collective agreements.
Angela Campbell, Associate Provost (Policies, Procedures & Equity) states,
“Support for survivors lies at the heart of our new policy against sexual violence. We see this policy as benefiting the entire McGill community. It reminds us that each of us has a role to play in raising awareness about sexual violence and its impacts, especially on members of equity-seeking groups, and in ensuring that McGill community members feel safe from sexual violence. Through a process of broad consultation, we are actively listening and learning from our stakeholders, including student groups, so that this Policy can truly reflect and communicate a McGill-wide commitment to supporting those who identify as survivors of sexual violence”.