The UBC Alma Mater Society is drawing attention to the university’s sexual assault policy in a way that many student are sure to notice.
Some coffee sleeves found on campus read “number of students suspended from 2004-2014” and show 257 for plagiarism and/or cheating and a total of 0 for sexual assault.
The society is addressing the topic for a specific reason, the review of the UBC sexual assault policy has entered its final month.
By September 30th, any student suggestions or feedback to alter the exiting policy must be submitted.
Policy pros and cons: where feedback makes a difference
Associate Vice President of External Affairs Kathleen Simpson breaks down why student feedback is so important and what kind of difference policy changes could make.
“I think that what’s really missing is that reporting process and that level of, like, transparency so that when survivors go to the policy, they can know exactly what to expect the process to look like, and then also other things like making sure survivors are able to choose who they disclose to and how they enter into that reporting process.”
Sexual assault and academic cheating shouldn’t be handled under the same procedure
She says a big issue is that the current policy uses the “non-academic code of misconduct,” also applied to plagiarism, and that it should no longer be the same system used for sexual assault.
“That procedure is really not meant for sexual assault, and doesn’t really serve survivors in the best way possible.”
AMS does see multiple benefits to the current policy, along with other changes they hope to see enforced — as listed below.
UBC has previously been criticized for taking too long to deal with sexual assault complaints, or mishandling complaints in general. An independent report by Solicitor Paula Butler found staff didn’t know what to do or how to do it when women step forward with sexual assault allegations.
In June 2016, UBC released its newly-drafted sexual assault policy to the campus community for consultation, and AMS is encouraging student review.
Via coffee sleeves, and social media too.