I write today to update you on work at TRU regarding sexual violence prevention and response, and to encourage you to provide input on the draft sexual violence policy.
In July 2015, I emailed the TRU community to affirm the university’s commitment to an environment free from sexual violence. At that time, I shared an interim protocol for the prevention of and response to sexual assault. I also announced the creation of the President’s Task Force on Sexual Assault Prevention and Response chaired by Christine Adam, the Dean of Students, to address the concerns that had been raised about sexual assaults on post-secondary campuses across Canada and specifically to consider how those concerns could best be addressed at TRU. The task force was charged with the following:
- to develop a sexual assault policy and review other policies and procedures that address sexual assault and/or sexual harassment
- to enhance current sexual assault prevention education programming
- to develop clear reporting and response protocols
- to develop communication plans regarding the three items above
I have recently received the report of the task force. There are 14 recommendations in the task force report, the first of which involves consultation on a draft sexual violence policy. Many of the remaining recommendations arise out of that policy. It is important to note that recently the British Columbia legislature passed the Post-Secondary Sexual Violence and Misconduct Policy Act. This act requires all post-secondary institutions in British Columbia to have a stand-alone sexual violence policy by May 19, 2017. Therefore I am requesting that consultation begin immediately so that a revised policy can be considered by the Board of Governors in the coming months.
The report and draft policy and the Sexual Violence Policy consultation plan can be accessed on TRU’s Sexual Violence website, which also includes information on how members of the TRU community can provide feedback on the draft.
I also ask that you familiarize yourself with the other content on this website. It includes important information for the TRU community about sexual violence, including resources for those who have been harmed and for those who may receive disclosures of sexual violence from students, colleagues and friends.
I thank the task force members for engaging in this important work and thank you all in advance for supporting the outcomes of the task force’s work.
President and Vice-Chancellor
Thompson Rivers University