At the McGill Senate meeting on February 20, I presented the draft revisions to McGill’s Sexual Violence Policy. A productive discussion ensued surrounding these proposed amendments. Many Senators spoke about the importance of a revised Policy, which will be more robust than our current policy framework, and aims to facilitate the process of coming forward for survivors. From the discussion, a general consensus emerged on the importance of raising awareness around prevention and available resources but also on our shared responsibility as members of the McGill community to making our campus a safe, respectful, inclusive and equitable environment for all.
As detailed in an earlier article, key revisions to the Policy against Sexual Violence include:
- The appointment of an independent, specialized investigator to examine all reports of sexual violence on campus.
- Mandatory education and training for all members of the McGill community: students, faculty, and administrative and support staff.
- A ban on intimate relationships between members of the teaching staff and students under their authority or influence, or with whom they collaborate.
- Clear procedures that set explicit timelines and spell out how investigations of reports of sexual violence will occur.
- Measures to protect survivors and facilitate disclosures and reports.
The revised Policy and associated Procedures are available for review here. At this site, you can provide your feedback – anonymously if you wish – on the draft revisions. Any McGill community member may also communicate with me if they have questions or feedback that they wish to share directly.
Please send your comments or suggestions by March 8. Draft revisions will be presented to Senate for approval on March 27.