Steering Committee on Sexual Assault

Statement from UBC Steering Committee on Sexual Assault
January 16, 2017

In light of recent events, the members of the UBC Steering Committee on Sexual Assault thought it important that we take a moment to publicly articulate the two core commitments that have and will continue to inform our work and our interactions with the Policy Committee, which is drafting the new stand-alone Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct Policy.  Daniel Heath Justice’s resignation from the Policy Committee is a reminder of the importance of these principles in our work.

  • Our first commitment is to counsel a policy that is victim-centric: a policy that proceeds on the assumption that the vast majority of complainants are telling the truth and that the processes following disclosure and reporting, while not prejudging any individual case, recognize this principle from the general policy perspective.
  • Second, we recognize that distinct groups in Canadian society are disproportionately subject to sexual violence and that UBC’s policy must be cognizant of this social and political feature.  For instance, Indigenous women are disproportionately survivors of sexual violence. UBC’s policy must be sensitive, accordingly, to this fact and the historic and current contexts of colonialism and sexism that explain it.

Broadcast email: Steering Committee on Sexual Assault
October 25, 2016

In recent weeks there has been a great deal of dialogue on issues of sexual assault and sexual violence as a result of UBC’s Sexual Assault Policy consultation.

Recognizing the importance of this policy and UBC’s ongoing work on sexual assault education, prevention and awareness, I have asked Louise Cowin, Vice-President, Students to convene a Steering Committee on Sexual Assault.

We recognize the richness of work happening across our campuses, and within our communities, around issues of sexual violence. The steering committee will therefore work in a transparent, inclusive and consultative way to:

  • Provide input and advice to the Policy Committee on feedback, drafts, and key questions;
  • Create an action plan to address the recommendations from the University Sexual Assault Panel and feedback provided during the policy consultation;
  • Work with existing groups and/or establish representative subcommittees to accomplish specific tasks related to creating an effective response to sexual assault through education, prevention, and awareness.

The current membership of the steering committee is:

  • Louise Cowin, Vice-President, Students (Chair)
  • Professor Janine Benedet, Peter A. Allard School of Law
  • Gen Cruz, President, Graduate Student Society
  • Ian Cull, Associate Vice-President, Students, UBC Okanagan
  • Blake Edwards, President, UBC Students’ Union Okanagan
  • Sara-Jane Finlay, Associate Vice-President, Equity & Inclusion
  • Lina Gomez, undergraduate student, Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences, UBC Okanagan
  • Dr. Erin Graham, Sessional Instructor, Faculty of Education, UBC Vancouver
  • Professor Jennifer Love, Senior Advisor to the Provost on Women Faculty
  • Avneet Mann, Client Services Representative, UBC Robson Square
  • Linda McKnight, Director, Human Resources Advisory Services
  • Rabia Mir, graduate student, Educational Studies, UBC Vancouver
  • Ava Nasiri, President, Alma Mater Society
  • Dr. Juliet O’Brien, Lecturer, Faculty of Arts, UBC Vancouver
  • Dr. Stephen O’Leary, Associate Professor, School of Engineering, UBC Okanagan
  • Janet Teasdale, Managing Director, Student Development & Services
  • Professor Margot Young, Peter A. Allard School of Law

In addition to the above membership, the steering committee is inviting applications from faculty, staff and students to fill four additional places. They are seeking individuals who will bring a diversity of experience, identity and expertise to the committee. If you have any questions regarding the steering committee, please feel free to contact any of the members listed above.

It is important that we facilitate meaningful engagement around these issues, and I am grateful to Louise Cowin for providing leadership, in partnership with our diverse stakeholder groups. We will ensure that we continue to update the UBC community as the policy consultation progresses.

Professor Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor

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